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Alternative Fuels

Are you interested in a generator model which burns an alternative fuel - diesel, or natural gas, or that burns a variety of fuels depending on which is available in an emergency? Then read on.

Anybody with a lawn mower realizes the disadvantages of a gasoline engine. Gas-burning engines are relatively inefficient, and require frequent maintenance. Gasoline can be difficult to store for emergency use because of its bulk and abbreviated shelf life. For somebody considering an electric generator, there is the added disadvantage that pump-gas supplies may be interrupted in an emergency or blackout.

If you are concerned about the inconveniences of relying on standard pump gas, alternatives do exist.


You may want to consider a generator model that employs diesel. Diesel, like pump gas, is easy to obtain. Here are some more of its advantages:

A] A superior shelf life to gasoline. You can expect, without additives, that diesel fuel will outlast pump gas by from 6 - 12 months.

B] Diesel is among the safest fuels to store; because it requires a higher temperature to ignite, it is far less flammable than gasoline.

C] Diesel-burning engines wear better. Expect them to last from 12,000 to 30,000 hours before major maintenance or replacement is required, versus from 6,000 to 10,000 hours for a comparable gasoline engine.

D] Diesel motors are built for long hauls. Just consider the 18-wheel tractors you pass on the interstate. They rack up hundreds of thousands of miles and often run for hours or days pulling maximum loads without a significant rest. And they can do this without breakdown or fatigue. The same hard-working durability can be expected from a diesel generator. In an emergency which extends for days or even weeks, a diesel generator will out-perform any model which burns gas or some alternative fuel - hands down!

E] Maintenance costs are lower for diesels. Fewer moving parts, and less-complicated engine designs mean greater reliability and, when maintenance is required, less-costly repairs.

F] They are cheaper to operate. Though the costs of the fuels themselves are similar, after accounting for engine repairs and maintenance, plus the amount of use the motor will provide in its lifetime, expect diesels to cost from 30 - 50% less per gallon of fuel burned than gasoline engines.

There are also disadvantages to diesels. Some of these are:

A] Like gasoline, diesel fuel is bulky, and can therefore be inconvenient to store in large quantities.

B] Also like gasoline, the supply of diesel fuel may be reduced or cut off in an emergency or blackout.

C] While its high ignition temperature makes diesel fuel safe to store, it can also make engine starting difficult. This is especially true in chilly temperatures.

D] Modern diesels run far cleaner than their predecessors, but don't expect diesel-burning engines to be as clean to operate as their gasoline cousins.


If a diesel-burning generator doesn't appeal to you, consider the flexibility of T-REX's Tri-Fuel models. Depending on the fuel you have available, these units can run on gasoline, liquid propane, or natural gas. This can be a major advantage in an emergency!

Liquid Propane

Available in tanks of many sizes, liquid propane possesses a long shelf life, and is easy to store, making it a good choice for power outages. In many areas, propane tanks can be home delivered inexpensively, adding to overall convenience. However propane is extremely flammable, leaving its tanks predisposed to dangerous explosion in a home or building fire. Propane is also as bulky to store in significant quantities as pump gas and diesel, and probably won't be usable in other home power equipment or outdoor appliances if supplies aren't consumed by an emergency generator.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is clean-burning, and can be an unlimited fuel source in an emergency or blackout. Natural gas is the one fuel which can eliminate refueling needs during a lengthy outage. However it can't be purchased at a pump like gasoline, or delivered to your home in tanks like propane. To enjoy its benefits, a generator gas line will need to be connected to your home's existing natural gas feed. This isn't a complicated procedure, but it will require a licensed contractor.* Be aware that in rare emergency situations, if underground gas lines are fractured, natural gas may not be available to you as a fuel source.

*For several reasons, T-REX recommends that you hire a licensed contractor to install your generator gas line. A contractor will be familiar with area building codes and regulations, and understand how to comply with these, important when it comes time to sell your home. In addition, failing to meet building codes can invalidate a homeowner's insurance policy in the event of property damage or serious injury.

BRAND MODEL Running Watts Max Watts Price Engine
Winco HPS6000HE Tri-Fuel 5500 6000 $ 1798.00 Honda
Winco HPS9000VE Tri-Fuel 8000 9000 $ 2390.00 Briggs
Winco HPS12000HE Tri-Fuel 108000 12000 $ 3274.00 Honda
Winco W6010DEX Diesel 5500 6000 $ 3699.00 Hatz
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Asco 185-100A-1Ph-Open Transition ATS-NEMA 1

Asco 185-100A-1Ph-Open Transition ATS-NEMA 1

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T-Rex Generators distributes products from many different standby and portable generator manufacturers at substantially discounted prices. These represented companies include: Asco automatic transfer switches, Briggs & Stratton generators, Winco generators, Generac Generators, GenTran transfer switches, Reliance Controls Transfer Switches, and Zenith automatic transfer switches. T-Rex also carries Honda powered generators which have the same time-tested Honda engines as the substantially more expensive Honda generator brand units.