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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen a number of youtube videos describing the use of natural gas on gasoline generator. Most involve modifying the carburetor with an adapter or a "snorkel", along with using an external demand regulator designed for low pressure natural gas (or LOW PRESSURE propane). Some also show avoiding the carb mods and tapping into the air filter housing, and even one showing the use of a valve instead of a demand regulator to regulate the pressure. I consider this to be very unsafe, since there is no automatic shutoff when their is no vacuum from the generator. Even with a demand regulator, I have to wonder about feeding natural gas to the air filter housing, since it is also connected to a PCV valve which may or may not prevent the gas from making it's way back to the engine.

I have also seen one video that shows feeding natural gas to the propane inlet of a dual fuel generator through an external demand regulator. This has the advantage of not voiding the warranty or requiring mods to the generator. Of course, dual fuel generators already have a demand regulator built in, but it's designed for propane. In addition, most of these also require an external tank mounted regulator to reduce the tank pressure to a lower pressure suitable for the inlet of the internal regulator.

So I have a couple questions regarding this...

1). What pressure range are these internal regulators designed to accept? In other words, what is the outlet pressure of the typical tank mounted LPG regulator?

2). Would the typical house natural gas feed typically have enough pressure to work in this scenario?

3). Assuming that the line is purged of air before initial use, would there be any issue with starting?

4). Aside from minor adjustments like re-gapping the spark plug, would there be any other adjustments needed?
 

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Just to be clear, internal regulator = demand regulator?

1. Typical pressure requirements at the appliance side (including generators) are 7 inWC for NG and 11 in-WC for propane.
2. "Typically", it normally would. But this is best determined by your gas company technician. You can tell them that you want to install a gas BBQ grill that takes 7 in-WC. Most, if not all generators will work from that.
3. None at all.
4. Most of the adjustments are with the demand regulator load block. This adjusts the fuel/air ratio so you'd want to end up with a smooth-running engine that is neither too lean (bogs down under load) or too rich (runs very hot).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. I realize that "typical" is rather nebulous, but I appreciate the relative difference. I know that some house lines can be a s low as 4 inWC, but in my case I already have a natural gas grille connected and working, and I would not be using the grill and generator at the same time. Plus, instead of connecting the generator at the end of the long run where the grill is connected, I would add the new tap at the meter. I believe that the internal regulator on the generator is a demand regulator.
 

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This bares saying.... "in-WC" is pressure. Another parameter you need to consider is max. flow rate.

Both dual-fuel portable generators or big whole-home units requires about 5-7 in-WC of pressure to run. But they all require different gas flow rates, for obvious reasons. For one, a whole-home gen eats up more fuel than a dinky portable one.

Pressure is dictated by the regulator while max. flow rate is dictated by your main regulator, the inner diameter (ID) of the gas pipes and hoses, and of course, the low pressure regulator and demand regulator.

This is grossly oversimplified so you may need to talk to an actual expert.
 

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@lmpsr Do you have a specific generator in mind? It might help to know what you are trying to run as there are HUGH differences between running a 2-5KW gen vs a 15-20KW unit. A small gen may run just fine off of an existing BBQ grill tap, whereas a big gen may require running a new large diameter gas line and maybe even needing your meter replaced for higher flow and/or pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The generator is a Ecoflow Smart Generator. It's rated at 1600W on LPG, and uses about 0.34 gal/hr on LPG, or 12.5 hrs at full load on a 20 lb LPG tank. I am trying to make a "mini-Generac" backup system which will power essentials during on outage along with the Ecoflow Delta Max power station. It's all full automatic, unattended, with 2 kWh of battery backup. It has the advantage of running as a UPS, so unlike a Generac, it will never go dark. It also has inputs for solar panels. The only issue is that during a really long outage, I would have to change tanks, assuming that I'm home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe this YT video will help (you can still add the tri-fuel kit on a duel fuel unit):

Thanks. I have seen this, and have talking to the creator of this video. He has not yet tried it on Natural Gas, but he is going to do some testing. He is unsure whether the kit can be added to the dual fuel version, but I suspect that it can. What I would really like to know is whether natural gas can be fed to the LPG inlet of the dual fuel version of this generator via a low pressure demand regulator. In other words, can the built-in demand regulator be operated in series with an external one, eliminating the need for the snorkel kit. This video with a Westinghouse dual fuel generator has caused me to look into this...

 

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What I would really like to know is whether natural gas can be fed to the LPG inlet of the dual fuel version of this generator via a low pressure demand regulator. In other words, can the built-in demand regulator be operated in series with an external one, eliminating the need for the snorkel kit.
I don't know about the Ecoflow unit's internal setup to answer that. Also, I don't think there is a one-size fits all answer to that question. The differences between various models of generators are too vast. On some models you may get away with it while you may not on others. The two gases (LP/NG) usually require different orifice sizing and/or demand regulators to meter the appropriate amount of fuel to maintain the correct air/fuel ratio. Some gens will have a load valve that can be adjusted instead of having a fixed orifice.

Perhaps if you look into the Ecoflow setup and provide some feedback as to the internal demand valve and piping over to the carb, we may have a better understanding of what might work.

Regarding the above video, I certainly would not recommend his hose setup. IMHO, the demand valve needs to be near or on the gen...not at the meter.
 

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Not sure about what you're attempting but on my Honda EU6500is, I've only ever run it on NG (for a couple of years and, more recently LP at my current residence. I use the motorsnorkle kit and have had ZERO issues with either gas type over nearly 10 years. Where I am currently, I have about 8-10 power outages yearly so it gets used. Just had to adjust the load block when I went from city NG to country LP from a 500 gal tank.
 

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Thanks. I have seen this, and have talking to the creator of this video. He has not yet tried it on Natural Gas, but he is going to do some testing. He is unsure whether the kit can be added to the dual fuel version, but I suspect that it can. What I would really like to know is whether natural gas can be fed to the LPG inlet of the dual fuel version of this generator via a low pressure demand regulator. In other words, can the built-in demand regulator be operated in series with an external one, eliminating the need for the snorkel kit. This video with a Westinghouse dual fuel generator has caused me to look into this...

i a few words.
no.
but you could set it up with and external demand regulator and snorkel.

i think there are LP safety interlocks on the westing house.
depending on the model year.

so you may have to deal with other things along the way.
when you select LP on the front it may not let you start unless it has a by pass when on NG.

NG is the way to go if you have it on site as a primary fuel.
way cheaper to run for sure.

i use NG here as primary fuel.
and have tri fuel setup.
lots of planning went in to the system i have in place for the 2023 season.
but i am ready!
 

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Well converting a dual-fuel or single-fuel generator to a tri-fuel isn't a big deal, all you need to confirm the manufacturers (in case you have a single-fuel unit, however for dual fuel you don't have to contact them).
I follow the video from JOHNNY’S WEEKENDS for converting my single fuel honda eu3000i


Also, I have gone through the guide written by "Samy " from Ecousable
 
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