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Best Propane Generator: Reviews and Buying Guide

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You may have already done your homework on propane vs. gas generators and concluded that, for your specific needs, a propane generator is better than a gas generator.

Many homeowners stand by propane generators, despite the fact that they are notoriously less cost-effective than their gas-powered counterparts.

Propane generators are designed to start automatically depending on their power output. It can help you restore power to your most vital appliances or perhaps your complete home.

Running 100-foot extension wires across the lawn while stealing your neighbor’s power is no more necessary thanks to a backup propane generator.

Power outages have the potential to put food in the refrigerator at risk of spoiling and to create potentially fatal conditions in cold weather.

A strong propane generator can provide enough energy to run a space heater or air conditioner, keep the lights on, and preserve food in the refrigerator.

Additionally, portable propane generators provide energy to off-grid locations like campgrounds.

Propane doesn’t break down as gasoline does, making it simple to maintain a stock of propane tanks.

The ideal moment to purchase a standby propane generator was yesterday.

Today is the next ideal time. Having said all this, let’s dive straight into what I have in store for you today.

Best Propane Generator: Overview

Since they were invented, portable generators have proven to be quite useful in case of sudden power disruptions.

They are utilized in a variety of settings outside emergencies, including buildings, RVs, camping, events, and social gatherings.

The majority of portable generators are typically either diesel- or gasoline-powered.

But lately, portable generators that run on propane (a form of LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas), are also becoming more popular.

To be fair, these propane generators operate on both gas and propane, making them dual-fuel generators.

The ideal alternative if you need a power source during a power outage or merely need energy for your electric appliances in a remote location – especially if you do not have easy access to gas stations, is to have a propane generator.

The primary benefit of propane generators over gasoline generators is that propane burns cleaner and creates less pollution (Carbon Monoxide).

So you have a generator that is good for the environment.

However, propane itself is a drawback of propane generators.

Propane is frequently offered in tanks, as opposed to gasoline or diesel, which may be conveniently acquired from gas stations.

If you intend to use it with a generator, you must purchase these tanks in advance.

Even for powering large electric appliances, propane generators are quite useful.

Best Propane Generator: Pros And Cons

Pros

Easy To Obtain Fuel In A Crisis

Many people only use their generators in an emergency because you can’t usually use a petrol station during a power outage.

Fortunately, if you decide on a propane generator, you won’t be impacted by this as propane is delivered in tanks instead of being dispersed from petrol stations. Knowing that there is less chance of running out of gasoline allows you to unwind.

The Fuel’s Shelf Life Is Long

Additionally, unlike other common options like diesel, propane doesn’t deteriorate over time, so you can keep it for a lot longer.

Many prefer that their propane doesn’t have to be used by a specific date, and with a good storage tank, you can be confident that you have adequate fuel for any conceivable circumstance.

A Clean Burning Fuel

Propane is a fantastic option for the environment as well. It is renowned for burning cleanly and producing less pollution than other fuels.

If you’re concerned about your carbon impact, it is estimated that a propane generator creates half as much carbon monoxide as a gasoline generator.

Maintainance

For propane-powered generators, you won’t need to do some types of maintenance that are required for generators that operate on gasoline and diesel.

Your engine and exhaust need to be periodically cleaned since gasoline and diesel leave carbon deposits there.

Additionally, these fuels create residue in fuel pipes and other system components, increasing maintenance.

Since propane has none of these negative effects on engines, maintaining generators powered by propane is simpler (though not always less expensive).

Spill Free

Compared to gasoline and diesel fuel, which have storage containers without valves, propane tanks include safety valves, making them significantly less likely to leak.

While most gasoline and diesel storage containers do not retain fumes, the safety valves in the tanks do. Diesel has less evaporation than gasoline, which is significantly more volatile.

You risk losing a significant amount of gasoline if you let it spill out of its container due to evaporation.

There is no risk present even if your gas leaks from its tank. Propane is a “green” fuel when left unburned.

In contrast to gasoline and diesel, it doesn’t harm the environment.

Cold Weather

Colder temperatures cause gasoline and diesel to become more viscous, which makes them more challenging to use.

Winter conditions make it particularly difficult for diesel engines to start since they need to operate at specific temperatures to function properly.

