How to Convert a Propane Generator to Natural Gas

A generator is one of the most important machines to generate power and is used as an option when short of an electronic power supply. To switch on a generator, you need different types of fuel including gasoline, natural gas and diesel. Storing enough fuel storage is very important, in case of a power shortage, you will be safe.  The storage may not be enough in some situations such as diesel and other fuels but natural gas is the best option for the unlimited source of energy. Therefore, it is very important to know how to convert a propane generator to natural gas.

Steps on How to Convert Propane Generator to Natural Gas

You may be considering switching the power source of your generator from propane to natural gas to save money and to have access to a more reliable source of power. Converting propane generators to natural gas is very simple however there are some steps you need to follow.

Before doing anything, make sure that your generator can use natural gas, you will find this information in your generator’s user’s manual. Also, keep in mind that both of them are flammable gases and can be very dangerous if not handled carefully. With that in mind, you can follow the steps given below:

1. Set The Tools Together

First, you have to have your conversion kit, that is, a hosepipe, medium sized wrench, two clamps, and a gas meter. You also need a carburetor connector and fuel regulator.

Once you have everything set, find the gas line which is attached to the carburetor from the propane bottle. The carburetor connector is a system that joins your carburetor to the purifier. This allows the natural gas to be inserted into the fresh air flowing from the air opening and into the carburetor.

2. Turn off your generator

It is necessary to turn off your generator since you are switching two different powers. This is the first safety measure before you go to the next step. Now turn off your gas at the valve. Thereafter, detach your propane tank. Release a valve to cause any remaining gas from the valve to exit before turning off all valves. This should ensure that all of the propane has been excluded from the generator.

3. Converting to a Natural Gas

First, remove the front generator cover and draw a line from the air filter’s edge to the plastic generator frame with tape. This will help you in labeling a space where the gas pipe will penetrate. After doing so, you can draw a line through the hole and drill it. Begin with a pilot piece, then use a step bit to raise the hole dimensions to 9/16”.

Disconnect the air filter mask and the three nuts that keep it in place to remove the air filter cover. Attach the gas pipe and fix it through the space you drilled using the washers that came with it. Set up the elbow and attach fittings. Connect the other side of the gas pipe to the carburetor using the provided gaskets. Replace the air filter panel with the spacer. Remove the air regulator and generator motor cover next. Now switch the factory running sticker with the sticker that came with your kit.

4. Start and Load Generator

You can now start your generator and bring it up to working temperature using gasoline. Switch the fuel valve to the off state and allow the generator to run until all of the fuel from the gas pipe and carburetor has been exhausted. Put the screw all the way. Hold the primary button located on the rear of the regulator for a few seconds.

Start the generator and turn the adjustment screw in for less and out for more fuel. When you’ve found the correct combination, tighten the preset nut to secure it.

 

Why You Should Convert Propane Generator to Natural Gas

 

How to Convert a Propane Generator to Natural GasMoving from propane to natural gas simply means that you will have a stable supply of gas without refilling propane container gauges and propane containers. Relatively, a propane generator is better than a gasoline diesel-fueled generator but the natural gas-fueled generator is the best choice. It has several profits and saves on money. When using the natural gas-fueled generator, it is cheaper than propane and diesel. Once the gas line is fixed they last for a very long time. Additionally, Propane pollutes the environment while natural gas is not only safe for the environment but also for use.

It’s Safer than Propane

Nevertheless, Natural gas is the safest compared to other fuels. Unburned propane may cause an accident and it spreads more rapidly than natural gas. Propane and natural gas are both flammable but propane spreads faster since they are compacted in a container which may lead to a huge gas reaction within a few seconds, thus making natural gas less risky than propane.

Natural Gas is Installed Permanently 

When using a natural gas-fueled generator for homes or industries, natural gas is permanently installed to supply power during a blackout. This reason makes natural gas the best choice since it is not safe for you to store a lot of propane. Additionally, natural gas is very reliable since you do not need to refill or store it.

