Propane to Natural Gas conversion on furnace

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by Willie Two, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Willie Two

    Willie Two New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I have a RV trailer furnace that I would like to switch over to natural gas. Is it feasible or could they be just too great a difference in the unit construction. Thanks
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,893
    Location:
    New England
    You'd need a regulator for the NG and a change in jets as the energy content between the two gases is different (NG has lower pressure and needs a larger jet). If the manufacturer has certified it for NG, you can get the kit from them. Otherwise, it probably isn't a good idea.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,329
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    This really is not a DIY job even if you can find and obtain the parts. You need to hire a professional who has the ticket to work on gas appliances. You f**k up and you and your family are dead. Yes, I know this is a forum to provide advice and assistance for DIY, but sometimes the best advice is to hire a professional.
  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,805
    Location:
    01609
    What Gary said.

    Without a manufacturer's kit, indemnification, instructions & technical support many pros wouldn't even touch this one. Otherwise the shift of liability from the manufacturer to the retrofitter would be too heavy to be worth it. Even if the pro got it right 99.5% of the time, the downside risk wouldn't be worth it.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Yes, modifying the equipment tends to negate the AGA/GAMA listing it was manufactured under. IF the manufacturer is comfortable with it, they produce a conversion kit for the field. There will be plenty of lingo about needing to be installed by a qualified professional. This raises insurance issues if you do it yourself and the house catches fire!
  6. Willie Two

    Willie Two New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Actually, The furnace has been salvaged out of an RV and I currently use it to heat a detached garage/workshop. I am using it now with a 30 lb bottle and changing it is a pain in the butt.......running a gas line would be an easy solution if the furnace was easily converted.
  7. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I guess you missed the point that everybody tried to make to you about the conversion, even if it works great now on LP. Don't mattere where you use it to keep cozy.
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I have always found the NG supplier ready to help with that kind of conversion. They want you to use their gas, and they want that done safely. So, give them a call and you might just find you can take the furnace there and they will have the new orifice needed for the gas jet and will inspect the furnace for any possible cracks and then install the new orifice for only a small price.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,893
    Location:
    New England
    You need at a minimum both a new gas regulator and jetting. And, if the manufacturer does not certify the furnace for use with NG, you'll be at risk. As mentioned, IF a kit is available, then it is fairly straight-forward, otherwise, you shouldn't do it.
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,329
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Maybe a larger propane tank would solve the problem.
  11. Willie Two

    Willie Two New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Maybe I'll just move down south !! Thanks all the advice, this thread could be closed now.
  12. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You dont need a new regulator, the kit comes with a new spring to adjust the pressure and larger jets. Call the MFG or graingers parts.

    Being an RV, very unlikely that the valve was meant to be changed over to nat. Put your tank outside, make it larger and they will fill it for you.
  13. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    That is what my wife and I did on our houseboat a few years ago. A 20# bottle would run the 'fridge for a week while we carried our 100# bottle to shore and had the LPG folks come fill it at a friend's dock, and then we were good for another five weeks!
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