“Wet stacking,” a condition that affects diesel engines while operating at suboptimal temperatures, can harm the engine and reduce performance.

However, propane doesn’t have these temperature-related issues.

Therefore, it makes sense for people living in places with extremely harsh winters to choose it for emergency power.

No Pipes Have Cracks.

Since the beginning, every justification has contrasted propane to diesel and gasoline. Natural gas is still unmentioned.

Propane and natural gas are comparable in many ways, including performance, safety, and emission levels.

However, one benefit of propane is its accessibility.

Unlike natural gas, which is distributed to homes and businesses through conduits, propane is kept in tanks.

Your generator won’t have fuel if these gas pipelines are damaged during a storm.

Natural gas is frequently inaccessible in rural locations, leaving only propane, LPG, diesel, and gasoline as fuel sources.

Energy

Propane offers over two times as much energy per cubic foot than natural gas.

Approximately 1,040 BTUs are provided by natural gas per cubic foot, compared to 2,490 BTUs by propane.

This implies that you’ll consume over two times as much natural gas as propane in the same amount of time.

That does not mean that propane is less expensive than natural gas.

Costs are higher. However, propane is a superior option because it can sustain you longer if running out of fuel is an issue.

Cons

The Fuel Requires A Tank

As was already noted, propane comes in tanks, so you will need to build piping connecting your new generator and the propane tank. Otherwise, you will just need to top out the fuel tank in your generator as needed.

To make sure that everything is done perfectly and nothing is missed, you will probably need to employ a professional to complete this task for you.

Less Effective Than Opposite Fuels

Although propane fuel has several evident advantages, it is less effective than other fuels.

Since propane will probably burn through considerably more quickly than gasoline, you’ll need to have a big sufficient tank for keeping your generator going in the event of a power outage.

Some generator owners may be put off by propane’s poor energy density.

Engine’s Lifespan

Regrettably, propane generators are recognized for needing more care than other options.

Even if you keep a propane generator well-maintained, you will probably need to replace it much more frequently than, say, a diesel generator. For those who are concerned about it failing when they require it most, this is a worry.

Distance To Get Tanks

Propane is less widely available than gasoline and diesel, and propane purchased from a specialized propane supplier is more expensive than propane stored in gas station tanks.

If you can’t get it delivered to your home, you’ll have to go far to reach these suppliers because they are frequently found outside of cities.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Propane Generator

Size

The physical size of the generator is one of the most important elements to consider when selecting the best propane generator for your house.

Your propane generator will need to be close to your home whether you have a little yard or several acres of property. So the size probably counts.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mandates a space of five feet around all residential openings, including windows and doors.

Smaller home generators may be permitted up to 18 inches from an outside wall following NFPA requirements.

However, you should always verify your local regulations since some may deviate from the NFPA guidelines.

Portability

Propane generators are commonly used as temporary power sources for lodging, structures, and entertainment.

They are excellent for use in rural locations with limited connectivity to the electrical grid or for usage off the grid.

They are only safe to use when at least 20 feet away from any exterior structures as a result of the pollutants that they create.

The majority have huge handles, wheels, or other characteristics to make them mobile because of this.

Consumption Of Fuel

To avoid running out of fuel when you need it most, you must be aware of the quantity of propane your generator will consume.

Making a fuel budget and planning will help you have adequate gasoline on hand in case of a catastrophe or emergency.

For instance, depending on the load, propane generators generally use 1.5 to 3 gallons per hour.

For eight to ten hours, a 20-gallon tank will provide backup power.

Requirements For Power

The power requirements of your house and your most vital major appliances are one of the most crucial factors to consider when buying a propane generator.

Electric water heaters, portable space heaters, medical equipment, sump or well pumps, air conditioning, and, if you live in a cold climate, sump or well pumps will likely have the biggest power consumption and be the most crucial appliances after an outage.

Many times, the makers of propane generators include an online wattage calculator that you may use to tally up all of your most important items and pick the best propane generator for your home.

You may sum up the “starting watts” given on the wattage rating labels of your most important appliances to get this figure on your own.

If the “starting watts” for your appliance are not listed, multiply the “running watts” by three. Once you’ve calculated the total beginning watts, multiply it by 1.5 to ensure there is a sufficient margin of safety.

