Converting propane grill to natural gas

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by rkpatt, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. rkpatt

    rkpatt New Member

    I want to convert my propane grill to natual gas. I already have a capped gas line stub-out neat the location of the grell left by the previous home owner . My plan is to install a shut off valve at the stub -run about 5 ft of soft copper tubing ( another material better ?) to the grill valve manifold ( propane regulator and hose removed. I will try it without drilling burner orifices but have heard that they need to be drilled out to least 1/8" . Any recommendations ? - Thanks

    ( And yes I will shut off the gas , check for leaks, etc and follow all safety precautions )
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    You will get little if any flame without drilling the orifices, but they have to be drilled to the precise size for the grill's btu input. Just guessing at 1/8" will not do it, and could be very dangerous.
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Central Florida
    If you call the grill's manufacturer, they may have a kit for you to effect the conversion.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    Propane burners and natural gas burners are not the same so you can't just switch them around. To make the change you must use a burner designed for the particular gas you want to use. Some companies may make a coversion kit to make the changes required, but I'd look into a new BBQ that was designed for natural gas. To make the connection to you gas line easy, you can get couplers that are quite similar to air hose connectors, but you still need to use a valve as a back-up.
  5. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Architect

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't use copper for natural gas. Usually orfices are drilled to numbered wire drills, such as #45 or #49. Most manufacturers have orifice kits for around $5 per orifice.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    When I did this to my grill, the conversion kit included new jets and a regulator. Best to check with the manufacturer to see what is in their conversion kit, if available (my neighbor did this to his grill as well - two different brands, each kit cost around $60).
    1 person likes this.
  7. King3244

    King3244 New Member

    Kelowna, BC
    If you do not drill out your orifice then you will not get as much heat..........this may not be a problem if you have a 60,000 btu grill already. I believe the btu's propane versus natural gas is 10 % less but I could be wrong. If you have a 40,000 btu grill than you are going to be suffering when you want or need high heat.

    I have converted 3 bbq's over the years and all worked very well but I must say that I think that 1/8 inch is on the large size to drill out the orifice.

    The best way to get from your gas stub out to your grill is with a quick connect hose, any bbq place will have these. They are a special flexible hose but they are expensive. You will probably be looking at $50.00 plus for the quick connect and the hose. This is true when you buy a new grill.........a propane model is 50 bucks cheaper than natural gas due to the quick connect and (usually) longer hose.

    I don't believe there is any difference in the burners only in the size of the orifice due to either propane or gas. 60,000 btu's is 60,000 btu's whether you get that from propane, natural gas, butane or crude oil. If you oversize your orifice you will get mucho heat and could possibly do some damage so I would start small and work up drilling a little larger each time.

    You will be most happy with a conversion!
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