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  • natural gas generator

    After much thought, I "think" I would like to purchase a portable generator to run on natural gas. My question -- is it possible to connect the generator to my gas main via a convenience outlet similar to that used by some gas patio grills?? Are there local state codes regarding the installation??? Is there a maximum number of feet that one can run a flexible metal pipe or rubber pipe above ground to the generator??

    Thanks if anyone has information about this.
    DCB

  • #2
    DCBALDONE, TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, PROBABLY NOT. THE ISSUE IS THE GENERATOR WILL DRAW A LOT MORE GAS/BTU/THERMS, THAN A BBQ OUTLET CAN SUPPLY. THERE IS A MAX DISTANCE A FLEX CONNECTOR CAN BE USED. USUALLY LIMITED TO 4'EXCEPT RANGES ARE 6'. TYPICALLY THESE ARE USED ON STATIONARY APPLIANCES. NOT FOR PORTABLE EQUIPTMENT. THEY NEED TO BE SIZED BY THE BTU DEMAND AND TOTAL DISTANCE RUN FROM THE METER.
    ALSO A NAT. GAS UNIT WILL BE DOWN RATED ON WATTS COMPARED TO PROPANE, GAS OR DIESEL. YOU WILL ALSO NEED A PLUMBING PERMIT ALONG WITH AN ELECTRICAL PERMIT IF IT'S A WIRED IN UNIT. I WOULD CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL BUILDING DEPT. FOR PERMIT INFO.

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    • #3
      I guess one question is what is the generator for? Here in Southern California it would be a backup for earthquakes. However if you lose your electric in the earthquake you might lose your gas as well.

      To the question of connectors it depends on where you live. If you are in an area which uses the UPC you could use a 15' rubber hose for an outdoor portable appliance. Most hoses are limited to 1/2" which would give you around 175,000 BTUs assuming the feed to the hose is properly sized.

      Before you do anything you need to decide which generator and take the information to both your Building Department and your gas provider to make sure it will work. It is important you do this before you buy the generator.

      Mark
      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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