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How to Convert Your Propane Generator to Natural Gas?

convert propane generator to natural gas
Written by Jamie Masterson

Converting your generator from propane to natural gas can be a difficult choice since all fuel sources have advantages and disadvantages. Both fuels are reliable, clean-burning fuel sources with a consistent output of power. Cost disparities can vary depending on your region and natural resource market conditions.

Why Should You Convert to Natural Gas

Switching to natural gas means that you will have a steady supply of gas without having to continually restock propane containers and propane container gauges. However, since your generator is bound to the area around your natural gas source, your movement is affected. So, if you want to bring your generator on a camping trip, switching to natural gas is not a viable option.

Nevertheless, if you only want to use your generator at home and want to save money, then switching to natural gas should be something to think about. Also, keep in mind that the most significant tool for turning your propane generator to natural gas is a good conversion kit. This is a pipe with metal fittings on both ends that allows you to attach your propane generator to your natural gas hose. The mounting for your generator’s valve, on the other hand, would be model unique, so make sure you purchase one that is appropriate for your generator.

How to Convert Propane Generator to Natural Gas

You may have considered switching the power source of your generator from propane to natural gas to save money on fuel and to provide a more stable source of power for your generator. That could be difficult indeed, so you must consider possible problems such as cost-effectiveness and safety. In most situations, converting to natural gas is straightforward and easy, however, there are a few aspects to understand before doing anything.

1. The Essentials

propane generator to natural gas

This kind of conversion requires two main components: a carburetor connector and a fuel regulator. The regulator is critical to safety because it has a vacuum mechanism that only permits fuel to flow while there is a gas flow on the outlet. As the generator spins it produces a vacuum, which pulls in fuel and air.

The regulator’s valve will open as a result of the vacuum, allowing fuel to flow in. If the generator stops for whatever reason, the release of fuel will stop as well. Although it is possible to simply insert a propane line into a carburetor and turn it over, this is a really bad idea.

The carburetor connector is a system that connects your carburetor to the generator’s air purifier. It enables natural gas to be injected into the fresh air flowing from the air intake and into the generator’s carburetor.

2. Get a Converter Kit

Can You Convert Propane Generator To Natural Gas

The first thing you should do is see if your generator will operate on natural gas. You can find this information on your generator’s manufacturer’s page or in the user manual. Additionally, look for dual fuel indications on your generator as well.

A conversion kit is among the finest pieces of equipment you will find to assist you with conversion. But be aware that you will require a conversion set that is compatible with your specific generator. Since not all kits are designed identical, you must purchase one that is approved by the generator’s manufacturer.

3. Speak to an Expert

It’s easy to believe that you know what are you doing, but it would be a good idea to consult a professional to guarantee that you’re doing things properly and safely, particularly given the risks of using natural gas.

Consult a professional to make sure that switching to natural gas or using an adjustable gas hose is safe. If it isn’t safe, they can recommend a long-term solution or provide you with other viable options. If your generator is fully compatible and the professional agrees that the conversion to natural gas is secure and safe for you to implement, you are good to go.

4. Turn Off Your Generator

We’re switching two different power sources here, so you’ll need to power off your generator first. It’s necessary to take extreme safety measures, and the safest way to do that is to turn off all fuel supply.

To begin, turn off your gas at the primary valve. After that, detach and secure your propane tank or canister. As an extra precaution, release a valve to cause any remaining gas from the valve to exit before turning off all valves. This should guarantee that all of the propane has been expelled from the generator.

5. Converting to a Natural Gas

Generator Runs On Natural Gas

Start by removing the front generator cover and draw a line from the air filter’s edge to the plastic generator frame with tape. This will assist you in marking a space for the gas pipe to be drilled. After that, draw a line through the hole and drill it. Begin with a pilot piece, then use step bit to raise the hole dimensions to 9/16”.

To detach the air filter cover, disconnect the air filter mask and the three nuts that keep it in place. Attach the gas pipe and channel it through space you drilled using the washers that came with it. Set up the elbow and attach fittings. Attach the other side of the gas pipe to the carburetor using the provided gaskets. Replace the air filter panel with the given spacer. Remove the air regulator and generator motor cover next. Finally, swap the factory running sticker with the sticker that came with your kit.

6. Start and Load Generator

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 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.

FAQs

1. Can You Convert a Dual Fuel Generator to Natural Gas?

The dual-fuel conversion set incorporates a converter that allows the use of low-pressure propane, gasoline, and natural gas. This kit would not work for high-pressure propane from a container.

2. Is It Cheaper to Run a Generator on Gas or Propane?

Propane generators are less costly than natural gas generators in general. Sadly, fuel is normally cheaper for natural gas generators, but some people favor the lower initial cost of the generator itself.

3. Is It Better to Run a Generator on Propane or Gas?

Propane generators are usually less powerful than gas generators, delivering less power per gallon. Nevertheless, propane is better for the environment than natural gas, making it safer for the atmosphere as well as the generator.

4. Is It Ok to Let a Generator Run Out of Gas?

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

About the author

Jamie Masterson

With decade-long experience as a generator technician, Jamie has worked with USA’s top generator manufacturers and suppliers as an independent contractor.

The long years of service to the industry has taught Jamie the ins and outs of troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining all kinds of generators in home, industrial and outdoor settings.

Jamie thinks this platform is a great opportunity to share his tips and tricks with you so you can make the most of such power equipment for better living.

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