A home generator (that is most of them) do not provide clean power, so a computer may suffer (but you can use a laptop and use the generator power only to charge the battery if you want to feel safe). However, the electric lights, your range, your home heater, your fridge, your microwave, and most other household appliances will NOT suffer. Without a generator, the only people who suffer without one is you and your family.
What is the Shelf-Life of Propane?
Propane has an indefinite shelf-life. It will last and be good to use literally forever. The only long term storage issue propane has is the container it’s stored in. Most all tanks are made from steel with some smaller RV tanks made from aluminum and lately some are now being made from a translucent fiber glass resin compound and they’re called ‘Clear-View’ which allows you to see the liquid propane level inside. As we know steel rusts and as the tank begins to rust it can cause a pin hole and the propane will leak out. Proper tank maintenance is needed and will allow many years of safe storage.
Very interesting information. Googling “Propane Shelf Life” brings up 391,000 results, and all 10 of the first 10 links indicate that propane has a very long, if not indefinite, shelf life. Before you ask me to apologize to you as well, perhaps you might find it in the spirit of good will (or at least good-woot) to explain your technical expertise in propane. No points for typing in all caps.
It is rated at 68db.
10dB = rustle of leaves
20dB = whisper
40dB = soft stereo music in a residence
70dB = Crackling of plastic food wrappers 2 ft away; B-757 airfraft cabin during flight.
80dB = Cafeteria with sound-reflecting surface (the threshold of hearing loss (with long term exposure).
Depending on the application of the generator (residential structure vs. outdoor use - like for a vendor station), one of the other answers brings up a valid point: vibration might be an issue as well.
“Architectural Acoustics” - M. David Egan
Is this propane only or dual and adevertised as propane ready. I was under the expectaion that a single propane tank would last a longer amount of time under use (One I looked into ran 20hrs vs 8 on petrol gas meaning it wouldn’t have to be changed as much) and that if was safe to hold for long periods of time “though” I’d still like the option to have petrol gas just incase I have to share with a friend that stocked up on gas from the station.
Thanks for any heads up.
*woot btw you really need a bigger post box this little box irritates me ;(
It all depends on your individual situation or needs. Personally, I fall into the last category below:
This is great for:
People who use propane for heat/cooking in their homes and have that “submarine” storage tank available.
This is fine for:
People who have or are willing to have more than that 25%-full propane tank under their grille, and don’t need or care to store additional fuel for a gasoline powered generator.
This is not the ideal solution for:
People who have natural gas available and could use that to fuel a generator.
My wife had a dialysis machine that reported on any fluctuation in power (surge or brownout). Our portable generator provides very clean power compared to what comes off the local grid.
Personally, I’m holding out for the “Mr. Fusion” model…
Not everyone lives in an area with natural gas service. In fact, lots of people don’t.
Every house in my neighborhood has a 100 gallon (or bigger) propane tank. Some just have gas logs; others have propane everything (and 250 gallon buried tanks).
And the tanks don’t explode like they show in the movies.
Wow you are a persistent, albeit uninformed wooter. Do you sell gas generators?
Most all gaseous fuels like propane, butane, and others have a near infinite storage life, assuming the container doesn’t spring a leak, they should last for a hundred years or better. Coal has an infinite storage life, after all its been laying in the ground for millions of years. Wood, if kept dry and free from rot and termites can be expected to last for almost ever as well. Alcohol, if kept in an airtight container should also last near indefinitely. The other liquid fuels like gasoline, kerosene, and diesel oil are another matter. When gasoline is in storage, sometimes the gas can separate and cause a gas layer and a water layer. Most of the time, if stored correctly, it can remain a good quality for 6 months. Usually the first thing that happens is the lighter chemicals in it evaporate, leaving behind a heavier, less peppy product.
Autogas vs. gas/diesel price comparison
I’ve owned several generators. My current (and hopefully last) is a big Honda. I took pity on my neighbors as the decibel level on my previous ones was such that they perhaps couldn’t sleep and it reminded them that I had power and they didn’t. Like most mechanical devices they require maintenance. You need to change the oil, drain the fuel tank and maintain the battery. I have a friend who has the exact same generator. The first thing he does with anything in life is try to determine how to “beat” what is required. In this case he runs the generator weekly until the fuel runs dry. He adds fuel weekly in order to run the generator. This way he doesn’t need to empty the fuel tank or maintain the battery. So he thought. He now has a gazillion hours on his generator. During the last power outage he had no power. Seems the battery had become completely sulfated and the fuel system completely gummed up. If you plan to buy one of these you must maintain it.
