How do I Convert a Propane Grill to Natural Gas?

Jessica Bosari

You can convert your propane grill to natural gas with a simple procedure and some help from your grill dealer and natural gas company. Whether converting a barbecue grill, mobile home grill or propane stove to natural gas, you only need to change the size of the orifice that allows gas to meet the flame and burn. With mobile home grills and stoves, you buy kits that include simple instructions you can do yourself. With barbecue grills, you will need some help to convert your propane grill the natural gas.

A propane tank for a grill.
A propane tank for a grill.

The reason different sized orifices are needed to convert a propane stove or grill to natural gas has to do with the composition of these two different gases. Natural gas requires 40% more air to burn than propane does and it is delivered at a lower pressure than propane. This means the orifice must be 2.5 times bigger to allow for the additional air and lower gas pressure.

Natural gas needs 40% more air to burn than propane.
Natural gas needs 40% more air to burn than propane.

Kits can be difficult to find for converting a propane grill to natural gas. Homeowners must either drill out the present orifice to make it larger, or purchase a new orifice of the proper size if they want a natural gas grill. Drilling an orifice can be difficult and is best done with a drill press. Check with your dealer to find out the correct orifice size to drill.

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If you have no drill press, it is best to remove the old propane grill orifice and bring it to the barbecue dealer to find a new natural gas grill orifice. You can locate the orifice by looking for a small brass fitting that is about ¼” (.6cm) or 3/8" (1 cm) in diameter. Orifice styles change with new grill models and are also different from one manufacturer to the next. Bringing the old orifice to the grill dealer ensures you get the correct style to convert the propane grill to natural gas.

Air intake adjustments must also be made after installing the new propane orifice to get the proper temperature flame. This procedure is done on the grill itself with a screwdriver but it is best to secure help from a professional at your natural gas company. Most providers will inspect the settings on any natural gas appliances at not charge to ensure public safety. A maladjusted grill can result in a pool of unused gas below the grill with the potential to ignite and explode from even the smallest spark.

It is possible to convert a propane grill to natural gas.
It is possible to convert a propane grill to natural gas.

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Discussion Comments

anon1002943

MrSmirnov, If you don't change the orifice on a BBQ grill (and just hook a propane BBQ to natural gas) then you will never get the flame hot enough to cook your food. It will just be a tiny little thing because the orifice is not large enough to feed the lower heat content NG to do any good.

anon294215

Sounds good except for the "pool of unused gas" and the exploding part. Fortunately natural gas does not pool. It rises, while propane is heavy and pools.

wander

Converting your propane grill to a natural gas grill can be a great project but you need to make sure it is worth your time and money first. It is a good idea to figure out the age of your grill and see if it needs any additional repairs. Sometimes just buying a new grill can be a cheaper option.

For those with newer grills that want to make the switch from propane to natural gas you should know that making this change with undoubtedly void your warranty and make getting service work from the company impossible.

If you are comfortable with these things, I think this is overall a pretty easy project.

MrSmirnov

If you are thinking about converting your propane grill to natural gas it is actually possible to hook your grill up directly to your house gas line so you don't need to keep refilling a tank. This is a great option if you don't plan on moving your grill and want to save some money.

The procedure for hooking your grill up to your house is a bit more complicated than a simple switch from propane to gas, but if you are handy and comfortable working with gas, you should be able to install a tee into your gas line without much trouble.

Do a search online and you can find plenty of detailed instructions.

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