Most propane standby or backup generators will be offered with an output of 9,000 to 20,000 watts since the usual minimum wattage for important appliances in small to medium-sized U.S. houses is 5,000 to 7,500.

Sound Level

The amount of noise the engine makes when it is producing electricity is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a propane generator. Since these generators are situated just outside of your home, you should choose a quieter model.

Although the precise noise level can vary depending on how much power the engine is producing, the majority of the generators on this list average between 60 and 70 dbA.

Since you might not want the noise immediately outside a bedroom or office window, where you put a propane generator outside your house is also crucial.

As a point of comparison, a typical conversation is around 60 dbA, whilst a vacuum cleaner emits between 70 and 80 dbA.

Safety And Exhaust

If you want to power your home affordably and sustainably, think about getting a propane generator.

You may use propane in your yard or at the campground with less concern for odors and air quality because it is a clean-burning fuel that creates far fewer particles and pollutants than gasoline.

However, you should never use a propane generator inside of a tiny, confined place since the exhaust can quickly build up with carbon monoxide. Remember that before starting to use your generator this season.

If the right safety measures aren’t done, any generator might be fatal.

Specifications Of The Best Propane Generators

ProductsWeightProduct’s DimesionOutput WattageTank Volume/RuntimeManufacturer
Champion Power Equipment 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator 119 Pounds26.3″L x 22.9″W x 24.8″H3800 watts3.4 Gallons/10.5 hoursChampion Power Equipment
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator109 Pounds23.2″L x 17.5″W x 18.5″H4650 Watts4 Gallons/14 hoursWestinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment
DuroMax XP5500EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator124 Pounds25″L x 22″W x 22″H5500 Watts4 Gallons/ N/ADuroMax
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 234 Pounds30″L x 29″W x 26″H13000 WattsN/A/13 hoursDuroMax
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Portable Generator199.6 poundsProduct’s Dimension‎12500 Watts6.6 Gallons/12 hours‎Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment

5
Champion Power Equipment 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Champion Power Equipment 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Amazon

Ranking as the 5th best in this list of the best propane generator is the Champion Power Equipment 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator.

This 3800-watt portable generator can be used right out of the box with either gasoline or propane, and it includes a low oil shut-off sensor and a 0.6-quart oil capacity.

Utilize the convenient toggle switch and the included batteries to start the 224cc Champion engine. To simply manage maintenance intervals and monitor power production, keep note of voltage, hertz, and run-time hours.

Two 120V 20A residential outlets (5-20R), one 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R), and one 120V 30A RV outlet (TT-30R) are provided. Further, you can rely on Volt Guard’s integrated surge protector to stop overloads.

This RV from Champion runs at 3800 watts With Dual Fuel. Even more, the 224cc engine of the ready generator with an electric start may run using either gas or propane.

Although it is a little noisier than some other generators, many customers praised it for performing well.

It offers up to 9 hours of operating time on gasoline or 10.5 hours on propane and has Intelligauge, Volt Guard, and Cold Start Technology. 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical assistance from qualified professionals included.

This Champion product is less expensive compared to other dual-fuel generators whilst still providing peak power production, yet it may not be as inexpensive as comparable gas-only ones.

There is also a button for switching between fuel sources and a digital gauge that shows the user the quantity of load the generator is supporting. This generator runs at 68 decibels and weighs 119 pounds.

Pros

  • Especially flexible for a device of its price.
  • For precise readings of a user’s energy use, utilize a digital fuel gauge.
  • Also, it comes with three different types of outlets, including two residential outlets and one RV outlet.
  • Lastly, this generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Con

  • Compared to other units, it produces less power, which could not be sufficient for some users.

4
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Image from amazon

The 4th best in this list of the best propane generators is the Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator.

Whether you’re inside your house or on the move, the robust WGen3600DF portable generator from Westinghouse will provide you with consistent power whenever you need it most.

This generator’s dual-fuel capability provides flexibility by allowing it to run on either gas or propane (LPG). It has an internal fuel gauge and can operate for a maximum of fourteen hours on a 4-gal.

Also, it features a 15 L gas tank while producing up to 4, 650 peak watts and 3, 600 operating watts when using gasoline.

