Appliances that run on propane -- such as stoves, grills and water heaters -- can be converted to run on natural gas. However, take extreme care with completing this task at home. Many people choose to convert barbecue grills from propane use to natural gas use. Natural gas offers a few benefits compared to propane. If your house is already supplied with natural gas, you don't need to buy cylinders of propane. Additionally, natural gas operates at a lower pressure than propane.
Check the labels or direction booklet that came with the appliance to see whether it can be converted. Many appliances explicitly say whether they can. Older appliances usually can be converted. Don't ignore any warnings or try to convert the appliance if it says it can't be converted.
Understand the principles of gas appliance conversion. Propane is supplied in a pressurised tank and is delivered to the grill under high pressure. Natural gas operates at a much lower pressure. Because of this, the orifices propane flows through to reach the ignition point are much smaller than those required for natural gas.
Contact the store that the appliance was purchased from or the manufacturer to buy the conversion orifices. The manufacturer may offer a kit with everything needed. Additionally, buy new regulators, burners and burner air shutters. These items may come in the kit. If they don't, ensure that the items you buy are for natural gas use only.
Review any instructions that come with the new products before starting. Disconnect the propane supply from the appliance and ensure that all knobs and valves are in the "Off" position. Exchange the propane orifices, regulators and burners with the new ones. Ensure that all parts are tightly secured. Connect the natural gas supply last.
Check for leaks by only turning on the gas while keeping any burners closed or off. Make a solution by mixing soap or dish liquid in water. Squirt a small amount of the soapy water around the connections on the gas line and around the orifice connections. If you see bubbles, there is a leak. Turn off the gas, tighten the connections, and try the soap water test again.
It's always best to contact a professional when dealing with potentially dangerous do-it-yourself projects. Many newer appliances aren't able to be converted to use another gas type due to the way they were designed.
Tips and warnings
- It's always best to contact a professional when dealing with potentially dangerous do-it-yourself projects. Many newer appliances aren't able to be converted to use another gas type due to the way they were designed.