Can a portable generator run on natural gas?

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No, a portable generator can not be run on natural gas. However, after some small modifications, this becomes possible. Any gasoline or propane portable generators don’t run on an NG out of the box. Unless you get one of the tri-fuel generators, the natural goes wouldn’t work as fuel to power up this machine.

In this article, we will discuss some of the options on how to adapt a gas or dual-fuel portable generator to your natural gas utility pipeline as if it was a factory-build solution. You can always do it yourself, or, you can hire a professional if you feel uncomfortable working with gas.

We will also discuss the advantages of using natural gas for your portable generator compared to running it on gas or LPG, as well as some safety guidelines.

Can a portable generator run on natural gas?

Unlike whole-house powerplants, most portable generators can only run on gas, or on both propane and gas. Natural gas generators usually come in huge sizes and are designed to be used during a power outage as a standby generator.

So, the question is – can you modify your gas or dual-fuel portable generator to be able to consume natural gas from your home line as a fuel? And the answer is – yes, you can do it easily with a proper conversion kit.

Conversion kits are available for most models and brands of generators. The natural gas adapter that comes with a kit is installed into a carburetor. You can check the web for guides, including video tutorials on how to do it by yourself. Basically, you’ll just need to detach the air filter from your carb, install an NG adapter with a regulator, and put the air filter back.

And that’s it! You can now run your portable generator on gas, natural gas, and even propane. This simple modification turns your gas or dual-fuel generator into a tri-fuel one.

Be sure to follow the best practices when modifying a portable generator using the conversion kit. For example, you don’t have to drill the frame to install the adapter and regulator. Just use a mounting bracket to make everything look professional and you’re generator will stay intact. Be sure to always follow natural gas and propane safety procedures. If you don’t feel comfortable doing such a modification yourself, just hire a professional to do it for you.

Honda portable generator with conversion kit installed
Honda portable generator with conversion kit installed

Can a propane portable generator run on natural gas?

In the same way, as the gas generator is not compatible with natural gas as a fuel, the LPG (or propane) powered generator will not run on an NG without modifications.

This is due to a bigger regulator being needed to supply the engine with a proper amount of natural gas. The one that is installed in the factory, is only suitable for propane. Another factor that prevents running an LPG generator on an NG is that the propane tank has more pressure compared to the natural gas hose.

So, to conclude, you will have to use a conversion kit similar to the one used on a gas generator to be able to run an LPG generator on an NG.

The only difference when converting a propane portable generator to run on natural gas, is you don’t necessarily have to attach an adapter directly to your carburetor. A propane-compatible generator always has a whose that comes to the propane tank. Just use that hose and connect it to the regulator that comes with a conversion kit and you are ready to go with an NG.

Portable generator conversion kit LPG/Natural Gas
Portable generator conversion kit LPG/Natural Gas

Can you run a dual-fuel generator on natural gas?

Same as with other types of portable generators, you can’t just attach a natural gas hose and start running the generator. You will have to use a conversion kit.

Similar to the way you will convert a propane generator to run on NG, you can also use a quick conversion method of connecting the natural gas regulator to a hose that comes from the generator’s engine to the propane tank.

Eventually, you’re turning your dual-fuel portable generator into a tri-fuel one that can run either on propane, natural gas, or gasoline.

Can a Champion dual-fuel generator run on natural gas?

After making all the same modifications described in previous sections, you will eventually be able to run any model of Champion dual-fuel generators on both LPG and NG as well as gas.

This applies to conventional and inverter generators of the Champion brand.

Can DuroMax generators run on natural gas?

Yes, after installing a conversion kit, you can run them on natural gas, propane, or gasoline.

Since the overall design of DuroMax generators is similar to any other brand of portable generator such that they have an internal combustion engine and a carburetor, you can easily turn them into a tri-fuel portable generator using all the same LPG/NG conversion kit that you can get from any online or offline store.

What are the safety guidelines when working with natural gas?

