How Long Will a Generator Run On 5 Gallons Of Propane?

There is a blackout, you start your generator, and your fuel supply is connected, but within a few hours, it all goes dark again. Why?

Failing to meet the fuel requirements might be a leading flaw by most generator users and cause doom in emergencies. 

You must know how long your fuel supply will last and how much more you need to store in the case of an inevitable crisis. 

Propane-powered generators start quickly and dependably, no matter how bad the outside weather is.

Hence, knowing how long a generator run on 5 gallons of propane tank will last is crucial, and here’s how to figure it out. 

Everything About Propane

A typical generator uses 2 to 3 gallons of fuel per hour when running on propane.

In other words, if you have a 500-gallon tank, you’ll be able to power your house for at least a week. Running a 1,000-gallon tank for 24 hours a day might theoretically last two weeks.

How Good Are Propane Generators?

Propane generators are reliable sources of backup power in an emergency. It’s essential to remember that electric versions have lower BTU output than gasoline ones. 

Assume that you’re looking beyond the plain electricity production and are concerned about the environmental effect. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, and it leaves a more negligible and less harmful carbon impact.

Hence many environmentalists rely on these generators for energy. Moreover, they have several other advantages that we will be talking about.

Why Propane? Why Not Diesel Or Gasoline?

Because of their standby nature, propane generators spend most of their time idle, and they maintain their original quality for long periods.

However, diesel and gasoline may gum up and choke engine internals after sitting for six months. 

These fuels harm rubber seals and gasoline lines over time. Moreover, cold temperatures might make starting diesel and gasoline engines challenging. 

The stale fuel not only damages the generator but ends up costing you a lot of bucks, and the replacement is expensive and often unnecessary.

Hence, users prefer to use propane if they require light usage of the machine for extended periods.

In addition to decreased engine wear, clean-burning propane may also be utilized to power other equipment in your house. Propane-powered generators also require lower maintenance. 

Propane Tank Sizes – Addressing All Your Queries

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various alternatives before deciding on tank size.

Although you can’t heat a whole house with a 20-pound tank, it does have the benefit of purchasing and storing many extra tanks simultaneously. You can easily refill them at a petrol station if necessary.

Generally speaking, 20-pound propane tanks are the handiest and most valuable for limited usage. A gas grill, a fireplace, and other small appliances that don’t need a lot of power may be connected to this device.

What Size Of Propane Tank Does A ‘Whole House’ Generator Require?

Your generator’s size and duration of use will significantly impact the answer to this inquiry. We recommend a 120-gallon reserve tank for the average household to get you through a brief loss of electricity.

If you have the budget, investing in a 500 or 1000-gallon tank will offer you peace of mind, as it will keep you running for up to ten days in the event of a lengthy power outage.

If you choose this option, the tank will not take up space outside your house since it will be buried.

What Size Propane Tank Do You Need For A 22kW Generator?

A tank with a capacity of at least 500 gallons will run a 22000W generator. As a general rule, the larger the item, the better it is for your purposes and frequent uses. 

You may also choose a 1000-gallon tank, if available, to be safe and prepared in the event of a disaster.

How Long Will A 7500-Watt Generator Run On 5 Gallons Of Gas?

The 439cc engine of Champion’s 7500-watt generator with an electric start can operate on either gasoline or propane, making it a dual-fuel machine.

Powered by Intelligence, Volt GuardTM, and Cold Start Technology, it can operate for up to 8 hours on gasoline or 5.5 hours on propane, depending on the model.

How Long Will A 40 Lb Propane Tank Run A Generator?

Propane in a typical bottle makes up to 5 gallons, and this implies that a 40-pound propane bottle will hold 10 gallons of fuel, allowing the generator to operate at 50% load for around 20 hours.

These values are an estimate.

You cannot place a proper number on fuel consumption for any generator as each model varies regarding its load and fuel usage. Hence, it is best to decide on a product first if you want to specify the details. 

Moreover, the fuel usage can vary depending on the electrical supply you require from a generator during a power outage. You need to calculate according to your needs before purchasing your fuel supply. 

Choosing A Propane Generator

It is given that people plan while waiting for the doom to impact them. Rainstorms, snowstorms, catastrophic hurricanes, and even wildfires result in power outages for long periods. 

Homeowners and businesses alike might suffer greatly in the event of a significant power loss. A generator that can operate on 20 pounds of propane is one option.

When comparing the running durations of propane, it is essential to remember that various variables might impact consumption. Thus all the statistics presented below are approximations.

