Dual Fuel Generator – A Complete Buying Guide and Reviews
Nowadays, dual fuel generator attracts a significant amount of interest due to its versatile and reliable qualities. It provides high usability as a power supply kit, by offering back-up electrical power for your home in case of any natural disaster, electrical shortage, or other emergency situations occur. If you are interested or planning to invest on one, it’d be better to read this helpful list of the best models available in advance.
Best 5 Dual-Fuel Generator
1. DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
DuroMax XP4850EH is one of dual-fuel portable generator models that offer the same power output between gasoline and propane fuel – with 3850 running watts and 4850 surging watts. It mainly runs on propane with recommended tank size of 20 lbs., but you may run it on gasoline by using its 3.96 gallons tank that’s capable to run the machine for 8 hours straight.
This dual fuel generator operates at 69dBA of noise level at 7 meters distance, but it the noise will get louder if it’s become overloaded in order to meet power demands. To begin the operation easily, it’s equipped by electric start. It also has one 120V/20 Amp three-pronged outlet. It is also worth to note that XP4850EH comes with low oil indicator to inform users when the machine requires more oil.
- It generates enough supply of electrical power for emergency or recreational purposes
- Control panel has power output and volt meter
- It has portable and quite compact body frame considering its power
- It has electric start besides manual recoil mechanism
- It produces louder noise when being operated under heavy load
- It is quite expensive compared to other models in the same class
2. Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Westinghouse WGen9500DF is a powerful and flexible portable generator with dual-fuel technology. It produces 120/240V of output. When fueled by gasoline, it operates on 9500 running watts and 12500 surging watts. Meanwhile when fueled by propane, it operates on 8500 running watts and 11200 surging watts.
The dual fuel generator produces noise level that rated at 73 dBA. It features both the conventional system of pull-start and the modernly simple electric starter that include battery on purchase. Aside from these, this model also offers remote starting system which highly convenience that include key fob upon purchase.
The fuel tank capacity of WGen9500DF is 6.6 gallons. It can work for extremely long on gasoline – up to 17 hours and a half, with 0.38 GPH of fuel consumption. On propane fuel operation, it reaches 11 hours of running time with 0.43 GPH of fuel consumption.
- It’s relatively affordable considering the power that it’s capable of
- It has very convenience feature of remote starting system
- It features smart switch technology that allows you to alternate between two types of fuel when the machine is still operating
- Its runtime is very long
- It’s quite heavy but still portable enough due to the wheels
- It operates pretty loud but still at tolerable level
3. Durostar DS10000EH Hybrid Portable Generator
DS10000EH is a portable dual fuel generator that’s mainly powered by gasoline. It has 419cc Duromax OHV engine in 16 horsepower. This machine is capable to supply as much power as 8000 running watts and 10000 surging watts. The setup configuration of its outlet is available at either 120V or simultaneously 120V and 240V.
Its gasoline fuel tank is quite large with ability to hold up to 8.3 gallons at once. With the tank is full, Durostar DS10000EH is able to operate for 10 hours straight with half capacity. For the sake of users’ convenience, it has both manual recoil mechanism and electric start system.
This dual fuel generator yields 72dBA of noise level when it’s operating – which considering its size, 72 dBA is quite loud. The design features open engine style which doesn’t help either with the mechanical noise.
- It comes with powerful 440cc engine with 19 horsepower
- It provides relatively great fuel efficiency
- Durostar DS10000EH comes with MX2 technology that means it’s able to run on both 120V and 240V operations at the same time.
- It features full power panel
- It weighs quite heavy at 232 lbs., and also come with handy wheel kit and folding handles.
4. Champion Power Equipment 76533 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start
Decently powerful yet versatile enough might be the best ways to describe Champion Power Equipment 76533. This model is manufactured to bring 3500 running watts and 4750 surging watts for its users. When running on gasoline, it has capability to operate up to 9 hours in full tank condition. When running on propane, it is able to operate even longer, 10.5 hours in 20 lbs. of tank.
