converting portable gasoline generator to natural gas - 2CoolFishing
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:47 PM   #1
rjr
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converting portable gasoline generator to natural gas

Has anyone tried to convert a portable gasoline generator to run off natural gas? I've seen tri-fuel kits online that would allow you to run either regular gasoline, propane or natural gas, and i'm thinking about buying the conversion kit and doing this.
The generator will only be used for an electrical outage, from hurricanes or other storms. The generator I have is the 5000W Centurion by Generac. It's brand new, never had gasoline in it.

I'm also wondering if I should have bought the 5500W Troy Bilt instead of the Generac. Is the Troy Bilt more reliable since it has a Briggs & Stratton motor on it (and since the Centurion has a chinese version of a Honda motor on it)
What do ya'll think? Just bought the generator a few days ago.

Thanks
RJR
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:45 AM   #2
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I dunno but I am interested in this as well
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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Plug this into Google and you get lots of hits:

Natural Gas Conversion Kit +generator

Lots of good info here: http://www.propane-generators.com/
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:10 PM   #4
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conversion

I successfully converted a Yamaha 2800 inverter style generator to natural gas last year (after Ike). I bought the generator and then bought a "tri-fuel" conversion kit from UScarburation along with a 12' hose. Per their recommendation, I ran a few gallons of gas through it first to seat in the piston rings, then drained the gas tank and put on the conversion parts. Installation was very straighforward. I had to mess with a little adjustment screw in the kit a little to get the right flow of gas, but then it seemed to run just fine. I hooked it up to my outdoor fridge just to make sure it would take a load properly.
I stubbed out a natural gas pipe on the outside of my house, put a shutoff valve in it and then plugged it for safety. I have a union to attach the hose so that it doesn't have to be twisted to hookup.
oh, the other thing I got with the generator was a RPM gage, so I would know that the generator was still running the same RPM's with the gas and the natural gas, with loads, etc.
Now that I am prepared I will probably not get the chance to use it, but it was tiresome being without power for 2 wks after Ike.
the reason I got an "inverter" style generator is because it produces cleaner power and will not damage electronics (allegedly).
good luck,
sammy

Last edited by sammytx; 06-08-2010 at 01:12 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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Sammytx, thanks for the info. that's exactly what i needed to know. Got my bro (works for centerpoint) coming over next week to repipe the gas meter and put in a 1" tee and 1" ball valve and build some hose to run to the generator (bout 50' of hose). Will be ordering the tri-flow kit soon from uscarburation. Will let ya'll know how it goes.

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:04 PM   #6
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I bought a hose and quick disconnect from uscarburetion (before Ike) to setup my father in laws 20 HP Honda/Northern Tool 20 KW generator. The gen is a trifuel machine. The manual states you will get less KWs from LP and NG as opposed to gasoline. We used Centerpoints gas for 13 days. He had a nearly $400 gas bill.

My genarator is a 5KW Onan. The manual says it will run 8 hours loaded on 6 gallons of gasoline. I didnt believe it but it did. Was drawing about 25 amps on 220 volts.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:11 PM   #7
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If you are coming off from the meter, you should be all set.
Others who want to do this can check
http://www.propane-generators.com/natural-gas.htm
for gas line sizing, and
http://www.propane-generators.com/natural-gas-chart.htm

No I don't work for this company, but I did spend a lot of time on their website when I was getting this set up.

-sammy
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:20 PM   #8
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Not to change the subject but how did ya'll run your power back to the house? Thinking about building a 220V extension cord to run to my dryer outlet and backfeed to the breaker and rest of the house.
Any other ideas?
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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Sorry the Honda is 20 HP and the gen is rated 10.5 KW continuous.

I used an inlet box http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....nlet-boxes.php
and bought a cord to plug in between gen and inlet box. The inlet box is mounted to the house permanent. I installed a seperate breaker in the breaker box to connect to the inlet box. AFTER you have turned off your main breaker you can back feed into the new breaker.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #10
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I like that inlet box idea, thanks for the link.
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