Though natural gas is not the sole fuel for single fuel or Dual fuel generators, still they could be run safely on natural gas with a bit of modification. If you are not willing to do some modifications you will only have the option to get a tri-fuel generator.
How to Run a Generator on Natural Gas? – [Step By Step Guide]
Below are my tested methods to operate a dual-fuel, single-fuel, or propane generator on natural gas safely.
1. How Do I Convert My Generator to Natural Gas with Conversion Kit?
Step 1: Get a natural gas conversion kit, hose, and essential fits as per your needs. This will cost you around $150 – $250 depending on your needs.
Step 2: Drain or combust the all gasoline from your gasoline generator. Here is the guide to drain the generator’s oil safely.
Step 3: Assemble the conversion kit, and make sure to connect the all joints perfectly.
Step 4: Remove the breather tubs of the air filter and Pull the air box off by unlocking the two clips and removing the air filter.
Step 5: Unscrew the inside bolts of the air box and replace a spacer or snorkel with the gas kit, make sure that the spacer or snorkel has no space between the air box and the carburetor’s passage unless your generator will be intake with dirty air.
Step 6: Mount the conversion kit on the frame of the generator, you can drill the frame and mount the conversion kit with the help of screws.
I mostly use light bar mounts to avoid drilling, light bar mounts can be attached to the metal bars of the generator and can hold the conversion kit perfectly.
Step 7: Now connect the tube of the gas kit to the spacer or snorkel, take the generator to the well-ventilated area and provide a connection to the LPG tank or natural gas.
Step 8: Open the gas by turning the bolt located on the top or bottom of the conversion kit, make sure to make the number of turns as per the instruction of the manufacturers provided in the user manual of the conversion kit.
Step 9: Let’s fire up your generator.
Note: LPG and Natural gas both can’t provide you similar wattage and efficiency as gasoline use to provide as both fuels provide less combustion energy compared to gasoline.
Also natural gas provides 10% fewer wattages and efficiency compared to LPG.
2. How to Run My Generator on Natural Gas without the Conversion Kit?
This method is for those who don’t want to spend on spacers, joints, conversion kits, etc. You will need the following things to convert your generator to natural gas/propane without buying a conversion kit.
Step 1: Open the air box and remove the air filter first, now locate the hose coming from the engine to the air box and remove it (making space for our natural gas hose), if your generator doesn’t have a hose, make sure to drill a hole to the air box.
Step 2: Penetrate the copper tube through the hole of the air box and make sure that the gas should travel to the carburetor (the end of the copper tube should be directed towards the carburetor’s air passage).
Step 3: Attach the compression valve to the natural gas hose, now start the generator on gasoline and slowly convert your generator to natural gas by turning the compression valve.
Is It Safe to Run Generator on Natural Gas?
If you have done the right steps to make all joints, connections, etc. you can run your generator on propane or natural gas safely, however, if you have not sealed the leakages and made a congested improper passage for the gas, the following condition may have to face.
- Improper voltages.
- Struggle to start.
- In extreme cases, your generator may not start.
- Since there are leakages, if the fire source is near your generator may catch fire.
- If the generator is in close space the leaked gas may affect the user or other persons.
- The bills of gas will be higher since you are wasting gas.
Are Natural Gas and Propane Generators the Same?
They aren’t the same as the propane is different with different energy densities as well, also propane generators have additional hoses or regulators as compared to natural gas generators.
Also, we usually found a propane option in a dual-fuel generator, however, in tri-fuel generators we got both natural gas and propane option as their conversion kit and hose are differently designed.
Is It Cheaper to Run a Generator on Propane or Gas?
Natural gas is cheaper than propane, but when we compare the efficiency propane performs way better than natural gas in terms of thermal energy, we got almost double the efficiency compared to natural gas.
How Much Does It Cost to Run a Generator per Day on Natural Gas?
Running a generator on gasoline will cost you about $0.02 – $3 depending on the size of the generator and how many wattages you’re going to draw.
If you have a smaller unit of 1000 – 2000 wattages you will have to spend less on gas bills, however, if you have a bigger unit of 7500 – 15000 wattage you will have to spend more on bills.
Similarly, if you are going to draw more wattage from the generator, you have to burn more gas which will cost you more.
Can You Hook up a Portable Generator to a Natural Gas Line?
Yes, with the help of a conversion kit you can hook up your portable generator to the gas line, however, if you have a dual fuel unit you may have to spend less time and money to do the job.
In the case of a single-fuel gasoline generator, you will have to spend on the hose, joints, etc. also it requires technical knowledge as well.
Below are the videos for getting a better understanding.
Here is the video of Green Mountain DIY Guy for converting dual fuel generator to Tri – fuel:
Here is the video of JOHNNY’S WEEKENDS for converting single-fuel gasoline generators to Tri – fuel:
Can a Dual Fuel Generator Run on Natural Gas?
Yes, a dual-fuel generator can be operated with natural gas with some modifications, you can use a conversion kit to do the task, a DIY method that doesn’t need a conversion kit as well.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
A propane generator could be run on natural gas with some modifications; you can follow our step-by-step guide listed above to get your work done.
A gas regulator is mandatory if you want to operate your generator with natural gas or even propane. The function of a gas regulator is to maintain a defined pressure so that the gas enters the combustion chamber of the generator with maintained pressure.
Most of the generators are designed to work on the standard gas pressure of 0.18-0.25 psi (5 to 7 water column inches or 9 – 13 mm of mercury).