How Long Does A Generator Last?

How Long Does A Generator Last? GeneratorFirst

Many companies and homes need a generator as a piece of equipment. Generators provide electricity during blackouts and serve as a backup energy source in dire situations. Can a generator be used until it has to be replaced? When debating whether to buy a generator, this is a crucial question. Read on to find out how long does a generator last and what factors make them last longer or shorter.

How Long Will Generators Last On Average

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that a typical generator will last 15 years if it is well taken care of.

If you reset the maintenance of your generator properly, it should last up to 10 years. It might cease operating in as little as a year if you don’t maintain or store it properly. Several variables affect the lifespan of generators:

Fuel Type

Despite being more costly on average than diesel generators and having a shorter lifespan than gasoline and propane generators.

Frequency Of Use

Generators that are only utilized when there is a power outage often live longer than those that provide backup power regularly.

Type Of Load

The generator experiences increased wear and tear the more frequently it is used. How frequently a generator starts might impact its lifespan.


A generator that is well-maintained can last for many years. A generator’s lifespan can be shortened by neglecting to maintain it, and in extreme situations, this can result in irreversible damage that necessitates the replacement of some components or even the entire unit.

Weather Conditions

If a generator is not stored appropriately, excessive heat or cold might shorten its life.

Quality Of Construction

Generators that are badly made last less time than those that are correctly built.

The most frequent reason for generators’ early failures is an engine issue. The high-load motor in generators needs more maintenance than a typical residential appliance. Your generator may have issues with the carburetor, the ignition, the oil, and the electrical components if you don’t maintain it well.

A generator has several uses in addition to providing electricity during blackouts and crises. Clean energy, as opposed to the filthy energy generated by a power plant, is what generators create. Several firms employ generators to reduce or eliminate their requirement for commercial power during peak hours. Generators may last up to 10 years if they are kept up with correctly. Generators, nevertheless, are not built to endure forever. They can require the engine to be repaired, or the electric components replaced if they have issues.

If you’re buying a generator, you should think about the things that will impact how long it will last. Power may be produced for many years by a well-maintained generator. After knowing how long a generator will last, the price is often the next most crucial factor to consider. This is because purchasing a generator for your house or company may be pricey.

Factors That Affect Generator Life

Several things may impact the lifespan of a generator.

Power surge

The generator might be damaged if the surge is too large. The excess energy will be absorbed by a powerful surge protector, preventing it from reaching the generator.

Sparks and wire damage from poor or loose connections might result in more significant issues with the generator. To prevent issues like these, ensure all switches are tight and secure.


Since generators may grow hot, it’s crucial to maintain them in a space with good ventilation. Inspect the area surrounding the generator to make sure there are no objects that can stop airflow.

Driving over the generator might damage important components, particularly if the surface where you want to use it is uneven or lumpy.


The generator’s proper operation may be hampered by dust accumulation. Put the generator inside a box or container to prevent dust from getting inside.

Not Using It

When not in use, a generator should be started and left running for roughly an hour each month to avoid the accumulation of rust and damage. Inactive generators might stop working after being inactive for months or even years.

Failure To Replace Or Repair A Generator Will Result In The Following Consequences

Poorly maintained generators won’t generate as much energy as they should and may even break down in usage. Sparks from worn-out components may result in overheating and harm to the surrounding environment. It might be unsafe to keep using a worn-out generator.

Early Generator Replacement Benefits

It may be cheaper to replace a worn-out generator than to repair it. Early generator replacement can ensure you pay a reasonable amount for the electricity you need.

Tips For Lengthening The Life Of Your Generator

If taken care of correctly, a generator may survive for many years. The frequency of use and ongoing maintenance of the generator are only two variables that affect how long they last. A new generator should undergo a thorough inspection before operation and once a year to ensure there are no safety or buried issues. If you don’t take care of a generator, it will probably need to be replaced sooner.

Here are some pointers on how to maintain generators to extend their lifespan:

Ensure That The Generator Is Clean

Regular care will lessen the likelihood of dirt getting into sensitive areas. Dirt is a typical cause of malfunctions.

Inspect Regularly For Loose Bolts Or Signs Of Damage

Loose bolts often result in a generator’s being permanently damaged.

Check The Oil Level Regularly

Loss of oil may cause major engine issues, including overheating.

Clean Out Clippings From The Air Filter With Every Use

If you don’t fix clogged air filters, they will stop air from flowing properly, leading to major problems.

Ensure Fuel Is Fresh

Make sure the gas is fresh to avoid gum buildup and poor performance.

After Each Use, Check Hoses For Wear Or Leaks

A frequent reason for generator failure is damaged hoses.

Keep The Area Around The Unit Free From Debris

If debris-containing water gets into contact with the generator, it might damage it and pose a safety risk.

Keep The Area Around The Generator Free From Trash

Before usage, remove rubbish to avoid damage and fire.