The 212cc Westinghouse OHV engine of the WGen3600DF is constructed with a cast iron sleeve for durability, and it has safety features including overload prevention, automatic low oil shutdown, and GFCI outlets to assure lifespan.

The WGen3600DF maintains the air conditioner and any other travel requirements running all day thanks to its RV Ready TT-30R 30A outlet that can easily plug up into your vacation trailer.

It has a Push-Button Electric Start that works in conjunction with a wireless remote control key fob for simple ignition and is built with an extensible handle and tough, never-flat wheels for convenient mobility.

The WGen3600DF comes with a 3-Year limited warranty on labor and parts as well as lifetime technical assistance from their network of customer care and support centers located all around the country.

Pros

  • Its strong construction can endure harsher conditions or remote locations.
  • Up to a 14-hour runtime makes it ideal for RVing, hiking, and camping vacations.
  • This generator’s wheels and lightweight features make it simple to carry or move about.

Con

  • It has to be put together, which is not recommended for beginners and could need expert assistance.

3
DuroMax XP5500EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

DuroMax XP5500EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
www.amazon.com

The 3rd best in this list of the best propane generator is the DuroMax XP5500EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator.

This unit can handle big loads, ranging from lighting and fridges to an apartment’s air conditioner and high amperage power tools, with 5,500 beginning watts and 4,500 operating watts.

You have the option and flexibility to choose the fuel type for this generator because it operates on either gas or propane.
The DuroMax 224cc OHV engine is a powerhouse that has the power to perform a variety of tasks, including running heavy-duty power equipment and high-voltage appliances.

Get the most power possible out of each 120-volt outlet. Select whether to run the generator at full power at 120V or maximum power at both 120V and 240V at the same time. Perfect for use with RVs.

For optimal compatibility with your applications, the power panel comes with a variety of outlets, including (2) 120V home GFCI outlets and (1) 120/240V 30A twist lock outlets. A voltage gauge and 12V DC charging ports for external batteries are also included on the panel.

This sturdy piece works well on the working site and is portable for camping or picnics. The XP5500EH is powerful and will keep you fueled at home, when traveling in an RV, or while at work.

Its noise level, which is comparable to a vacuum cleaner at 69 decibels, is within the range of a typical generator.

Pros

  • Numerous uses and applications are compatible with variable voltage settings.
  • Twist-lock and conventional outlets are featured in 3 outlets to offer a variety of alternatives.
  • Built-in voltmeter for tracking power outputs and gathering extra operational data.

Cons

  • This generator has a slight learning curve and some users have experienced problems starting it.

2
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Amazon image

The 2nd best in this list of the best propane generators is the DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator.

The ability and versatility of fuel choice are made possible by the capacity to run on either gasoline or propane.

With a beginning wattage of 13,000 and a continuous wattage of 10,500, this device can manage huge loads from high-amperage electrical devices.

For optimal compatibility with your applications, the power panel comes with a variety of outlets, including 2 120V 20A home outlets, 1 120/240V 50A heavy-duty outlet, 1 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet, and 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet.

The XP13000EH is EPA and CARB authorized for usage in all 50 states, just like all other DuroMax generators are.

All DuroMax generators adhere to stringent requirements to make sure they are as ecologically friendly as possible and have received approval from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board).

This huge generator is rather noisy, producing noise that is comparable to a lawnmower engine at 74 decibels, even though it can run for a maximum of thirteen hours on a full propane tank.

It’s one of the heavyweight generators on the market at 234 pounds, but it does include wheels for easy movement.

Pros

  • Suitable for large power requirements; capable of handling many heavy loads.
  • Standard, twist-lock, and heavy-duty socket types can all be used with the 5 provided outlets.
  • The model is more portable or may be transferred when needed thanks to built-in wheels.

Cons

  • Massive in weight; even with wheels, moving it might be difficult.
  • Noisier compared to other comparable generators; unsuitable for dense urban areas.

1
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Portable Generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Portable Generator
amazon.com

The overall best propane generator in this list of the best propane generator is the Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Portable Generator.

Westinghouse is a generator brand that is mostly recognized for industrial choices that, due to their power rating, are excellent for heavy-duty applications.

A dual-fuel transportable generator, the Westinghouse WGen9500DF can run on either gas or propane. On this list, it has one of the greatest power output ratings.

