Portable generators are most needed during emergencies. Perhaps extreme weather or an accident has left you without electricity for a few hours or even a few days. Having a gas generator on hand is convenient and, in some cases, can save lives.
Unfortunately, it’s also true that during such emergencies, gas stations run out of gas altogether. With such an occasion in mind, you may have wondered if you can modify it to run on your natural gas hookup from home.
Is it possible to convert your portable generator to run on natural gas? The answer is yes. With a few new parts and a little elbow grease, you can use the natural gas output in your home to run your generator.
How to Convert Your Portable Generator to Run on Gas
You can convert your portable generator to run on gas using a conversion kit or creating fittings yourself.
When Using a Conversion Kit
The price of conversion kits varies online, but they all work about the same way and are easy to install. Once the equipment is installed, you can run your generators on gas, propane, or natural gas, and in some cases, all three.
If your home already uses natural gas for your heater or stove, the kit will allow you to tap into the fuel source directly.
Each kit comes with a governor regulation, stud extension mounting bolts, carburetor adapter, fitting for the adapter, and a hose.
Start by removing the air filter cover and air filter. Next, remove the nuts holding the air filter to the carburetor as well as any pipes or choke levers. You can then screw on the stud extenders, tightening them with pliers.
Once the stud extenders are attached, you will secure the hose from the gas supply to the regulator and the carburetor. The carburetor adapter should sit over the studs, and the air filter should be re-installed.
Make sure that all the fittings are installed using tape or a sealer to prevent gas leaks, then start your generator.
Converting to Natural Gas Without a Conversion Kit
If you want to save some money on a conversion kit, you can buy your materials separately and still successfully convert your generator to natural gas.
You will need:
- Two feet of copper tubing
- ½ inch compression ball valve
- Natural gas regulator
- Hose and clamp
- Drill driver
- Cutting pliers
As with the conversion kit, you’ll start by opening the air filter box and removing the filter.
Next, cut the tubing and connect it to the front of the carburetor. You will then drill ¼ inch hole in the airbox cover the direct the tubing into it. The valve will then attach to the regulator with the hose clamp.
Once you attach the regulator and hose to your gas supply and the gas line is turned on, you can start up your generator.
Advantages of Switching to Natural Gas
Converting your portable generator to natural gas will save you money on fuel and come in handy during power outages and gas shortages. Keep your home up and running no matter what disaster comes!
Learn more about the generators we recommend and how to best maintain them