Everything You Need To Know About Tri-Fuel Generators

Everything You Need To Know About Tri-Fuel Generators

Nearly every powered item we own runs on electricity, and we tend to use a lot of it in our daily lives. Unfortunately, whether you’re in the middle of traveling or you experience frequent blackouts in your area, you won’t always have access to the electricity you need. It’s in these cases where you’ll need a reliable backup plan to power your essentials and maintain your safety. Tri-fuel generators were specially designed with this very aspect in mind. Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about tri-fuel generators and what to consider when looking to purchase one for yourself.

What Is a Tri-Fuel Generator?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand what a tri-fuel, or triple-fuel, generator is. Like their name would suggest, tri-fuel generator models can operate using up to three different types of fuel alternative to electricity. So, should the power go out suddenly or you want to go camping in the backcountry, you’ll still have the means to generate energy for your appliances. Note that they can only use one type of fuel at a given time, but you don’t need to make any mechanical adjustments to switch to a different variety. Additionally, nearly all tri-fuel generators are portable models, and you can take them with you wherever needed as long as they suit the required weight and wattage guidelines.

The Advantages and Disadvantages

Before you commit to purchasing one, it’s also vital that you have a basic rundown of the benefits and drawbacks of tri-fuel generators. Like all generator products, these models have certain situations and conditions that they’re more suited for than others. As such, you’ll want to make sure that the advantages of owning one outweigh the potential disadvantages. Here’s what you need to know.

One of the core advantages of using a tri-fuel generator is that they’re incredibly flexible. They provide ample freedom to go where you want, without needing to worry about how you’ll get power. Their different fuel sources are also very easy to acquire and cost effective, as they’re available at nearby gas stations and general stores. As such, you’ll be able to stock up on your fuel of choice and save money on powering your generator long-term.

There are a couple downsides to consider as well, however. For one, while you’ll save money overall, tri-fuel generators are more expensive with the initial purchase. Because of their versatility, they can cost easily above a thousand dollars, whereas standard single fuel or dual-fuel models average in the low to mid hundreds. So, it’s crucial that you’re prepared to pay this much if you’re set on a tri-fuel model.

Different Types of Compatible Fuel

It’s also essential that we cover the potential fuel alternatives in this guide to everything you need to know about tri-fuel generators. After all, what’s the use in owning one, if you don’t know what you can use with it? In general, tri-fuel models run on either gasoline, propane, or natural gas. Like mentioned previously, they can’t accommodate a mixture of these substances at one time, but you can switch from one to another without making any strenuous mechanical adjustments. Still, they’re each a bit unique in how you acquire and use them. Here’s a little more about each fuel type in detail:

Gasoline

Since you can purchase gallons of gasoline from any gas station, it’s by far the most efficient type of fuel to acquire for your generator. As such, it also increases the portability of your model when you’re out on a weekend camping trip. Running your tri-fuel generator with gasoline is less strenuous on the engine too, making for a reduced amount of required maintenance. Still, this substance is highly flammable, and you’ll need to store and handle it with care.

Propane

Propane is another easy option, as you can purchase these canisters from any local hardware store or propane supplier. However, this resource can be a bit more expensive, and you’ll need to account for the pressurization of each canister. If the pressure is too high when you connect it, you risk damaging your generator’s low-pressure regulator. Even so, propane lasts much longer than gasoline in storage, and these canisters are easier to pinpoint in the darkness of a power outage.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a bit trickier to work with than the other two, but not impossible if you have the proper setup. Unlike with the other two fuel types, utilizing natural gas keeps your generator stationary. This is because you’ll need to connect it to your home or building’s natural gas line. But natural gas is the cleanest fuel alternative for the environment, and it automatically runs well with the low-pressure supply from your pipes. It also makes refueling unnecessary since you’ll draw directly from the home.

Noteworthy Features To Consider

In addition to the different types of fuel available to you when using a tri-fuel generator, there are also other features to keep in mind when looking to buy one. These are some essential components to consider if you want to maintain your machine and maximize safety.

Electric Start

One of the first features to look for is electric start. The electric start button allows you to activate your generator without needing to pull an engine cable. Not only does this save on labor, but it also decreases the risk of damage during the startup process.

Automatic CO Shut-Off

You’ll want an automatic CO shut-off feature to maintain safety near your running generator. As your generator burns fuel, it creates carbon monoxide that can build up in an enclosed space. This chemical is incredibly dangerous for individuals to breathe, and, therefore, it’s crucial that you’re able to shut your machine down in time. The automatic CO shut-off feature does this by detecting how much CO is in the space around it and turning off your generator when the level climbs too high.

Transfer Switch

Keep an eye out for models with a transfer switch as well. This feature allows you to connect your generator directly to your home’s circuit via a single cable. As such, you won’t need to use extension cords, which can easily overload your wiring and start a fire.

If you’re in the market for a quality tri-fuel portable generator for your residence or camping vehicle, Our Generators has the perfect selection for you. Acquired from several top brands including Firman, DuroStar, and Champion, these products have peak performance capabilities and can accommodate your needs wherever you are. Whether you’re in need of a smaller generator or something more powerful, contact us today and we can find the perfect model for you!

Everything You Need To Know About Tri-Fuel Generators