What is a Tri Fuel Source Generator?

What is a Tri Fuel Source Generator? Quick Guide

4 Min Read

The decision to invest in a backup generator is always a smart one.

Natural disasters, inclement weather, and all kinds of man-made accidents can force you to be without power for extended amounts of time. With a backup generator, though, those issues are mitigated (if not eliminated) completely.

At the same time, though, your backup generator is only going to be as effective as your fuel source is.

If you run out of fuel your backup generator is going to go dark, too!

That’s where tri fuel source generators come into play.

What is a Tri Fuel Source Generator?

Tri fuel source generators are specifically designed to run off of three independent fuel sources – usually gasoline, propane, and natural gas.

These different fuel sources can all be used to operate the generator at 100%, allowing a user to flip between different fuel sources depending on their power needs and what they have available for fuel on hand.

Obviously, these kinds of generators are significantly more resilient than single fuel source setups.

You’ll never have to worry about running completely out of fuel if you have the option to run multiple different kinds and are able to stockpile different fuel sources for different purposes.

Pros of Tri Fuel Generators

Now that we’ve covered what is a tri fuel source generator a little bit, it’s time to dig through the benefits and advantages they bring to the table.

The biggest advantage is the fuel flexibility these generators offer.

Gasoline is probably the most readily available fuel source for a backup generator. Every gas station across the country (and around the world, even) has this fuel source readily available.

Natural gas is also relatively easy to get your hands on. It’s a very efficient and clean fuel source, though you’ll have to make sure that you are able to safely store and secure your natural gas reserves to run your generator off of.

Propane is also effortless to find. Anywhere that sells propane grills (a summertime staple across America) will inevitably sell bottles of propane, too. Propane is stable, easy to store, and a great fuel source for your backup generator – even if it’s a little bit more on the expensive side of things.

Cons of Tri Fuel Generators

On the flip side of things, there are certainly some drawbacks to using a Tri fuel generator as well.

For one thing, gasoline prices are often all over the place – even just from one week to the next. It’s not unusual for gasoline prices to skyrocket as demand skyrockets, and demand will always skyrocket in situations where you’ll want to use your backup electricity source.

Natural gas requires a professional to hook up the connection between your fuel source and your Tri fuel generator. This (somewhat) limits the amount of freedom and flexibility you have regarding where and how you deploy your Tri fuel system.

Propane has very few drawbacks, aside from the obvious extra expense of this fuel source compared to gasoline and natural gas.

At the end of the day, the other big drawback to using this kind of generator is the overall expense. It’s not unusual for these kinds of generators to cost three or four times as much as a standard single fuel source generator.

Is a Tri Fuel Generator Right for Me?

Hopefully we’ve answered “what is a tri fuel source generator” for you – now it’s time to decide whether or not this type of backup power plant is right for your specific needs.

If you want to have extra reliability out of your generator and emergency electricity system, this type of generator is certainly one way to go.

If you have multiple types of fuel around your home that you can use as backup and redundancy sources, fuel sources that may be used elsewhere (like natural gas for heating and propane for cooking) it’s not a bad idea to go with a tri fuel source generator, either.

If, on the other hand, you really don’t anticipate having to use your generator all that much – and only really want to have it as an emergency backup system used sparingly – a single fuel source generator is going to be a lot less expensive and a lot easier to maintain.

When you get right down to it, it all comes down to your needs, your budget, and how you hope to use this hardware in the future!



Brian has spent over 30 years as a general contractor, and in that time seen and faced many challenges. He brings all his knowledge of portable generators, battery powered tools, and outdoor equipment to every post he writes through real life experience. Learn more about us.

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