Low Cost Natural Gas Portable Generator?


Old 11-02-12, 12:08 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Low Cost Natural Gas Portable Generator?

I am suffering through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy - and stuck without power. I see the long lines of people trying to get gasoline for their generators. I dont want to be in that situation and was wondering about natural gas (NG) generators. I have a gas line connected to my barbecue Would it be as easy as disconnecting this line and connecting it to the generator when I need it?

I did some quick research on natural gas generators - they seem expensive. Does an affordable portable NG generator exist? Looking for something in the 5,000 watts range.
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Old 11-02-12, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
Depending what size pipe is run to your barbecue connection it could be just that easy.

I don't know what you consider to be "affordable" so I can't directly answer that question. Just about any gasoline-powered generator can be converted to natural gas operation. DIY kits are available for around $200 give or take depending on the size of the generator. Check out this website. It is bit hard to navigate but it has all the information you need.

Generator Conversion Kits to Propane and Natural Gas.
Old 11-02-12, 05:34 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,752
One thing to consider is that the natural gas supply may be turned off before, during or after a big storm. It seems many fires in NY might have been from houses ripped away leaving exposed gas lines. I think in the future the gas suppliers may consider turning the gas off to help prevent fires. No utility will take the decision lightly to cut off service but just like electricity you are dependent on an energy source delivered to you over wires or through a pipeline. There are no gas shut offs at the street for every house so entire regions may have to be shut off to stop the gas flow to certain areas.
Old 11-02-12, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
Good point, Pilot. I'll counter by stating that if the underground utilities are damaged the houses are probably not going to be habitable anyway.

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