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The Propane Generator
Propane gas generators are used as permanent standby generators and in places where availability of standard fuel supply is limited.


It used to be said that a primary disadvantage of propane is that it is a more expensive fuel than gas. As you know, with the rise of gasoline prices, that is no longer the case.


Another issue that is sometimes brought up is the fact that propane produces less energy per unit volume than diesel and that is correct!


However, that issue only comes into play when a individual or business is thinking in terms of using standby generator for business, commercial or industrial purposes.


As for residential use, the propane generator is fast becoming the stalwart for discerning homeowners. And for good reason; you can actually add underground propane tanks that will provide you with anyhere from five to eleven days of backup power before refueling. Imagine having that type of capability?

Of course, if you are already using propane gas for cooking, heating or other uses, upgrading to a propane generator will be a cinch! If you live in a cold weather climate, the propane generator makes for a surefire back up generator because it has no problem starting up in cold weather or being hampered due to condensation.

Let's take a look at some perceived disadvantages of using a propane generator. These are disadvantages that may have been valid five to seven years ago but not anymore due to the changes and advancements in technology.

Perceived Disadvantages of Using a Propane Generator

  • Fuel system is complicated
  • Higher installation costs due to plumbing costs
  • Large fuel tanks are unsightly
  • Fuel is somewhat expensive
  • Propane generator has a shorter life span than a diesel generator
  • If lines are broken, propane can become extremely dangerous
  • Around 20 degrees above zero, propane begins to derate
  • Initial cost of propane generator is higher than gas

Again, these perceived disadvantages that no longer exist. The fuel system used to be complicated, but with the latest technology and training, it is rather simple to work with. The installation costs for a standby propane generator has dropped along with the technology upgrades and training. When it comes to using the larger tanks, most of them are now being put underground, or the homeowners can purchase attractive looking housing units.


As far a propane fuel having a shorter life as versus diesel fuel, that is correct. But remember, the objective is not to store fuel for the purposes of storing fuel. If you are performing the suggested maintenance on any standby generator, (and you should for maximum efficiency) you will be preventing fuel from going through the stagnancy stage.


The final three issues listed, to be quite frankly, are no longer issues due the fact that they have been addressed through technology advancements. That being said, let's take a look at the advantages of using a propane generator.



Propane Generator Providers
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • Carrier Generator
  • Caterpillar Generator  
  • Cummins Generator
  • Generac Generator
  • Onan Generator
  • Winco Generator
Advantages of Using a Propane Generator

  • Propane fuel has a long shelf life
  • Propane fuel does not gum up
  • Propane fuel burns clean
  • Propane generators don’t experience wet stacking like diesel generators
  • Can connect to both large and smaller propane tanks
  • Lower engine noise level than other generators
  • Can connect to your natural gas pipeline
  • Starts better in cold weather
  • Propane fuel can be obtained during power outages
  • Has longer uninterrupted run times
  • Clean burning fuel
  • Gives you longer engine life

Something Special About the Makita Propane Generator

We’ve got some good news for you; the folks at Makita generators provide an ingenious feature we felt was worth mentioning. They have a do-it-yourself change over kit that allows you to run your Makita gas generator on propane fuel or on natural gas or on regular gas. How about that for a feature? Bear in mind, this refers to the Makita Portable Propane Generator; they don't currently make a standby residential generator.

That means, in the event that an outage or catastrophe cause one fuel or even two types of fuel to be unavailable, you can revert to fuel that is available. And the fact that the kit is a do-it-yourselfer, you can make the change from gas to propane or from propane to natural gas without the assistance of a technician or an expert. That's money saving good news!


Now that you've got the facts on propane generators, search the generator supersite,, to find the make and model that will suit your needs.


Don't forget to read our generator sizing article. This step is important because it helps you choose the right size generator for your needs. People who skip the generator sizing step almost always choose the wrong size generator.






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