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Converting BBQ from propane to natural gas

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Sr. Member
Apr 9, 2007
698 posts
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Converting BBQ from propane to natural gas

I searched for this one and couldnt find an exact answer.

I have a propane barbeque that I would like to convert to natural gas. I have a gas outlet that it can be connected to. (Previous owner had it installed.) I have a propane BBQ that I would prefer to not have to replace.

What needs to be done to make it ready for natural gas?

Is it essentially only the regulator that needs to be changed? The burners can remain unchanged?

Costco sells this:
http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.asp ... =C&topnav=

Image

Description:

This universal natural gas and regulator set can be used to connect your grill to your natural gas supply line, once your grill has been converted from LP (propane gas) to NG (natural gas). When connecting to residential natural gas supply, it may be necessary to increase a 3/8 in. service to 1/2 in. This is necessary because Nexgrill supplies an upgraded 1/2 in. hose system to ensure appropriate supply of gas.

Ordering the correct regulator and hose will ensure that the proper natural gas flow and pressure are maintained for your grill. To decide whether this set is appropriate for your grill, you will need to know the total BTU output of your grill. Please refer to your grill owner’s manual for further information on how to convert your grill from propane to natural gas.

Use the universal NG hose and regulator set to convert your Kirkland Signature™ propane grill (warehouse item #138972 and #138987) to a natural gas grill or for grills with total output of 90,000 to 130,000 BTU.

The universal natural gas hose and regulator set must be installed by a qualified and licensed natural gas technician.

Kit Includes:

Natural gas hose:
CSA approved
Length: 12 ft (3.66 m)
Diameter: 0.5 in. (1.3 cm)
Natural gas regulator:
CSA approved for grills with 90,000 to 130,000 BTU
25 replies
Moderator
User avatar
Aug 22, 2003
15532 posts
957 upvotes
Niagara Falls
Hmm... I may be wrong but I thought the burner had to be changed.That's why there is a difference when buying a BBQ, it's not just the regulator...
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 24, 2006
9867 posts
577 upvotes
Calgary
CSK'sMom wrote:
Mar 31st, 2008 11:45 pm
Hmm... I may be wrong but I thought the burner had to be changed.That's why there is a difference when buying a BBQ, it's not just the regulator...
Id go along with that, I highly suggest you talk to a professional, dont play around with these gases and a lighter
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Oct 15th, 2011 7:45 pm
Banning proper use in a forum such as this simply perpetuates the problem by reinforcing the perspective that all uses of a word are negative.
KorruptioN wrote:
Oct 29th, 2010 9:11 pm
She must be better than all of us real men, at any cost. Feel like talking down to people who don't fit in her narrow-minded demographic? She's got it in spades.
Dec 31, 1969
They have some conversion kits but I don't know they seem kinda iffy. Like propane and natural gas heat up at different temperatures. So the burner and even the bbq unit would have to be stonger to withstand the new heat.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 14, 2005
651 posts
133 upvotes
Read at your own risk ...

I've done it before and here's all that I know.

Propane is higher pressure than NG. But depending on your house, your NG may be lower or higher pressure hence why some BBQ's need an additional regulator (as you have seen). You will usually know if you have an additional regulator at your water heater or furnace, then you would need one for the grill too.

The controls are generally the same for NG and propane, what needs to change is the orifice (the tip that puts gas into the burner as it mixes with air), as propane is lower pressure, it needs to have a bigger hole so it can flow more freely. The burners itself are the same. Your aim is to have the same BTU output from NG that you did with propane, making the orifice hole too big will result in higher BTU = more heat that the grill was designed for.

Also the hose would have to change, at least should be one with a quick disconnect.

If your grill is made in NG and propane versions, it's usually easier to find out what needs to be changed / sized correctly. Or otherwise, some of them have kits that have everything that is needed to change to NG.
Newbie
Mar 3, 2006
31 posts
Calgary
I did this last summer. At mine house I did not need another regulator for NG. I cut the rubber hose from my control knob just before the propane regulator. I then purchased a fuel injector king nipple to go into the hose and the other side was threaded(Canadian Tire ~$2). Brought a NG flexible stainless steel hose to connect from pipe to BBQ(Home Depot ~$20). You will also need a bushing to go from the king nipple to the hose(Canadian Tire ~$2).
You then have to take the control knob apart and take out the orifice. You will see a couple small hole in the side of it(one larger than the other). Take your drill and your next larger bit and drill out each hole. Put back together and try out. If the flames are small you need to drill the orifice holes another size bigger.
Next put a steak on the grill and never have to worry about running out of gas.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 16, 2003
2583 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
I am glad you are not my neighbor.

nscementer wrote:
Apr 1st, 2008 2:49 pm
I did this last summer. At mine house I did not need another regulator for NG. I cut the rubber hose from my control knob just before the propane regulator. I then purchased a fuel injector king nipple to go into the hose and the other side was threaded(Canadian Tire ~$2). Brought a NG flexible stainless steel hose to connect from pipe to BBQ(Home Depot ~$20). You will also need a bushing to go from the king nipple to the hose(Canadian Tire ~$2).
You then have to take the control knob apart and take out the orifice. You will see a couple small hole in the side of it(one larger than the other). Take your drill and your next larger bit and drill out each hole. Put back together and try out. If the flames are small you need to drill the orifice holes another size bigger.
Next put a steak on the grill and never have to worry about running out of gas.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
24870 posts
2458 upvotes
Ottawa
Neb wrote:
Apr 1st, 2008 3:23 pm
I am glad you are not my neighbor.
+1.