The said dual fuel generator is powered by reliable 24cc engine. It produces 68dBA of noise level when operates on half a load. The outlets set is quite impressive: there is one 120V/30 A RV outlet to power up 15,000 BTU RV Air Conditioning, double 120V/20A for home outlets, and one 120/30A twist lock.
It has an electric start than can be activated by push of a button. It includes battery and the charger as well on purchase. The portability is supported by steel folding handle and set of tires.
- It’s very user friendly in terms of starting and operating system
- It’s able to provide relatively great output of power considering its size and price
- It is safe to use as power backup for sensitive devices such as laptop and smartphones
- Its fuel consumption is rather high
5. Pulsar 5,250W Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Switch and Go Technology, PG5250B
Thanks to the advanced dual fuel generator technology, Pulsar PG5250B is capable of simultaneously pump out 120V/240V electric supply. It operates on 4250 running watts and 5250 surging watts when powered by gasoline, and 3850 running watts and 4750 surging watts when powered by propane.
The company patented and planted technology of Switch and Go, which lets you interchange between gasoline and propane right when the generator is activated. It has noise level that rated 72 dBA. Unfortunately, it only has the traditional pull-start system without electric starter.
Pulsar PG5250B is a dual fuel generator that runs up to 12 hours at half load, when operating on full tank of gasoline with 4 gallons capacity at 0.33 GPH fuel consumption rate. It runs slightly longer when operating on propane, with 13 hours runtime with 20 lbs. tank capacity at 0.36 GPH fuel consumption rate
- It has affordable price when compared to other models in the same class
- It is suitable to power an RV AC unit
- PG5250B comes with Switch and Go feature that allows you to change the fuel source when the engine is running
- It has good fuel efficiency
- It doesn’t have electric start system
Buying Guide for the Best Quietest Dual Fuel Generator
Dual fuel generator is an electrical power supply unit that uses two types of fuel, mostly gasoline and propane. Depending on the model, the engine might run using two fuels at certain ratios or one at a time. Each fuel has their own pros and cons. Gasoline for example, is widely available but produces more fumes and noise compared to quieter and cleaner propane.
Regardless of the fuel types that it utilizes, here are some buying guides to use when you’re about to buy one:
- Fuel Tank Capacity
Each and every model of dual fuel generator has a tank, as they depend on fuel to operate. Again, different models might have different tank capacity to indicate the fuel amount that can fit inside at once. Tank that has higher capacity will require refill with longer in-between period.
- Power Output
The power output in a dual fuel generator is represented in watts unit. Each unit has two separate output ratings, which are running watts and surging watts (also known as peak or starting watts). Running watts are the general output of power while surging watts are the optimum available output at specific time. The average output might be different for gasoline and propane, thus you get four different values of output in one dual-fuel powered unit.
- Noise rate
As the engine operates, there’s a simultaneous process of fuel combustion going on within the cylinder. This process produces certain noise level which cannot be eliminated entirely. However, it is possible to select dual fuel generator that yields the most minimum amount of noise.
Read Also Quiet Generator Ultimate Information
Read Also Diesel Generator Buying Guide
Advantages & Disadvantage of Dual Fuel Generators
Below is the list of four pros when it comes to use dual fuel generator:
- It reduces the need to buy and store plenty amount of valuable and expensive fuel. You do not have to store a huge quantity of gasoline, since the unit is able to operate by propane fuel as well. It also benefits you when nearby gasoline stock is running out, so you may choose to use propane.
- It is more cost-effective to use in long term. To be fair, it has been calculated by a lot of dual-fuel powered unit that it generally cost 10% to 15% less than a conventional single fuel generator. When both are compared for long term use, the cost operation of two fuel system unit is more affordable.
- Its machine works more efficiently. Dual fuel generator typically burns fuel more efficiently than its counterparts. They offer longer runtime and higher power supply. In case of emergency issue arising, most of the models also lets you to switch between two fuels.
- It is far more environmentally-friendly. Compared to single fuel type unit, double fuel system is more eco-friendly, especially if the first type only uses gasoline. Propane is a clean fuel source with much lower carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases, and hydrocarbon emits. It doesn’t hurt soil or water.