How Long Can A Generator Operate On 20 Pounds Of Propane?

Propane doesn’t decay with time, contrary to popular belief. When choosing an emergency power source, this is typically a deciding issue. As a result, it’s possible that propane won’t be necessary for a while.

According to reports, a 20-pound fuel tank can run for up to 5 hours on average (with various loads). Running time decreases as the load is more outstanding.

Although this is not always the case, generators can operate on 20 or 30-pound tanks. In this scenario, a 20-pound tank can run for around 4.75 hours at a half-load capacity, to be more specific.

At half load, a 30-pound tank will operate for around 7 hours. However, the larger the load, the shorter it will operate.

How Long Will A Generator Run On 5 Gallons Of Propane?

As is usually the case, the response is dependent on the load. Specific models may use around 5 gallons in eight hours

Compared to other models, such as Honda generators, which use just 2.5 gallons of gas per 24 hours, propane might not be a cost-effective option in this given scenario.

How To Calculate Propane Consumption For Generators?

Before we tell you how to calculate propane consumption for a generator, it’s better to understand three factors that directly affect your generator fuel consumption: Model, Load, and Duration.

First, you need to calculate how much fuel your generator requires per hour. You can calculate it with the formula mentioned below.

Horsepower = (Watts / 1000) x 2

You can insert that value in this formula after calculating propane consumption per hour equal to the horsepower to get the final answer. 

Propane use = Propane consumption per hour x working hours

There Is More To Discuss

The typical size of a home backup generator is between 7 and 20 kilowatts (kW). Only the most essential household systems need the 7.5 kW of electricity that a generator can provide. These setups also include refrigerators and some lights.

To avoid interruptions or hassles during an electrical outage, a homeowner would need a system of at least 15 kW.

On a 100-gallon fuel tank, a 7kW generator will operate for 66 hours and a 12kW generator for 36 hours when fully loaded. 

There will be plenty of fuel leftover even if the generator is only running at 25% to 75% of capacity most of the time.

It is recommended that clients installing a home standby generator have adequate propane storage for five days worth of generator operation time.

General Fuel Consumption (Gallons Per Hour)

Load kWHalf LoadFull Load
3000-watt Generator0.871.42
5000-watt Generator0 .841.37
7500-watt Generator1.221.97
16000-watt Generator1.993.57
22000-watt Generator2.163.68
*These values are an estimate and can vary for your generator model

Propane And Other Fuel Types

Propane is less expensive than diesel or gasoline despite its lower energy density. Gas or diesel-powered generator will be more cost-effective than a propane-powered generator in terms of long-term expenditures.

Propane Vs. Natural Gas Generator

A natural gas generator has the benefit of being able to run for as long as is required, and the natural gas line will sustain the necessary pressure to function.

Power outages will not affect the utility line’s ability to provide your house with the energy it needs to remain comfortable.

When your primary power source goes down, a natural gas generator will kick in and maintain operating until you can get it back. Propane-powered generators will continue to function until the gas supply runs out. 

Whether they are above or below ground, the majority of propane tanks have a capacity of 500 to 1,000 gallons.

Is Propane More Eco-Friendly Than Gas?

Generators powered by propane are better for the environment than those powered by gas or diesel. 

Their CO2 emissions are reduced by 13%, NOx emissions by 20%, and smog-forming hydrocarbon emissions are eliminated by 80%. To put it another way, unlike gas or diesel, propane does not deteriorate over time.

Wrapping It Up

Simply put, propane is budget-friendly, makes less noise, and is eco-friendly. This makes it a popular energy source for generators and often beats out the others.

The running time on propane entirely depends on the watts and load you put on it but gives you a rough idea.

A 7500-watt generator can run up to 5.5 hours on 50% of the load. Furthermore, you can also calculate the propane consumption rate by following our steps.

After reading this article, calculations might be easier for you related to your fuel and generator. However, if you still doubt math, it is best to refer to a professional or expert as soon as possible.

Being stuck in the dark without fuel isn’t fun!


Is it cheaper to run a generator on propane?

Propane generators are less efficient than gas generators in terms of BTU output per gallon of fuel. As a result, propane is a better choice for both the environment and your generator than gasoline.

Are propane generators quieter than gas?

Propane generators are environmentally friendly, and these machines are less expensive per gallon than gasoline. It’s also worth noting that the noise level generated by a propane engine is lower.

Does propane go bad?

Fuels like kerosene, diesel, and gasoline may lose some of their power over time, whereas propane has no limitations. The only thing you need to keep an eye on when storing propane is the tank’s health and integrity.

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