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What Are the Most Common Uses of a Generator?


It can be challenging to choose a generator that will suit your needs with all the available options. More than anything, fuel choice is typically the number one deciding factor when looking for a generator.

Most people choose a generator based on the kind of fuel that is accessible and available in their area. That’s why many opt for tri-power generators to ensure they are always ready in case of a power outage.

Different Fuel Types

There are four primary fuel types used in modern power generators. They all have varying costs and availability, so it’s up to you to decide which will work best for you.


Gasoline is widely available, so petrol-powered generators are the typical first choice of most buyers. Moreover, stocking up gasoline in small quantities is more manageable and affordable. It is readily available from local gas stations and easily stored in plastic containers.

Gasoline offers less stored energy than diesel, but it has more when it comes to natural gas or propane. Sadly, its shelf life only lasts for a year or less.

Because of its volatility, most local governments mandated a maximum storage limit of 25 gallons. To give you an idea, 25 gallons of gasoline usually last two to three days during power outages and emergencies.


Diesel is more stable and less volatile than gasoline, providing more energy than the other fuel types. Diesel-powered generators don’t use spark plugs, making them sturdier and more reliable when properly cared for. This fuel type is the best alternative for areas where propane and natural gas are hard to come by.

Natural Gas

Natural gas has the least energy among the four most common fuels. This widely available fuel is cost-effective and typically used for standby generators. It is also a popular option for air-cooled backup generators because of its unlimited supply. Natural gas doesn’t have storage restrictions like gasoline, making it the perfect choice for areas where it is available.

Most town and cities receive their natural gas supply delivered via pipelines by local utilities. However, it might not be as readily available in rural areas and small towns. Because natural gas provides less energy, it also shows a lower output capacity rating than other fuels.


Liquefied petroleum gas or propane is clean-burning and has an unlimited shelf-life, typically stored in tanks weighing 20 pounds or more. LPG is a pressurized liquid that needs enough space to boil and turn into gas. Hence, its storage tanks are not filled to their full capacities.

Most backup generators are designed for natural gas connections. Still, they can be altered for propane during installation by using an adjustable valve. Propane has more energy to offer than natural gas but not as much as gasoline or diesel. Also, it is safer than gasoline but highly explosive when there is a leak.

Common Uses of Generators

You can rely on power generators to provide electricity where there is none, making it an ideal investment for homes and businesses. Here are some common uses of power generators:

Agriculture and Ranching

Generators can either be the backup or primary power source for agriculture and ranching operations. They also offer a portable power supply for hard-to-reach locations.


Whether camping out in an RV or open-air varieties, generators offer a semblance of civilization while outdoors. You can power a fan, lights, and an electric skillet, making life more convenient during camping.

Inverter generators are lightweight and compact, so they are more suitable for camping. Plus, they also operate quietly. The problem is, they are more expensive than other generator models.  Sometimes generators can be too expensive or too big to bring, if that’s the case, having some 12 volt power supplies can come in handy.


It’s a given that construction sites don’t have a ready power supply. Hence, construction companies often use these dependable power generators to speed up the work on-site.

Emergency Situations

Generators are vital machines during emergencies. They provide usefulness during natural disasters in running essential equipment.


Mines have a similar scenario with construction sites, relying on power generators to complete tasks. The electricity needed in almost 70 percent of mining operations comes from the generated power of these machines. For instance, generators make it possible to light the tunnels, illuminating the miners’ work areas.

Night Working

Road maintenance workers typically work at night to avoid inconveniencing the people. They use generators to power up their trailer-mounted light towers while they work.

Routine Power Outage

Most areas go through scheduled power interruptions for several hours yearly. Thus, most American households invest in a small and portable generator. Consumers use these generators to power their refrigerators and other essentials.

Standby Power for Businesses

Commercial enterprises cannot depend solely on grid power to supply electricity for their businesses. A few hours of interrupted electricity supply could mean loss of income and customers.

One to two standby generators are necessary for businesses to ensure continuous power supply even during blackouts. Some industries, like hospitals, use an uninterrupted power supply system, ensuring continuous electricity at all times.

Get a Tri-Fuel generator

Worried about not having the right kind of fuel for your generator? This is where tri-fuel generators come in. As the name suggests, this machine can run on three different fuel sources. More often than not, you can use natural gas, propane, or gasoline. With this, you can rest assured that your household is ready for anything.

More on this topic:

How Many Watts Should I Get for a Generator?

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