Regardless of the pros, dual fuel generator also has its own shares of downside. Below are four cons of this particular type of generator unit:
- It requires natural gases, which availability might differ a lot according to your geographical location. The difference and scarcity affect how optimal the engine will function.
- It generally has higher price tag. Bi-fuel system in a generator unit contains technology that’s more expensive than conventional single fuel system. It is no surprise that they are more expensive to purchase.
- It’s usually less user friendly. It is common for dual fuel generator to have more complex operation procedure, due to the fact that they have more additional features. That’s why it is important for the manufacturer to give clear instructions inside the manual book. Well-known and reputable brands that have a lot of verified reviews from customers are the ones that typically have easier to operate models.
- It needs power in no small amount. Even the modest and smallest dual fuel generator that require less than 4400 watts power output might cost $400-$600. If you only need backup power in lower amount, it’s probably better to go with single fuel unit and leave the duel fuel powered units for industrial purposes.
+ Is a dual fuel generator worth it?
The fact that dual fuel generator relies on two types of fuel allows it to provide power in better quality and longer runtime. It is highly versatile since you are able to choose to operate it by gasoline or propane fuel. The double-fuel also makes it more efficient, as it definitely has cheaper operation cost. It might be a little challenge to find propane gas if you’re on RV travel across the country, but gasoline is quite easy to find even in small towns.
+ Is it cheaper to run a generator on propane or gas?
Propane is one of the best natural gas options to use in dual fuel generator due to its longevity and environmental safety. Compared to gasoline, it is also known to put as less heat, sometimes as much as 30%. A 100 lbs. propane tank in average has expiration date as far as 12 years counted from its manufactured date. It also doesn’t require you to replace the fuel in frequent basis to keep its quality at optimum level – unlike gasoline which needed to be replaced at least twice a year to maintain the freshness.
However, propane also has drawbacks. Its price is more expensive than gasoline. Propane powered vehicles has slightly lower fuel economy compared to gasoline because propane produces less energy than it. There are reasons why gasoline-based generators consistently remain popular. They have unmatchable affordability and effectiveness qualities.
+ Should I buy a dual fuel generator?
The decision of purchasing dual fuel generator becomes a multi variable-based matter of choice including operation cost and initial cost, when you have access to any types of fuel sources. Usually the switch function between both types of fuel is done automatically, depending on the more efficient one and the availability of it.
Having generator that powered by a couples of fuel options is better if you’re going to use in remote areas or as heavy-duty equipment in job sites. It gives you more capability to pick the most ideal fuel to use according to your circumstances and lets you have it adjusted depending on your requirements.
+ What size generator do I need to run my whole house?
There are several critical appliances inside each household such as lighting circuits, freezer or refrigerators, and electric well pump. The total of power supply they required ranges between 5,000W to 7,000W – thus you will need dual fuel generator that has around 7500 running watts capability to run the whole house.
+ How long will a dual fuel generator run on propane?
It depends entirely on the tank capacity and fuel-efficiency of the dual fuel generator model. Having a generator unit that runs on propane gives you control to decide the size of its tank. There are several options to keep the tank fueled constantly.
By using this scenario, you actually able to do depleted tank replacement with fresh propane tank, that means you would never run out of fuel. Assuming that the propane supply is endless, the generator unit still needs to run under oil maintenance per roughly 100 hours.
The amount of oil is actually what limits the dual fuel generator engine. After 150 to 200 hours of usage, majority of newer generators will shut down automatically in order to protect the engine when the oil level becomes low. In this case, if the generator unit is managed and maintained in proper way, it has potential to constantly run on propane fuel for 150 to 200 hours.
+ Can you convert a dual fuel generator to natural gas?
Yes, it’s possible. It is easy to find different kits online that helps you to convert a dual fuel generator to natural gas based in simple way. The prices of these conversion kits are ranging quite widely but in general they’re very easy to use.
+ Tri fuel generators versus dual fuel generators – what’s the difference?
As the name implies, tri fuel generators run on three types of fuels – such as natural gas, gasoline, or propane. It obviously provides more options compared to dual fuel generator that’s only capable of utilizing two types of fuel.