You can convert natural gas to propane, but it takes several steps. When you are converting your gas grill, you must remain cautious to ensure that you do it safely and securely.
This gas grill conversion can be done at home as well, though you can also consult with a professional beforehand for further instructions on how to make the process go smoothly.
A propane gas leak could be very dangerous, so you want your grill conversion to be successful and give you plenty of power to cook food.
Propane gas is the perfect choice for a grill because it is easy to light and burns very hot, which makes it an effective stimulant for a grill as well as a quick way to cook food. You can also buy a tank of propane quite cheaply.
A 20 lb propane tank, for example, costs around $20 maximum, with refills priced at around $3 or $4 per gallon.
Converting your natural gas grill to propane will allow you to make the most of these benefits and more, especially if you are using your grill frequently.
Things To Consider When You Convert Natural Gas Grill To Propane
Check If Your Grill Supports Conversion
The first thing to be sure of before attempting to convert your grill from natural gas to propane is if the model you have actually supports conversion because not all do.
If your grill was originally designed to be fueled by natural gas then you may not be able to hook it up to a different fuel source, so it’s important to do research on your grill and even consult with a professional to be sure.
You don’t want to risk a fuel leak or damage to the grill if you attempt the conversion and the grill won’t support it.
To check if your grill supports conversion, read your owner’s manual before doing any further research online because it will give you a solid answer. Then, you can read up more about the grill and consult a professional to see how best to go about converting that particular grill.
All your research should be specific to the model that you have.
Check If The Manufacturer Has A Conversion Kit
Converting a grill to a whole new fuel source is no small job, so a conversion kit will help you out immensely.
Getting one from the manufacturer of your grill will ensure that it is compatible with the model and will convert it successfully. Conversion kits vary because different kits are made to fit specific models, so you want one that will match perfectly with the grill you have.
To find this out, simply go onto your manufacturer’s website and search for a kit, or you can enquire in-store and have a staff member give you a kit and further information about it.
It is still recommended that you consult with a professional before converting the grill even if you are using a kit because it is still a very delicate task to complete.
Shut, Remove And Replace All Gas Valves
When dealing with gas, you need to take every measure possible to ensure safety. Before shutting off the valves, open just one to allow any residual gas to leave the tank.
You should have switched off the natural gas at the main supply before doing this as well. Then, once all residual gas has been released, shut the valves and then remove them.
You need to remove the valves so that other parts of the grill, such as the tubes, can be removed as well. Retain these valves marked for use with natural gas in case you do decide to convert the grill back later on.
Then, replace these valves with some that are compatible with propane.
Check Your Grill Thoroughly For Leaks
As previously stated, gas leaks can be dangerous, so it is important to check for them before and after you convert the grill. There are two ways to check for a leak: by smell or by the soapy bubble test.
If you can still smell gas after you’ve shut it off and let out the residual gas then you most likely have a leak.
For the soapy bubble test, wet the gas valve, the regulator and the hose with liquid detergent solution. If your grill has a gas leak then soapy bubbles will form, and if it doesn’t then the grill is safe to use.
You can do this test both before and after conversion. Although many a times professionals ignore this step its highly advisable to check your valves and connections for leaks post and prior conversion.
How To Convert Natural Gas Grill To Propane
So, once you are aware of all the things to take heed of, you can move onto actually converting your gas grill from natural gas to propane.
After shutting off the gas supply, set about removing the outer panels of the BBQ to access the inner components.
In order to convert to a new fuel source, you need to remove all of the parts that are compatible with natural gas in order to replace them. These are usually the gas valves, the regulators and orifices and they will be marked for natural gas use so that you know exactly which parts to remove.
Swap them out for new gas valves, regulators and orifices that you know are compatible with propane gas use. Ensure that you tighten all the parts so that none come loose, then check for any gas leaks.
If there are any leaks then you need to tighten the parts even more. Once you are satisfied that there are no leaks, replace the outer panels and then hook up the BBQ to the propane tank to fuel it.
You should be able to start cooking with propane straight away, so make sure you have enough fuel for the BBQ.
If you are using a conversion kit then you will have all the parts that you need to convert the grill. You will have to provide your own wrenches, but otherwise the kit will help you do most of the work.
The main part that comes with the kit is the hose, which you can attach to your BBQ and the propane tank. The regulator is also key, and you simply use these parts as the replacements for the natural gas components.
Use a wrench to screw them tightly into the BBQ and then your grill will be able to run on propane gas.
Key Difference Between Propane & Natural Gas
Though a gas grill works well when fueled by either, propane and natural gas are actually quite different in their property, cost, risks and emission.
There are three key differences when you are comparing the two and the first is arguably the most important when it comes to fueling a grill.
Propane delivers much more energy than natural gas ( estimated to be approximately twice as much ) which makes it the more desirable option for cooking.
The delivery modes of the two gases differ as well. With propane gas you do, of course, need to purchase tanks and pay for the refills, so the amount of fuel and the delivery mode depends on when you purchase it.
Natural gas is the more convenient option because it is delivered through a pipeline on demand, so whenever you hook up your grill at home you will have natural gas to power it.
The third main difference between the two gases is how healthy they are for the environment.
Propane is the better environmental option because of what natural gas is made up of, which makes propane seem even more desirable considering how useful it is as well.
The benefits of converting your gas grill to run on propane rather than natural gas are explained below, so these points will be expanded upon.
Benefits Of Converting Natural Gas Grill To Propane
Though running a grill on natural gas is a great way to cook food, there are more benefits to using propane gas for the same thing.
Converting your natural gas grill to propane will make it more energy efficient and allow you to cook more quickly.
If you are planning on hosting a large BBQ then you don’t want to be stood at the grill cooking all night, so using propane will help you cook more quickly and efficiently.
If you are also looking to improve your carbon footprint then you will also prefer propane gas.
Natural gas burns clean, but propane is considered to be a green fuel because it is Eco-friendly before and after combustion, whereas natural gas is not.
This means that you will not be releasing a toxic substance into the environment if you use propane gas, especially if you use your BBQ grill often.
Natural gas contains a lot of methane, a greenhouse gas, so it isn’t an eco-friendly fuel type by comparison.
And a final benefit that you’ll definitely want to be aware of is that buying propane gas to fuel your grill is great value for money.
Natural gas tends to cost more per unit than propane does and, considering how you will burn through a unit of natural gas quicker than a unit of propane, you are actually losing money by using natural gas.
As stated earlier in the article, propane tank refills are affordable, so you will be saving money to purchase a more efficient fuel type.
The bottom of this article is that you absolutely can convert your natural gas grill to propane by completing the appropriate conversion steps.
You can do the entire conversion yourself or use a kit to make things a bit easier, but, either way, you will be able to successfully turn your natural gas grill into a more efficient, more Eco-friendly cooking appliance.
So long as you own a wrench and a propane tank, you will have everything you need to start converting your grill.
The most important thing to pay attention to is what model and brand of grill you have so that you are able to convert it safely and with the correct kit.
Then, you’ll be able to get right to using your newly converted propane grill and BBQ. To conclude, you should definitely consider converting your natural gas grill into a propane grill because there are plenty of benefits to using propane as a fuel and there are not as many steps to the conversion process as you might expect.
By following the advice given in this article, you should be able to convert your grill with little hassle.
Always read the manual and seek further advice from the manufacturer and a professional to get as much advice possible about converting your particular grill.