BTW… in the northeast at least, many states are requiring gas stations to have emergency power back-up in the event of a power outage. Perhaps this is the only good result from hurricane/trop storm Sandy. After Sandy, I had no supplied power for a week, but could always get gasoline as most stations had back-up generators and received regular fuel deliveries. Things went downhill fast after neighboring New Yorkers found out and descended on our filling stations, filling anything they could fill with gasoline…buckets, soda/water bottles, etc.
I cannot understand why anyone would think propane or any LP degrades over a reasonable amount of time. If you go to a major generator manufacturer’s website and read their “Advantages of Propane” the indefinite shelf life is always a leading plus. The person who keeps pushing this and asking us all to google it is clearly not googling it themselves.
Having gasoline, especially gas with ethonal, sitting around for more than 30 days, or 90 days with stabilizer in it, is asking for trouble. Varnish in your carb, fuel filter, etc are all going to add to the odds of that generator not starting up when you need it. LP fired engines are much more reliable in that regard. There is a reason that backup generators for critical systems are more likely to run on LP or natural gas.
One, and really the only, significant disadvantage of propane is that it doesn’t like the cold. In extremely cold temperatures (well below freezing) it can be difficult to get it to flow properly. Starting can be a little tougher and it may not run as efficiently. But other than that, a Propane/LP or Natural Gas generator would be my choice over gasoline. Only a diesel would be more preferable as the engine would be more reliable and efficient.
Where is all this propane hate coming from?
Where I grew up, it’s very common for people to have residential propane tanks that are ~500 gallons. On top of that, not too many gas stations around either. Not to mention propane is considerably cheaper and has a GGE (gasoline gallon equivalent) of 1.35. Seems like a great fuel type for a generator.
Where in the “Heck” did you get your information on propane? Propane or natural gas are the ONLY ways to go for a backup generator!! If you have one that uses gasoline or diesel, you either have to start and run it monthly, use fuel additives in an attempt to keep the fuel from going bad, and have an in with the company that makes carburetor rebuild kits. When you add up all of the disadvantages to using gasoline or diesel (and the associated costs), propane is, by far a cheaper and better fuel. I should know. I have been servicing propane and natural gas equipment for police, fire, and public utility companies for over 30 years.
OK, well I did Google it and Google says you are just pulling facts out of your hooha and can’t let it go that you were busted trying to act like a know-it-all. I visited several survival sites and other info sites - none agreed with you.
Hate to be negative, but wrong!
I converted an 8500 watt coleman generator to propane about 6 years ago and it’s still running well when tested every couple of months and have had to use a few times for short power outages. The primary reason for converting is that propane can be stored for a very long time with zero fumes. without a stabilizer gas goes bad in 3 to 6 months and it’s dangerous to store anywhere. I have used propane tanks (15-20 lb barbecue tanks) that I thought were empty and had them run for a couple of hours powering 2 freezers, fridge, routers and 2 computers. If you do a little local searching, you can always find a propane company that will refill tanks for about a little more than half the price for the rip off tanks that Home Depot, Lowes etc. sell - which are never fully filled to legal capacity.
If I ever get a serious generator it will be diesel though.
Just a quick note about diesel fuel. When diesel fuel sits for long periods of time (usually anything over 6 months) you stand a good chance of bacteria growing in the fuel tank. That makes it worse than gasoline. The only way to keep diesel fuel “ready to run” is to have it professionally filtered and have additives added on an annual basis. Propane is, by far, the fuel of choice for homeowners unless they have natural gas available. Natural gas does de-rate the engine slightly more than propane.
If this would work with natural gas I would be all over it.
I, also, did a quick Google search. Here is the first answer about the shelf life of propane that I got:
Propane Guy answered 5 years ago
No it does not go bad,That is why it is the best fuel of choice for stand-by generators!
20 years experience in the propane busuness and a licenced gas fitter.
I, personally, have serviced emergency power units for police, fire and utility companies for over 30 years and I agree with the answer that I found on Google shown above. Check your computer for viruses. You’re evidently getting bad information from your search engine.