Cheaper

If you wish to use a generator at home and want to reduce the cost of maintenance, natural gas should be the only option to have. Never forget that the most important tool for turning your propane generator to natural gas is a good conversion kit. A conversion kit is a pipe fitted with metals on both ends that enables you to connect your propane generator to your natural gas hose. Make sure you purchase the right generator valve that can blend with the model of your generator.

 When Choosing Between propane and gas-powered generators, you will also want to consider other essential features.

These include:

Automatic Start

When your generator has an automatic start, your generator will easily turn on once the power goes out. This is very convenient if you intend on your generator to maintain important machinery at all times.

Electric Start

If there is no need for an automatic start, an electric start can be the best alternative. With an electric start, your generator can actively start working with the push of a button.

Fuel Gauge

With a fuel gauge that can show you how much fuel remains in your generator is an advantage. This feature will help you maintain your generator and makes it convenient in case of a prolonged blackout.

Multiple Outlets

Having multiple outlets can be very essential when an emergency arises.

Removable Console

Even though it is not a necessity, having a removable console can be a great safety feature. A removable console permits you to plug in appliances without having to run extension cords outdoors.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Run my Dual Fuel Generator to Natural Gas?

How to Convert a Propane Generator to Natural GasYes, you can convert your dual fuel generator to natural gas. The dual-fuel conversion set includes a converter that permits the use of low-pressure propane, gasoline, and natural gas. The kit will be unable to work for high-pressure propane from a container.

Is It Cheaper To Run a Generator on Gas or Propane?

Propane generators are cheaper than natural gas generators. Unfortunately, when it comes to maintenance, a natural gas-fueled generator is cheaper than a propane-fueled generator.

Which is better for a Generator Propane or Natural Gas?

Propane generators are generally less powerful than gas generators, the reason being, they supply less power per gallon. Both propane and gas are flammable but propane is more compressed therefore making it more dangerous since it can cause damage in a second. On the other hand, propane is better for the environment than natural gas, making it conducive for the air and the generator.

Is It Safe for a Generator Run Out of Gas?

Running out of fuel is dangerous and harmful to the generator. Portable gas generators shouldn’t be left operating once they run out of fuel. If you run out of fuel your generator’s coils will end up losing their magnetism.

Is Propane Gas Generators Worth It?

Propane gas generators are the most effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly compared to the other generators that use fuel. However, they are not conducive and flexible in other circumstances.

Can I switch a Propane Generator to Natural Gas

Yes you can convert your propane generator to natural gas. This will be applied if you have a natural gas line installed in your house.

How long will a 20lb Propane tank run a Generator?

A generator can approximately use two to three pounds of propane per hour. Therefore, a generator can approximately use 20 pounds of propane in five hours. You also have to know that a generator’s operating time depends on the weight of the load.

What size Propane gas is needed for a whole house Generator?

For utmost home exercises we recommend either a 120 gallon tank for short outages, one to two days or a 500 gallon tank for further extended time ages like eight to ten days.

In conclusion

Converting your generator’s source of power can be a very easy thing to do by yourself right? But it would be a good move if you consult a professional to assure you that you are doing things appropriately and safely.

Converting your propane fueled-generator to natural gas can be a difficult decision to make since all fuel sources have merits and demerits. Depending on your surroundings you can determine the most affordable and convenient source of power for your generator.

I hope this article assists you by solving your problem.

 

About Steve Stuart

Steve Stuart is an electrical engineer who developed interest on generators during his school years. After school, he became a generator enthusiast. This is after encountering power supply problems at the area of residence where he lived. Power would be on and off and so food would go bad and the room heater would go off especially during winter. After trying the different generator brands for several years, Steve now provides information on the available brands and products in the market today. Based on his experience, he gives the do’s and the don’ts when it comes to generator use.

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