Before using a new generator, it should undergo a thorough inspection and operate for several hours. Before or after storage, A generator should undergo a thorough inspection. to ensure there are no problems and that it is working as planned. Examine the fuel lines for cracks or leaks, the electrical connections for loose wiring or worn insulation, the engine oil for moisture or discoloration, and any other generator components for damage or leaks. Also, examine the outside of the generator for evidence of rusting through.

The engine and alternator are components that may be cleaned and lubricated during the generator’s yearly checkup without needing to be disassembled. This includes cleaning the exterior, inspecting hoses, belts, and electrical connections for damage, lubricating easy-to-reach fittings, checking air filters for dirt or damage, replacing the oil (if feasible), and checking hoses for cracks or leaks.

Generator Maintenance And Repair

It’s critical to maintain and repair your generator correctly. A generator that is maintained correctly will live longer than one that is not.

When doing reset maintenance or service, be sure to adhere to all the manufacturer’s directions. Also, you should check the fluids, how the generator works every day, and the voltage and frequency.

If your generator isn’t functioning correctly during a power outage, make sure to call a repairman and take the below actions.

  • To ensure you can work on your generator safely for you and the equipment, disconnect it from the ground.
  • Disconnect the generator’s internal disconnect switch after turning off the main power switch that supplies electricity to your house (if applicable). Keep yourself safe since you’ll be dealing with a live generator.
  • Run the engine until no more gasoline or oil is left in it. This will make it possible for all the oil to return to the sump.
  • After replacing the filter, add fresh gas. If the generator is turned off, the base of the pistons will suffer significant damage.
  • If required, replace or clean the air filter. A malfunctioning air filter will harm the engine of the generator.
  • Check the wear on moving components, including belts and pulleys. You should replace the generator if the belt or cable is worn out.
  • Use a garden hose to clear the exhaust to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • To ensure no water contamination or other issues, change the oil and use a dipstick to check the level. Add more of your chosen oil.
  • If the spark plug is worn out or fouled, replace it. By doing this, the engine will have enough compression, and carbon monoxide poisoning won’t happen.
  • Ensure that the voltage and frequency correspond to the electrical supply in your house. If not, you should use a complementary transformer when reconnecting to guarantee safety.
  • Replace the ground connection and reconnect the generator to your home’s electrical supply after you know everything is operating as it should. Don’t forget to properly connect the generator’s cables to a house.

When To Replace Your Generator

The Generator Starts And Stops Frequently

If your generator does this, the engine may need to be replaced. The engine suffers from increased wear from frequent starting and stopping. Frequent restarts also raise the risk of a part failing or having to be replaced.

You Have A Hard Time Starting Your Generator

If your generator is difficult to start, it may be because the batteries are old or the connections are dirty.

The Engine Sounds Different Than Usual

The engine sounds different than normal. A broken muffler, loose components, or debris in the carburetor may all cause a generator to sound different than usual.

Your Generator Is Used To Power Up Appliances During A Blackout

During a blackout, your generator is used to power up appliances. If this happens often, your generator will need to be replaced sooner than if it is not used regularly.

The Engine Stalls Or The Generator Shuts Off

Your battery may need to be replaced if your generator sometimes shuts down or stalls.

You Have Replaced Multiple Parts On Your Generator

If your generator has had multiple parts replaced, it may be time to replace it.

The Generator Has Been Used In Extremely Hot Or Cold Weather

The generator has been utilized in very cold or sweltering conditions. The engine may be harmed when a generator is excessively hot or cold. This may shorten its life span.

The Engine Has Been Overworked

Running an engine for a long time or at high speeds may cause the cylinders to wear out.

Steps To Follow When Replacing Your Generator

  • Unplug the battery. Before you do this, make sure the generator is cool.
  • Take the gasoline tank off.
  • Take out all the screws and nuts from the panel to get to the starter, alternator, coils, voltage regulator, and wire harness.
  • Have the battery, starting motor, generator bearings, flywheel bearings, voltage regulator, and wiring harness tested by a licensed service facility.
  • To repair the damaged components, buy new ones.

In general, you should replace your generator every 8 to 10 years.


If it’s not utilized correctly, your generator could only last a few years. Try to only use your generator during emergencies, and get it serviced often to extend its lifespan. You may want to think about purchasing a new generator if your current one is outdated or used.


How Much Time Should Pass Before My Generator Has To Be Replaced?

Most generators only have a lifespan of six years. If your generator is older than six years, you should consider replacing it.

If A Generator Is Only Used In An Emergency, How Long Will It Last?

A generator may survive ten years or more if it is only used while the power is out. It may only survive five years or less if used as an emergency backup power source.

What Elements Might Impact A Generator’s Lifespan?

Use, maintenance, and load are the three most common things that affect how long a generator will last.

How Can I Tell Whether My Generator Needs To Be Maintained?

Your generator may need to be serviced if you find that it starts and stops or operates at lower power than normal.

How Can I Make The Most Use Of My Generator To Extend Its Life?

After an outage, most generators should be used to power up a house or company before being turned off. Using your generator for more than 12 hours is not advised.

How many hours does a generator last?

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