It is rated for 12500 peaks and 9500 operating watts when driven by gas. It is rated for 11200 watts peak and 8500 watts operating on propane.

Powered by a powerful 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV engine with a long-lasting cast iron sleeve, automatic shutdown for low oil, and a digital hour meter.

VFT displays provide updates on voltage output, frequency, and lifespan hours in real-time.

Provided in the box are a Remote Start Key Fob, a 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Going Right Away (Minimum Assembly Required).

All Westinghouse portable generators have undergone functional testing at the manufacturing facility, are EPA and CARB compliant, and are backed by a 3-year limited service, labor, and parts warranty with a nationwide customer service network.

Pros

  • 457-cc heavy-duty 4-stroke engine with a robust cast-iron sleeve.
  • This generator has a maximum operating time of 12 hours on gasoline and 7 hours on propane.
  • For usage on construction sites or in homes, heavy-duty lift brackets, handles, and never-flat wheels.

Con

  • Various users have noted various manufacturing and construction flaws.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a propane only generator?

For a variety of reasons, propane generators are becoming increasingly popular. Unlike gas and diesel generators, propane generators run on an efficient, clean-burning fuel that is both renewable and cost-effective.

2. Are propane portable generators good?

Propane is an environmentally friendly fuel. Reduced emissions are not only healthier for the environment and local air quality, but propane generators usually require less maintenance, resulting in greater dependability and longer life.

3. What is the disadvantage of propane generator?

(a) Inefficient compared to alternative fuels: While propane fuel has clear advantages, it is less efficient than other fuel sources. You will most certainly burn through propane significantly faster, requiring a large enough tank to keep your generator going during a power outage. Some generator owners are put off by propane’s poor energy density.

(b) Unfortunately, propane generators are recognized for requiring more care than other choices, and even if you keep it properly maintained, you will likely need to replace a propane generator much sooner than, say, a diesel generator. This is an issue for individuals who are concerned about it failing when they need it

4. How long will a propane generator run?

Propane – This clean-burning fuel source has an infinite shelf life and is safer than gasoline, with a runtime of 150 to 200 hours.

5. How much fuel does a propane generator use per hour?

A 22-kW generator would consume around two gallons per hour (gph) at a 50% electrical load and 3.6 gph at full load, according to Generac, a top generator manufacturer. At half-load, a bigger 38-kW unit would consume three gallons of propane per hour, and at full load, 5.4 gph.

Best Propane Generators: My Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, while propane is less costly than gas, it provides fewer BTUs per gallon.

Furthermore, propane tanks are more difficult to fill than gas stations (though they may be purchased at many gas stations at a premium price).

The fact that propane is a clean fuel (better for the environment as well as your generator) and the fact that you won’t need to travel to a gas station to fill her up are some benefits of propane generator enthusiasts staying with them.

In addition to requiring less maintenance on generators and not having an expiration date like gasoline and diesel, propane is spill-free.

Additionally, propane is far more reliable than gas or diesel in colder climates, so you’ll never be concerned about being unable to start your generator.

A propane generator enables you to produce power using propane gas, making them very useful for use in isolated locations. If necessary, you may even utilize these generators for heavy-duty and industrial purposes.

As a result, we have included the top propane generators in this post along with some of their key attributes and features.

If that is still insufficient for you, this article also includes a thorough purchase guide.

This buying guide will walk you through the many propane generator-related issues you should be aware of before making a purchase.

However, if you’re still unsure, you might want to take my advice and purchase one of the generators that I specifically chose as the best – “Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Portable Generator”.

If you found the review helpful, kindly review this buying guide with the “Leave a Reply” form at the end of this page.

For more buying guides like this, please visit our Generator page. You may also find our Electrical Tools Explain page very helpful.

Further Readings

What Is A Steam Generator

How To Install A Transfer Switch For A Generator

What Is An Inverter Generator:

Akin-Ojo Victor
Akin-Ojo Victor
Victor Akin-Ojo is the founder and the Lead Editor of PowerVersity.com. Before starting PowerVersity.com, Victor worked in the IT industry for nearly 15 years as Field Support Engineer for VSAT, Networking, and Wimax Technologies. He also work in the power sector for close to 10 years. He currently run a blog - powerversity.com, where he share his knowledge on Alternative Energy Solutions.

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