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  1. #1
    Member zimcocomp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    31
    Location
    S.E. Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Kubota L2550 4wd

    Default Convert gas generator to propane???

    Has anyone had experience converting a gasoline powered generator to propane?
    I have a Generac 10000EXL using a 19 HP GN-570 gas engine and I am looking into
    a conversion kit to run it on propane to eliminate the old fuel problem. Has anyone
    had experience in doing this and where can you get the best kit for the best price?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,064
    Location
    easten Colorado
    Tractor
    JD 4020

    Default Re: Convert gas generator to propane???

    yes I converted my generator, actually two of them,

    I used the TRI fuel kit, as I wanted to keep the gasoline option, (problem is the change with the LP unit added change the unit such it is nearly impossible to get it started on gas, it will run on gas once started, the other generator, I used a fork lift LP conversion kit I got off of Ebay on it, it is a larger multi cylinder engine,

    I ordered the additional Safety Shut Off, as I have a generator shed, I do not remember which company I ordered from,
    Generator Conversion Kits to Propane and Natural Gas.

    Generator Propane Conversion Kits & Natural Gas Conversions

    an electric start would make starting easier, as they work on vacuum and you have to push a pin to let propane flow for a given set of seconds, (like priming it) and pull the rope. Safety shut off your pushing two pins, with electric start, it just makes it easer as you crank it and push the pin, and she runs, ,

    usually with two quick pulls, once one gets it figured out it starts reasonable easily.

    and on the larger generator, it starts very easy with the electric start,

    (In theory to properly set the carburetors, one need a meter that reads the CO. of the exhaust, on the larger engine I know I did, do not remember on the small 8 HP motor.

    follow the info from the manufacture and you will most likely have a good conversion,

    I think if I was doing it again on my small generator I would get the propane carburetor that replaces the gas carburetor and set the gas unit aside for use if ever needed, and not go with the dual or TRI fuel set up,
    Last edited by BHD; 02-13-2013 at 08:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    157
    Location
    Nebraska
    Tractor
    Kubota B2400 HST

    Default Re: Convert gas generator to propane???

    I recently converted my 13-year-old 10 HP Tecumseh powered portable generator to propane using the tri-fuel kit. The conversion was fairly easy. Runs better on the propane than gasoline. It is a little harder to start using the propane. Takes about 5 pulls. But I think the reason is that I've not yet figured out the correct method of priming the engine. I just bought a 100 pound propane tank to be my emergency reserve fuel. My local TSC charges $1.99 per gallon for the propane. Seems like a good deal.

    I read somewhere that electric start is recommended but not required. With that in mind I did not do the conversion until I confirmed via youtube video of someone doing the conversion with manual start generator. I've not had any problem getting it started.

    I haven't attempted to run the generator with gasoline after the conversion. The instructions recommend removing the propane hose and plugging the regulator inlet to avoid a vacuum leak before running on gasoline. I just bought a plug yesterday.

    I wanted this conversion because I figured in a real emergency it might be easier to get propane than gasoline. And I still have the option on using gasoline. Plus propane does not degrade like gasoline when in long term storage.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,132
    Location
    Vancouver Wa.
    Tractor
    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: Convert gas generator to propane???

    Just be aware that the rate propane will vaporize is very dependent on outside temp and surface area of the propane in the tank. According to the Yamaha web site their 7kW genny needs a 400 gal propane tank to provide enough surface area for it to power the genny with temp at 20F.

    This past yr I purchased a used Honda genny with maybe an hr on it and it came with a propane conversion. Since the only propane tanks I have are the port 20# and the larger one on the motorhome, the first thing I did was remove the propane setup. Forget right now but there was something about the conversion that wouldn't let me run the genny on gasoline with the propane conversion in place. Seems like it was the choke wouldn't work. About the only time we loose power here is during the winter. I'm not willing to take a chance a small propane tank can't get the job done when I need it.

    Now if you have a large propane tank with a wet leg or a buried tank, there are ways to make the conversion work with smaller tanks.

    Here's a link I just looked up. Since I pulled the propane conversion off my genny I've not paid much attention to needed tank size.
    Care and feeding of Propane Fueled Generators ォ Engineering Radio
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,064
    Location
    easten Colorado
    Tractor
    JD 4020

    Default Re: Convert gas generator to propane???

    mine small generator has a 8 hp motor and would use the generator on my truck to run a drill fill auger, and a 20 pound bottle ran it OK,

    was not loading it much, and it was above 45 most of the time,

    when the propane expands, it cools and can cool enough to limit it ability to vaporize properly, (on the big generator, it uses liquid propane and then a vaporizer, that is heated by the coolant)


    at negative 40 propane will not vaporize,
    Last edited by BHD; 02-20-2013 at 08:04 PM.

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