Top 10 Steps: How To Install Dual Fuel Portable Generator?

A generator can be the difference between sitting in your house without power for a week or having hot water and lights during natural disasters.  However, if you are unsure about any part of the generator installation, stop installing and consult a professional immediately.

Although installing a Dual Fuel Portable Generator can seem like a daunting task, it’s actually not difficult to do. Once, you have the transfer switch installed, it is actually a quick job to complete. However, you need to ensure that you have the dangerous portion of the job completed correctly so that nobody is injured trying to get the connections hooked up.

You will need the following tools in order to perform the steps  of Dual Fuel Portable Generator:

  • Multimeter (to measure voltage and electrical current)
  • Frequency Meter (Maybe a part of your multimeter)
  • Manometer (Measures fuel pressure)
  • Torque Wrench
  • Wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Socket Wrenches
  • Nut Drivers
  • Pliers
  • Safety Glasses
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Hole Saw Bit

In this ten-step article, we will walk you through the correct way to install a dual fuel portable generators at your home to ensure that you don’t have to live without electricity during a natural disaster. For the sake of this article, we are presuming that your dual power generator is one that uses petrol (gasoline) and liquid propane gas to power.

If you have a diesel-powered or otherwise powered generator, please consult your owners manual for any guidelines on how to install and operate their dual-powered generator. If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup.

All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

1. Start with a stable, well-drained area that doesn’t flood.

You want to ensure that your generator isn’t going to end up in standing water. If you know that the area floods, you’ll want to install a concrete pad and ensure that you also dig proper drainage channels around the pad. You don’t want to end up with your generator in a standing puddle of water, as it will increase the chance to be electrocuted, or cause other hazards.

2. Ensure there is adequate room around your generator to perform work.

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

After you check with your HOA about generator regulations or other community restrictions that apply to your home, you want to be sure that there is plenty of room around your generator to perform work, hook up the generator, and adequate airflow for the exhaust.

You should have at least 18″ of clearance from the generator to the house. There needs to be 60″ of clearance from the generator to any doors or windows. There needs to be at least 36″ of clearance in front of the generator to perform any hookups and service to the generator. This is the absolute minimum amount of clearance that you should have to the generator.

3. Prepare by building a slab or installing pea gravel.

Before building a slab, or installing the pea gravel to put the generator on top of, ensure that you are near both the natural gas line and the electric meter. Once you ensure that you are near the meter and gas line, either build a concrete slab to sit the generator on top of or install pea gravel with adequate drainage to sit the generator on top of. You want to be certain that your generator has a firm, dry foundation to sit atop of.

4. Place the generator on top of the slab, anchor down.

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

Once you have the generator placed on the slab or the pea gravel, check all of your measurements to ensure that you have adequate clearance, as we discussed in point 2.

Once you have remeasured to ensure that there is proper clearance, again verify that you have access to both the electric meter and the natural gas lines so that the generator can be connected. Using the guidelines that come with the generator manufacturers owners manual, anchor your generator to the concrete slab.

5. Have the fuel pipeline and regulator installed by the fuel supplier?

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

Have your natural gas supplier install a fuel pipeline and a fuel regulator at the location of your generator. Also, have a manual shutoff valve and rigid gas pipeline installed so that you can safely hook the gas to the generator. You do not want to hook the generator to a natural gas supply line without a manual shutoff valve in case of an emergency.

6. Install the transfer switch and the power supply box.

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

A transfer switch is used to sense where power is coming from. It also is the brain that says when it is necessary to switch to power coming from the generator. Although you can hook a generator up to your home without a transfer switch, it is dangerous and can result in fires and electrocution. Do not hook a generator to your home without using a transfer switch.

There are three main types of transfer switches. They are automatic, manual transfer, and breaker interlock panel.

Install the transfer switch inside your home, directly next to your main breaker panel. The power supply box is installed outside of your home where the generator will connect to it. Then, the power supply box is wired to the transfer switch.

There are meter mounted transfer switches, Generlink, that must be installed by your electrical utility company. In addition, they are approved and provided by your electrical utility company.

Once you are ready to install your generator, you can contact your utility company to see if they offer the Generlink meter mounted transfer switches and what their approval and installation procedure contains.

7.Wire the essential components from the main panel to the transfer switch.

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

Any item that you want to continue running via the generator needs to be wired to the transfer switch. Water heater, stove, refrigerator, all of the essential components of your home that you want to continue running even though a power outage needs to be wired to the transfer switch from the main panel.

What is important at this time is to look at the number of watts that your generator can put out, and the number of watts necessary to start the appliances that you want to power with your generator. For example, a refrigerator may require 1100 watts to start, then 800 watts to run after the initial startup.

However, when you are measuring the wattage for your generator load, you want to add up the starting watts of everything that you want to power from your generator. If you do not calculate for the starting watts, you will end up overloading your generator, and it will not continue to run.

8. Install engine battery, install and connect the fuel supply

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

Install the engine battery per the owner’s manual instructions. Install and connect the fuel supply lines. Connect the natural gas to the generator per the owner’s manual instructions. Connect the generator to the power supply box on the outside of your home.

9. Add coolant.

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

Add coolant to the generator per the owner’s manual provided by the manufacturer. Do not operate the generator without adding coolant to the unit. While you are adding the coolant to the generator, ensure that it has engine oil and that all fluid levels are at the manufacturer’s suggested level.

10. Test the operation.

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

Once all of the connections have been checked, and the coolant has been added to the generator, it is time to power up the unit and ensure that everything is properly functioning.

First, switch power systems by flipping the utility main off at the main panel. Flip on the generator’s main breaker switch. Slowly flip the breakers on one by one. If everything powers up without a problem and the generator continues to run, you have successfully tested the unit.

In order to go back to the utility power, you flip the breakers off slowly, one at a time. Then, flip the main breaker switch for the generator off. Flip the main panel utility main breaker to the on position. Then, flip the breakers on slowly, one at a time and ensure that everything is receiving power and operating as it should be.

Everything in your home should be back on utility power at this point, and there should be no surges and no appliances that aren’t operating as they were before the installation and test of the generator occurring.

If everything has gone without a hitch while testing, you should be ready to power your home via generator in the event that the power is out in your house.

When you have a generator in place ready to power your home, it is absolutely essential to test the generator weekly in order to ensure that all of the connections are still properly in place and that there are no hazards or electrocution concerns if you should lose power and the generator kicks on to recover the power to your home.

In the event that your power isn’t restored fully, or there are any issues that are not fully resolved at the time of the power transfer, consult a professional electrician immediately in order to resolve any electrical issues.

If you are unsure about any portion of these steps, please hire a professional to do the hookup. All of the information in the next few steps is to help you connect power and fuel. These steps can result in serious injury and electrocution if performed incorrectly.

Leave a Comment