Natural gas explosion aftermath
Natural gas explosion aftermath

Natural gas is highly-flammable and generally more dangerous fuel to work with compared to gas or diesel. You must always take safety precautions when doing any modifications to your generator by yourself and creating the NG hose connections.

  • always use certified LPG hoses and NPT fittings

  • do not forget to seal hose NG connections with proper thread sealant

  • make sure to tighten hose clamps when connecting the LPG hose to the fitting

  • use an adjustable wrench and a set of screwdrivers when installing a conversion kit

  • do not allow sparks, open fire, or smoking while modifying your generator to run on natural gas

  • always do any modifications related to natural gas or propane while outdoors

  • make sure to install a valve between the NG hose and the regulator as well as a separate valve on your house NG line outlet and another end of a hose

  • always run a generator dry of natural gas by closing the natural gas valve on your utility line before turning off the generator (this will make sure there is no natural gas left inside it)

  • when in doubt, do not do any generator modifications to NG and use a help of a professional

Is it cheaper to run a generator on natural gas?

Natural gas is generally cheaper than LPG in most areas of the US. However, you will have to install a generator conversion kit and it may cost you some money in exchange for the generator’s initial setup that allowed it to run on NG when purchased from the factory. But, this will allow you to run a gas generator with 3 types of fuel.

Propane produces more than twice as much energy per cubic foot as natural gas. Natural gas has approximately 1,040 BTUs per cubic foot, whereas propane has 2,490 BTUs per cubic foot. So, you’ll effectively burn more NG to get the same amount of power produced compared to an LPG.

Gasoline is also significantly more expensive to use for a generator compared to natural gas. Having said that, you should be aware that gasoline provides more power than natural gas of the same volume.

Petroleum fuels, on average, outperform natural gas in terms of performance. Gas engines have a weight-to-power ratio of roughly 30 and 200, respectively, whereas petroleum fuels have a weight-to-power ratio of around 2 and 300.

Having said that, you will still be paying less when running your generator on natural gas in the long run compared to LPG or gasoline.

Are tri-fuel generators worth it?

Champion Power Equipment 100416 tri-fuel portable generator
Champion Power Equipment 100416 tri-fuel portable generator

If you don’t feel up to converting your generator to run on NG, or, if you haven’t purchased a generator yet, but planning to run it on natural gas, you should consider tri-fuel generators.

Champion tri-fuel generators can run on natural gas, propane, or gasoline.

These generators are essentially dual-fuel generators with the added ability to run on natural gas without any modifications. However, the selection of those is limited and they are usually more expensive than dual-fuel and much more expensive than traditional gas generators that can be converted to a tri-fuel.

Tri-fuel generator prices vary depending on the generator’s power output. However, you can expect to pay a premium for them and spend anywhere from $700 or so dollars up to almost $3000 or more. So, it is not always cost-effective as opposed to purchasing LPG/NG conversion kits. For example, a Champion Power Equipment 100416 8,000-Watt tri-fuel generator will cost around $1700.

Pros and cons of running a generator on natural gas?

Let’s conclude by providing some of the advantages and drawbacks of using an NG as fuel for a portable generator.


  • natural gas is cheaper than LPG or gasoline

  • you don’t need to refill tanks

  • reduced environmental footprint

  • same to propane, natural gas does not degrade with time (when compared to gasoline)

  • the best solution for areas with regular tornadoes or other natural disasters


  • conversion kit may be required

  • installation of a conversion kit requires some skills

  • generators run less efficiently on natural gas than they do on gasoline or propane, resulting in reduced power output

  • natural gas is more flammable and explodes much easier than gas so it could be more dangerous

  • you will always need to have access to a natural gas pipeline


Overall, using natural gas as a generator fuel has many benefits. It is cheaper than gasoline or propane and you don’t have to worry about refilling tanks. Additionally, it produces fewer emissions than traditional generator fuels and it is the best solution for areas that are regularly hit by natural disasters. However, a conversion kit may be required if your generator is not designed to run on natural gas. On the bright side, after modifying a gas generator to run on an NG, you’re getting a tri-fuel generator done by yourself for a much cheaper price.