Propane vs gas (Which Fuel For Backup Power Generators)

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  #1  
Old 01-21-12, 06:35 PM
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Propane vs gas (Which Fuel For Backup Power Generators)

I just read a post, about a guy, that had to run his generator for 3 days. I have a gas generator, and I keep about 10 gal on hand for it. That might be about a day used sparingly. Were can I find out, how much the same motor would burn, running on propane, or natural gas. I believe my generator is some where around a gal a hour on at full load.

Admins Note:
Excellent Question... Retitled ( ) to clarify the intended usage and purpose. Post moved to correct forum also.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 01-22-12 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 01-21-12, 06:42 PM
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You may find some info here: Carburetor Conversion Pictures and Specifications
 
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Old 01-22-12, 03:29 AM
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I have a Kubota and ran it off gas, but what a PITA, having to fill it every few hours. I accidentally found an "extra" hose curled up on the side of it. Duh, Propane! My tank sits right next to the gen. Hooked it to propane, and not only did it run much smoother, it put out a lot less smelly emissions, and it ran for 3 days right through Hurricane Ivan using only a fraction of the fuel in the tank. I recommend a conversion if it is possible.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 05:10 AM
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I would go with propane just for the storability of the fuel. You can keep propane almost indefinitely without it going bad and it will not varnish up the generator's carburetor.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 06:36 AM
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Here just about every convenience store sells both gasoline and propane. Guess which they still sell in a power outage.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 08:51 AM
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I converted an 5kw 10hp Tecumseh about 4 years ago and don't regret it a bit. Go with the propane.

As the others said, there's no problem storing it and it won't gum the carb. I too have noticed it runs a LOT smoother.

I still burn around 1 gallon an hour.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 09:59 AM
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Guess which they still sell in a power outage
You still have to physically pump propane with an electric motor into larger tanks. But I guess if it is already on the truck, there's no problem. I was thinking of going to the gas company and having them fill the tanks.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 10:20 AM
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My reference was to prefilled BBQ tanks.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 11:09 AM
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During our last big storm there were several problems.

1. Many stations could not process credit cards. Some stations had generators and could pump gas but only for cash so always keep an emergency stash of cash on hand.

2. The propane companies could only dispense what they had on their delivery trucks and those were not equipped to fill 20lb tanks. There was no power to run the pumps to refill the trucks so when they ran out home tanks could not be refilled. So, keep a stockpile of fuel on hand. You never know what your options for resupply will be.

3. After a few days without power throughout the area theft became a problem. Generators, while running and connected to houses, were disappearing. Gas cans and bbq grill tanks also were a hot theft item. Plan accordingly to secure your generator and fuel supply.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 11:46 AM
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Thanks for all the replies, I have found all the answer very helpful. I would feel, and more in likely be safer with propane tanks setting around then that much gas setting. And I wouldn't need to replace it like gas either.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 02:51 PM
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ray2047,

That link you sent me was great. Now I just need to decide which one I want, I am kind of leaning towards the three way carb. And I might even get one for my garden tractor, if propane is cheaper then gas.
 
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Old 01-23-12, 07:32 AM
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LP, because you can get a large (think 100LB) tank, and keep it without it going bad.
 
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Old 01-23-12, 11:12 AM
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If you have natural gas available it is even better than the propane as you don't have to worry about storing or running out.

I converted my Yamaha inverter generator to gaseous fuel and can switch from natural gas to propane with only a turn of the maximum load screw.
 
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