There are lots of things to mess with, safety of my house and natural gas ain't one of them.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Apr 9, 2007
698 posts
1 upvote
0
Id like to stay away from having to drill or cut anything. Its a relatively new BBQ of good quality. Im hoping to be able to replace the guts instead of getting a new nat. gas BBQ or having to stick with propane.

The post above with the DIY solution doesnt seem to be that uncommon. When I googled this question, most of the answers had DYI solutions.
Newbie
May 23, 2011
1 posts
EDMONTON
dmyvr wrote:
Apr 1st, 2008 2:54 am
Read at your own risk ...

I've done it before and here's all that I know.

Propane is higher pressure than NG. But depending on your house, your NG may be lower or higher pressure hence why some BBQ's need an additional regulator (as you have seen). You will usually know if you have an additional regulator at your water heater or furnace, then you would need one for the grill too.

The controls are generally the same for NG and propane, what needs to change is the orifice (the tip that puts gas into the burner as it mixes with air), as propane is lower pressure, it needs to have a bigger hole so it can flow more freely. The burners itself are the same. Your aim is to have the same BTU output from NG that you did with propane, making the orifice hole too big will result in higher BTU = more heat that the grill was designed for.

Also the hose would have to change, at least should be one with a quick disconnect.

If your grill is made in NG and propane versions, it's usually easier to find out what needs to be changed / sized correctly. Or otherwise, some of them have kits that have everything that is needed to change to NG.
You have this mied up: "as propane is lower pressure, it needs to have a bigger hole so it can flow more freely". I think what you meant to say was Natural Gas is at a lower pressure and hence the orfice needs to be drilled out to allow the proper mixture of gas and air to ignite and burn properly. Propane operates at a higher pressure compared to Natural Gas.
Deal Addict
Oct 22, 2002
1441 posts
104 upvotes
It's not just about pressure. The post-regulator pressure of a standard BBQ propane tank is about 11" WC and your post-regulator pressure of residential natural gas is usually between 6.5-7.5" WC.

The real difference between the two is that propane contains over twice the energy per unit volume of natural gas.

Simply put, you need to be able to deliver and burn more natural gas to produce a similar amount of heat as propane, so you'll need larger orifices.
Deal Addict
Dec 10, 2008
1650 posts
542 upvotes
Kitchener
abstract808 wrote:
May 25th, 2011 2:45 pm
It's not just about pressure. The post-regulator pressure of a standard BBQ propane tank is about 11" WC and your post-regulator pressure of residential natural gas is usually between 6.5-7.5" WC.

The real difference between the two is that propane contains over twice the energy per unit volume of natural gas.

Simply put, you need to be able to deliver and burn more natural gas to produce a similar amount of heat as propane, so you'll need larger orifices.

holy... thank you for knowing of what you speak... TSSA should knock on the doors of the houses of several people in this thread...

OP... you need to buy a conversion kit specific to your brand of bbq, including a new regulator and orifices... check your mfg's website...
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 31, 2005
3111 posts
181 upvotes
Calgary
The long and the short of it is this:

Turning Propane into NG is a totally plausible DIY job involving minimal new hardware and minor tooling skills. Turning NG to Propane involves purchasing a lot of new hardware (assuming it can even be done for your model). Not suggested unless you are really attached to your current BBQ or it was really expensive.
Member
Feb 20, 2011
259 posts
27 upvotes
DrXenon wrote:
May 26th, 2011 12:36 pm
As was said, all you have to do is change the regulator and enlarge the orifices in the burners. It is not rocket science. The mentality in this country is that you have to buy everything from the Man and hire "experts." We need to be Makers, not Consumers.

In this particular case, I know at least one manufacturer (Weber) is very reluctant to sell you a conversion kit, if they sell one at all these days, although if you know what you want you can order the parts.
Have to agree on most of this. Weber though does offer a conversion kit at least for the older Genesis models and the new Spirit model. It's basically a new manifold assembly with a 10' hose included. I think it was about $250ish when I checked a year or so ago. Burners are not changed, just the manifold assembly. The parts guy I normally deal with though referred me to an appliance place here that would drill the 3 x jets out for me for about $5 each and had the correct orifice size to btu charts. The parts guy thought the Weber kit was a little pricy as well.

In my case, I just ended up buying a new Weber Spirit NG on sale at HD. Got it for $519 including hose. pulled the porcelain coated cast iron grills from my 7 year old Genesis and swapped them with the new stamped grills in the Spirit. Ended up selling my old Weber for $250 online in one day so happy with the way that turned out. (Try doing that with a cheap BBQ!) Now I have a new 10 year burner warranty and doors on the bottom now to finally keep the dog out of the drip tray. I love my Weber.... :razz:

P.S. Now that I've switched to Natural Gas, I'm NEVER going back to propane unless I have to. The convenience is amazing... turn it on, press the igniter and done. No checking to see if I have enough gas left, no expired bottles, awesome. I'm finding my new Spirit actually runs a little hotter than my old Genesis so definitely no lack of BTU's with NG. Literally can heat up to over 500 degrees in under 10 minutes.
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