How to Hook Up a Barbecue Grill to Natural Gas

Written by david elliott
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How to Hook Up a Barbecue Grill to Natural Gas
Garden barbecue grill (Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images)

A garden barbecue grill normally comes with a tank underneath to store the gas, and you have to remember to keep filling it to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of a cooking session. Hooking up the grill to your home's natural gas supply is an ideal solution, and will save you money on energy bills. Just turn the gas supply on and off as required. Most homes are not connected to a propane tank, which you would simply connect directly to the unit, but with a few basic tools you can tap straight in to the natural gas supply.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Pipe joint compound
  • Pipe wrench
  • Pipe cutter
  • Tee pipe with shut-off
  • Flexible gas pipe with fitted flare nuts
  • Gas pipe shut-off
  • Screwdriver
  • Knife
  • Standard drill with drill bits
  • 5-foot rubber gas line with threaded ends

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    Tap in to the gas pipe

  1. 1

    Shut off the gas at the meter.

  2. 2

    Position the tee pipe on the gas pipe about a foot away from the meter. Make a mark with the knife on the gas pipe at each end of the tee pipe to identify the section of gas pipe to cut out. Use a pipe wrench to loosen the nuts at either end of the section of gas pipe that will contain the tee pipe and remove it.

  3. 3

    Use the pipe cutter to cut out the section you marked previously. Get the cut ends of the removed section threaded at a hardware store to match the thread on the tee pipe.

  4. 4

    Apply pipe joint compound to the threads on the tee pipe and the gas pipe. Screw in the tee pipe using its threaded brass fittings. Tighten the fittings with the wrench.

  5. 5

    Apply pipe joint compound to the threads at each end of the section of gas pipe containing the tee pipe. Screw it into its former position and tighten the nuts at each end with the wrench.

  6. 6

    Apply pipe joint compound to the inside of the flare fitting on the open channel of the tee pipe. Insert the flexible pipe into the flare fitting. Tighten the nut with the pipe wrench.

  7. 7

    Run the flexible pipe to where the grill sits. Apply pipe joint compound to the thread at one end of the pipe shut-off. Screw this end into the end of the flexible pipe nearest the grill and tighten the nut with the wrench.

  8. 8

    Close the shut-off by making the switch perpendicular to the pipe. Turn the gas supply back on at the meter.

  9. 9

    Check for any leaks using soapy water applied to all the new joints you made. Bubbling indicates a leak. Take the joint apart and clean it thoroughly, applying fresh pipe joint compound before making the join again.

    Convert the grill

  1. 1

    Remove the regulator, which controls propane pressure, from the grill. Unscrew it from its supports and cut the short hose that connects it to the burner.

  2. 2

    Use a screwdriver to remove the front panel of the grill with the control knob assembly to access the burner orifices.

  3. 3

    Enlarge the burner orifices with a 1/16-inch drill bit. Start the drill and gently pierce each burner orifice to a depth of approximately 5mm, to widen the channel.

    Connect the grill to the home's natural gas supply

  1. 1

    Apply pipe joint compound to the thread at one end of the rubber gas line. Screw it into the shut-off on the flexible gas pipe you ran from the house.

  2. 2

    Apply pipe joint compound to the other end of the rubber gas line. Screw it into the grill's gas line connection. Tighten the two nuts with the wrench.

  3. 3

    Replace the control knob assembly, open the shut-off and light the burner.

  4. 4

    If the flame is too low, turn off the gas using the shut-off, remove the control knob assembly, and drill wider holes in the burner orifices. Repeat Step 2 to check the flame again.

Tips and warnings

  • Try a 3/32-inch drill bit on the burner orifices for a stronger flame. A dryer gas line will do instead of a black rubber gas line should you not have one handy. Use dish soap and water in a 3:2 ratio in a spray bottle to check for leaks. Apply pipe joint compound with the dobber that usually comes with it.
  • Check each new connection for leaks as you go. Check all connections for leaks again before lighting the burner.
  • Have a pail of water and heat-resistant gloves available in case of accidents.

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