How Much Propane Does A Generator Use?

Many people nowadays do not use generators only for emergencies. Outside of the home, generators are used to power everything from tools and equipment to camping facilities. If you know how much propane does a generator use, you can stock up accordingly.

Choosing Between a 20-Pound and 100-Pound Propane Tank for Your Generator

Propane Tanks For Generators

Aside from knowing how much propane does a generator use, you need also to know how long a 20-pound or 100-pound propane tank is going to last.

On average, you may get four or five hours of use out of a 20-pound propane tank, which carries around 4.6 gallons. The empty 20-pound tank, called a grill cylinder, weighs around 17 pounds. When talking about propane tanks, pounds and gallons are often used interchangeably. When you know the difference, you can avoid getting confused. The pound is the standard unit of measurement for tanks. You can buy gallons of propane. The weight of one gallon of propane is 4.6 pounds.

For example, a 7-kilowatt generator can operate for 66 hours on a 100-pound tank, while a 12-kilowatt generator can operate for 36 hours on the same size tank. The fuel supply may theoretically last longer if the generators only use 25-75 percent of their capacity. About 23.6 gallons of propane gas can be stored in a 100-pound tank.

Portable propane tanks of both twenty and thirty gallons can be purchased new from a variety of retailers and exchanged or replenished at propane suppliers. Larger propane tanks (often between 100 and 5,000 pounds) are typically shipped and installed by a propane distributor, who also provides refills via truck.

Propane Generator

How Much Propane Does A Generator Use: How to Calculate

It is helpful to know how much power is being drawn from the generator to calculate how much propane does a generator use. Ratings for generators are given in kilowatts of output. There is a standard wattage rating for each and every appliance. For abbreviation, a kilowatt (or kW) is a unit of energy equal to one thousand watts.

Powering a typical home with basic appliances requires between 5 and 7 kilowatt-hours per day (5,000 to 7,000 watts). During a blackout, this may keep a fridge, a few lights, and a laptop computer running. An increase in kW use can be expected if a central air conditioner, a large freezer, and a water heater are required to be powered.

Follow the link to get a spreadsheet detailing typical wattage consumption by common household appliances, which will help you calculate the size of a generator you will require.

Is Propane Eco-Friendly More Than Gas?

Propane Gas

Generators powered by propane are better for the environment than those powered by gasoline or diesel. They reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12%, release 20% less nitrous oxide, and generate 80% fewer hydrocarbons that contribute to smog. Unlike gas and diesel, propane does not degrade over time and burns more cleanly.

If the propane container and valve are in good form, holding propane for 10-30 years or more shouldn’t be a problem, says Rufus Youngblood, director of safety at Ferrellgas and member of the technical committee for the NFPA 59 (Utility LP-Gas Plant Code). Portable tanks may have expiration dates, so it’s important to check state and local regulations. Many places will not put gas in more than ten years old tanks.


How much propane weight per gallon?

Propane has a weight of 4.24 lb/gal. Therefore, there are around 4.6 gallons of propane in a 20-pound tank.

How long can a 20-pound propane tank power a generator?

Two to three pounds of propane are consumed every hour by generators. A 20-pound (4.6-pound) tank will provide power for a generator for around an hour and a half under moderate demand.

How long can a generator operate on a 100-pound tank of propane?

Two to three pounds of propane are consumed every hour by generators. An average 3-kilowatt (kW) generator can run on a 100-pound tank for 96 hours, a 7-kW generator for 66 hours, and a 12-kW generator for 36 hours, depending on the kilowatt load.

How much propane an entire house generator would need?

Two to three gallons per hour may be used; however, this varies greatly with the power demand and the size of your generator. With a 20 kW generator and a 1,500-liter tank containing about 400 gallons of propane, you would have enough fuel for about five or six days.

How does a propane generator vary from a gas-powered one?

Gas and diesel-powered generators typically have an 8,500-watt maximum kilowatt output. With a starting wattage of 15,000, propane generators are typically used in stationary applications like residences and businesses.

The fuel in gas and diesel-powered generators needs to be checked often because it degrades over time. Without regular use, the fuel might gel and break down in the engine, requiring maintenance.

Since propane doesn’t go bad or expire, running the engine on it occasionally is fine. Propane’s longer octane rating, coupled with its lower carbon content and reduced risk of oil contamination, makes propane an excellent fuel for extending the life of your engine.

A duel-fuel generator will produce more noise than a propane generator. Propane could be the greatest option if you value calm and peace in your home.

A generator quiet box can be developed to reduce the noise output from the generator.

Which of these fuels—gas/diesel or propane—has the lower operating costs for a generator?

Propane is more affordable per gallon than diesel or gasoline than other fuels of the same volume. Compared to their gas-powered counterparts, propane generators are less efficient. Propane is 27% less efficient than gasoline per gallon. On the other hand, propane is better for the environment and your generator because it burns cleaner than gasoline.

The upfront and ongoing costs for gasoline-powered generators are often substantially lower. s generators provide around 30 percent more heat than propane for the same amount of fuel. y generator needs to have good ventilation and airflow.

Although the best propane generator might appear expensive at first, it might end up being a good investment. When the power goes off, it can kick on automatically and provide enough energy to keep the lights on and the fridge running.


As to the question “How much propane does a generator use?” the answer is, on average, two to three gallons per hour may be used. t again, this varies greatly with the power demand and the size of your generator.

There are pros and cons to using a propane generator, and the final decision is yours!

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Skyler is an outdoor adventurist and avid RV-Fan. He loves to explore the world and all its beauty, but he's just as happy relaxing at home with his family. His favorite pastime is taking weekend trips in his RV with his wife and kids, where they can get away from it all and enjoy nature. He’s also a self-proclaimed expert on all things portable generators and can often be found reviewing the latest models on our website.

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