How Long Do Standby Generators Last

The generators are one of the longest-lasting appliances at home. And due to their importance in homes, many homeowners already have a standby generator in their homes. Also, many homeowners are on the verge of buying theirs. Many generator users and prospective buyers ask a lot of interesting questions about generators.

The main question we want to answer in this article is, how long do standby generators last? We will explain all the factors that play a role in how long a generator will last. In addition, we will also answer several other frequently asked questions.

Furthermore, we will let you know when we think you should replace your generator. If the topic sounds interesting to you, sit back and read the article to the end. So, let’s get straight down to business right away.

How Long Do Standby Generators Last?

Generally, a standby generator can last for about 20 – 40 years, but it also depends on the factors below.

Brand -Some brands of generators are known to be more rugged, stronger, and more durable than other brands. If you’re able to buy any of the durable generator brands, you’ll enjoy it for a pretty long time. Some of the most durable generator brands are Generac, Champion, and Cummins.

Usage – The more you use your generator, the faster it will reach its lifespan. At this juncture, we need you to understand that there are two types of usage. If you run your generator for at least 12 hours every day for a whole year, don’t expect it to outlast a generator that is used once a week.

Don’t get it wrong. We are not saying you should not use your generator as often or as long as you wish. We’re just saying the level of usage determines how long your generator will last. Another type of usage is the amount of load you put on your generator each time you use it. A generator that powers 40% load capacity will definitely last longer than the one that is burdened with over 60% load capacity.

Maintenance – When you maintain your generator properly, it will last longer. One good maintenance practice is never to skip servicing and oil change of the generator whenever it is due.

When Should I Replace My Standby Generator?

Based on our experience and findings, we will advise you to change your generator whenever it clocks 20 years. Our reason is that technology advances in the manufacture of generators every day. And new generators offer better features. And they also consume less fuel for higher output. So, if your generator is more than 20 years old, you may be using an old model generator, and you may be missing out on newer features.

In addition, if your generator develops different faults more frequently, it may be a sign that your generator is approaching its lifespan. Generally, whenever a generator is close to its lifespan, the generator will start giving problems more frequently. Once again, when you notice an increase in your generator’s repair costs, start making plans to replace it.

Is It Worth Fixing an Old Generator?

The answer to this question is that it depends on the condition of the generator. Some old generators are in great condition because they have been well-maintained or because they didn’t encounter much usage. Before you decide to fix an old generator, it is necessary to allow an expert to inspect it and tell you the condition.

Also, the fault with the generator is another deciding factor. If it is a minor fault that won’t cost much, you may fix the generator and continue to use it. On the other hand, if it is a major fault that will cost more than half the cost of a new generator or half the cost of the generator itself, it may be a better idea to dispose of it and get another generator.

How Long Should Generator Batteries Last?

Generator batteries do not last like generators. A generator battery will last for about 3 – 7 years if well-maintained. One major mistake that kills batteries is a long period of idleness. If your location does not encounter power usage often, you may not have the cause to use your generator for a very long period. During that period, you need to start your generator once a week and let it run for at least 20 minutes each time. That way, the battery of the generator will not lose its charge.

In fact, some standby generator does a self-test every 7 days. The generator will just start automatically and run for about 30 – 60 minutes. This helps to keep the generator and its battery in great condition.

Generator Maintenance and Repair Tips:

  1. As explained above, it is necessary to start your generator at least once a month to keep it in great condition and to also prevent the battery from losing its charge.
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and oil change instructions. Don’t skip any of the maintenance checklists. This will keep your generator in perfect condition and also reduce repair costs.
  3. Stock up on extra oil and fuel. You don’t want your generator to run out of fuel while in use.
  4. Each time you carry out an oil change, it is necessary to change the air filter too.
  5. Once it becomes difficult to start your generator, you may need to change its spark plug.
  6. Most importantly, never wire your electrical panel yourself if you’re not an electrician. Let an electrician do the job.
  7. It is an offense in many American states to install a generator without a transfer switch. Don’t commit the offense.

What Is the Most Reliable Standby Home Generator?

There are several reliable standby home generators. Some of them are Generac, Cummins, Honeywell, and Champion. These brands of generators are strong, durable, and easy to use, and their fuel consumption is low. However, you also have a role to play in the reliability of your generator. You need to take proper care of the generator, and it will give you optimum performance all the time.

Apart from the 4 brands mentioned above, there are several other wonderful brands, but you will have to do your own research to find them.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up this piece, we’d like to remind you that standby generators can last for about 20 – 40 years. However, usage, maintenance, and your chosen brand are factors that can determine how long your generator will last. So, you need to choose a good brand and maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions.