Elgas LPG Gas Blog

Converting LPG & Natural Gas Appliances

LPG to Natural Gas Conversion Kit - Natural Gas to LPG Conversion Kit

LPG (propane) and natural gas (methane) appliances are not interchangeable — they must be converted and this takes an LPG to natural gas conversion kit or vice versa.

As a result of a move, you may have an appliance that you need to convert from natural gas to LPG or from LPG to natural gas.

Can this be done and what is involved? 

LPG & Natural Gas Appliance Conversion Facts - LPG & Natural Gas Pressure

Converting LPG & Natural Gas Appliances

Natural gas and LPG appliances operate at different pressures, with natural gas pressure at 1.1 kPa and LPG at 2.75 kPa, respectively.  LPG requires an air (oxygen) to gas ratio of approximately 25:1 whilst natural gas is 10:1, for proper combustion.

LPG (propane) orifice or jet size is smaller but the gas is at a higher pressure to draw in more air for a 25:1 air to gas mix. Natural gas orifice size (jets) are larger to accommodate the 10:1 air to gas mix required. A natural gas jet would be approximately 50% larger to do this.

Natural gas to LPG jet size (orifice size) would be a reduction in jet size but an increase in pressure, to draw in more air.

LPG has a higher energy content than natural gas, with 93.2MJ/m3 vs 38.7MJ/m3.

How to Convert a BBQ Grill from Propane to Natural Gas or Natural Gas to Propane - Changing from Natural Gas to Propane

Safe and proper conversion of a propane grill to natural gas requires different orifices (jets), hose and regulator, as well as any other required components. The simplest way to handle all of this is with a conversion kit from the manufacturer. Here is a step-by-step summary of changing from natural gas to propane:

1. Check if you can convert from propane to natural gas or changing from natural gas to propane by looking in your owner’s manual or contact manufacturer.

2. Purchase conversion kit required for changing from natural gas to propane or the reverse.

3. Shut off gas supply and disconnect gas line to isolate the BBQ grill or other gas appliance.

4. Remove plates, grates and panels obstructing access.

5. Remove and replace natural gas or propane components with conversion kit components, following kit instructions. This includes orifices (jets), valves and regulator, or as specified by the manufacturer.

6. Check that all fittings are properly tightened.

7. Connect new gas supply, pressurise system and perform the soapy water leak test around all changed components.

 

Convert LPG Cooker to Natural Gas and Natural Gas to LPG

You can convert LPG cooker to natural gas and natural gas cooker to LPG. Natural gas to LPG or LPG to natural gas appliance conversions should only be done by qualified technicians or licensed gas fitters.

Please read more for all of the details about gas appliance conversions…

LPG to Natural Gas Conversion Kit - Natural Gas to LPG Conversion Kit

Natural Gas to LPG Conversion Kit - LPG to Natural Gas Conversion KitA natural gas to LPG conversion kit is typically available to convert all home appliances.  You can also obtain an LPG to natural gas conversion kit (convert LP to natural gas) for all appliances. For example, a natural gas conversion kit is used to convert an LPG gas BBQ to run on natural gas.

Manufacturers typically provide conversion kits with the parts and instructions required to convert from natural gas to LPG and vice versa.

These conversion kits could include different jets, burners and other relevant parts.

Can You Convert Propane to Natural Gas - Convert LPG to Natural Gas (convert LP to natural gas)

You can convert propane to natural gas (convert LP to natural gas) with most gas appliances, and vice versa. Convert a gas grill from propane to natural gas or a natural gas stove to propane is included in this flexibility.

To be sure, consult your owner's manual, look on the manufacturer's website or contact them directly.

Typically, some kind of conversion kit is required, even if just to change the size of the gas jets.

LPG & Natural Gas are Not Interchangeable

Your gas appliances are manufactured for use with only one gas and will not work safely with the other gas.  
Never attempt to connect a gas appliance to the wrong type of gas, as it can be extremely hazardous.
A bit of background information is helpful.  
There are two main differences in the way that LPG (Propane) and natural gas (Methane) are burnt. 

They Have a Different Energy Content

The first difference is in the energy content. 
LPG has a higher calorific value, or energy content, so less gas is required to produce the same amount of heat.

LPG Requires More Oxygen

The second difference is in the oxygen to gas ratio required for proper combustion. 
LPG requires an oxygen to gas ratio of approximately 25 to 1.  
Natural gas requires a ratio of around 10 to 1.  
To achieve this difference, LPG is typically provided in a smaller quantity but at a higher pressure, drawing more oxygen with it into the burner.

Natural Gas to LPG Jet Size - Propane vs Natural Gas Orifice Size - Orifice for Natural Gas to Propane - Orifice Size Propane vs Natural Gas

LPG (propane) orifice or jet size is smaller but the gas is at a higher pressure to draw in more air for a 25:1 air to gas mix. Natural gas orifice size (jets) are larger to accommodate the 10:1 air to gas mix required. A natural gas jet would be approximately 50% larger to do this.

Please see Natural Gas to LPG Jet Size Chart (Gas Jet Size Chart) at bottom of page.

Using natural gas through a propane gas orifice size will result in a very small flame. Conversely, using propane through a natural gas orifice size would produce a dangerously large flame, incomplete combustion and production of carbon monoxide.

What is Involved in Conversion

For example, let's say you wanted to convert natural gas grill to propane or propane to natural gas.
So, to convert from one gas to another, the two most common alterations are the sizing of the gas injector and the adjustment of pressure.
The different ratios of air to gas mean that the size of the hole in the gas jet must change.
Other parts may also require replacement, like dampers, aeration sleeves and/or air baffles.
The gas supply pressure will also change, requiring internal adjustment or possibly a different regulator.

Changing from Natural Gas to Propane

Changing from natural gas to propane grill requires a change of jet or orifice size, attachment hose and regulator. The easiest way to do convert from natural gas to propane is by purchasing a conversion kit from the grill manufacturer.

Gas Injector or JetConverting LPG and Natural Gas Appliances

For LPG, the gas injector or jet would just have a smaller aperture hole to reduce the amount of gas introduced into the burner. 
Alternatively, a natural gas injector (jet) would have a larger opening. 
This is not as simple as it may sound. 
As an example of the complexity involved, the accompanying image shows just some of the internal components of a Rinnai gas heater and the four gas jets (Item 6) that require changing on this particular model.

How to Convert a Gas Stove to Propane (LPG) - Use Propane on a Natural Gas Stove

You convert a gas stove to propane or a propane stove to natural gas. Many natural gas stoves and cooktops are shipped with a conversion kit to convert a natural gas stove to propane (LPG). The natural gas stove has propane jets installed in place of the natural gas jets.

Of course, you can use propane on a gas stove if it was made for propane or if you convert it from natural gas.

How do you convert a propane stove to natural gas?

The procedure is the same as to convert a gas stove to propane, just in reverse.

If the stove is new, it is probably already set up for natural gas.

If the stove has already been used for LPG, then the jets will need replacement with the natural gas jets.

Convert Propane Stove to Natural Gas

You convert a propane stove to natural gas. Many natural gas stoves and cooktops are shipped with a conversion kit to convert a natural gas stove to propane (LPG). Assuming that you saved the original jets, just install in place of the propane gas jets.

If the stove is new, it is probably already set up for natural gas.

If the stove has already been used for LPG, then the jets will need replacement with the natural gas jets.

Can All Gas Stoves be Converted to Propane - Can a Gas Stove Run on Propane

Not all gas stoves can be converted to propane, although many can run on propane. The gas stove manufacturer must have originally designed the gas stove in a propane (LPG) version and a propane conversion kit must be available.

Contact the gas stove manufacturer to find out if the model is propane (LPG) compatible and if a propane conversion kit is available to run the gas stove on propane.

Can Gas Ranges Use Propane

Gas ranges designed to use propane will be labelled accordingly, with either “Propane” or “LP”. Gas ranges, as well as other gas appliances, can be converted from one gas to another as long as the manufacturer originally designed that option and offers a conversion kit to change it over.

BBQ Gas Conversion: Convert Grill to Natural Gas - Convert Propane BBQ to Natural Gas

With a propane to natural gas BBQ conversion kit, you can convert propane BBQ to natural gas (convert LP to natural gas). An LPG outdoor Grill or BBQ can be converted to natural gas. You just use the propane to natural gas BBQ conversion kit and connect it to your home natural gas supply.

Natural Gas Barbecue Hook Up - BBQ Gas Conversion to Convert LP Grill to Natural Gas

A natural gas barbecue hook up involves running a gas line from your home to the patio or other location of the grill as part of a BBQ gas conversion.

Can I Use Propane on a Natural Gas Water Heater

You can use propane on a natural gas water heater after it is converted to propane, as with other gas appliance conversions.  The conversion would typically involve the burners and/or jets, as well as pressure adjustment, assuming the manufacturer can supply a kit for the conversion.

Natural Gas Pressure vs LPG Pressure - Different Incoming Pressure

Natural gas pressure required by natural gas appliances is 1.1 kPa vs LPG pressure required by LPG appliances at 2.75 kPa.

This is controlled by the gas regulator that feeds the gas into your home. 

Internal Pressure Adjustments

An appliance being converted must be adjusted for this different incoming pressure. 
Internal pressure adjustments can be made by either mechanical or electronic means, depending on the make and model of the appliance. 
Mechanical adjustments are typically achieved by changing the strength of the spring that controls the pressure. 
Electronic adjustments are usually made by just changing the settings on the electronic control board.

Original Design Must Allow for Both Gases

The manufacturer must have allowed for the changeover in the original design, with the appliance being tested and certified to use both gaseous fuels.

Depending on the appliance, there may be other parts that require changing, in addition to the gas injectors.  Among these can be the burners themselves, dampers, aeration sleeves and air baffles.

Product labelling must also be changed. Most manufacturers sell the parts required for conversions of their more recent certified models.

You should contact the manufacturer to enquire about the availability of conversion parts.

Use of Qualified Technicians

The actual conversion of the gas appliance must be done by a licensed gas fitter.  
In some states, the gas fitter may also need a conversion endorsement, in addition to their regular gas fitter license. 
Under no circumstances should you attempt to convert the appliance yourself or allow an unqualified person to do it for you.  

Contact the Manufacturer

In all cases, you should consult with the manufacturer regarding the viability and requirements for gas appliance conversions.
In some cases, conversion parts may be unavailable or it may be more cost effective to just purchase a new appliance. 
If you find yourself in this situation, please see:

Natural Gas to LPG Gas Jet Size Chart - Propane vs Natural Gas Orifice Size


Natural Gas to LPG Jet Size Chart - Gas Jet Size Chart
  Natural Gas LPG
Inches of H20 3 3.5 4 4.5 7 11
Drill Size Decimal Inches BTU BTU BTU BTU BTU BTU
80 0.0135 428 463 495 525 654 1237
79 0.0145 494 534 571 605 755 1469
1/64 0.0156 572 534 661 701 874 1700
78 0.016 602 650 695 737 919 1788
77 0.018 762 823 879 933 1163 2263
76 0.02 940 1016 1086 1152 1436 2794
75 0.021 1037 1120 1197 1270 1583 3081
74 0.0225 1190 1285 1374 1457 1818 3536
73 0.024 1354 1462 1563 1658 2068 4024
72 0.025 1469 1587 1696 1799 2244 4366
71 0.026 1589 1716 1835 1946 2427 4722
70 0.028 1843 1991 2128 2257 2815 5476
69 0.0292 2004 2165 2314 2455 3062 5956
68 0.031 2259 2440 2608 2767 3451 6713
1/32 0.0313 2303 2487 2659 2820 3518 6843
67 0.032 2407 2600 2779 2948 3677 7153
66 0.033 2560 2765 2956 3135 3910 7607
65 0.035 2880 3110 3325 3527 4399 8557
64 0.036 3046 3291 3518 3731 4654 9053
63 0.037 3218 3476 3716 3941 4916 9563
62 0.038 3394 3666 3919 4157 5185 10087
61 0.039 3575 3862 4128 4379 5461 10625
60 0.04 3761 4062 4343 4606 5745 11176
59 0.041 3951 4268 4563 4840 6036 11742
58 0.042 4147 4479 4788 5078 6334 12322
57 0.043 4346 4695 5019 5323 6639 12916
56 0.0465 5083 5490 5869 6225 7764 15104
3/64 0.0469 5171 5585 5970 6333 7898 15365
55 0.052 6356 6865 7339 7785 9709 18888
54 0.055 7111 7680 8211 8709 10862 21131
53 0.0595 8322 8989 9609 10192 12712 24730
1/16 0.0625 9182 9918 10603 11246 14026 27286
52 0.0635 9478 10238 10945 11609 14479 28167
51 0.067 10552 11398 12184 12924 16119 31357
50 0.07 11518 12441 13300 14107 17594 34228
49 0.073 12527 13530 14464 15342 19135 37225
48 0.076 13577 14665 15678 16629 20740 40347
5/64 0.0781 14338 15487 16556 17560 21902 42608
47 0.0785 14485 15646 16726 17741 22127 43045
46 0.081 15423 16658 17809 18889 23558 45831
45 0.082 15806 17072 18251 19358 24144 46969
44 0.086 17385 18778 20075 21293 26557 51663
43 0.089 18620 20111 21500 22804 28442 55331
42 0.0935 20550 22197 23729 25168 31391 61067
3/32 0.0938 20682 22339 23882 25330 31592 61460
41 0.096 21664 23399 25015 26532 33092 64377
40 0.098 22576 24384 26068 27649 34485 67087
39 0.0995 23272 25137 26872 28502 35549 69156
38 0.1015 24217 26157 27963 29660 36992 71964
37 0.104 25425 27462 29358 31139 38837 75553
36 0.1065 26662 28798 30786 32654 40726 79229
7/64 0.1094 28133 28798 32486 34456 42975 83603
35 0.11 28443 30722 32843 34835 43447 84522
34 0.111 28962 31283 33443 35472 44241 86066
33 0.113 30015 32420 34659 36761 45849 89195
32 0.116 31630 34165 36524 38739 48316 93994
31 0.12 33849 36562 39086 41457 51706 100588
1/8 0.125 36729 39672 42411 44984 56104 109145
30 0.1285 38815 41924 44819 47538 59290 115343
29 0.136 43478 46961 50204 53249 66413 129200
28 0.1405 46402 50120 53581 56831 70881 137892
9/64 0.1406 46469 50192 53657 56912 70982 138088
27 0.144 48743 52649 56284 59698 74456 144847
26 0.147 50795 54865 58653 62211 77591 150946
25 0.1495 52538 56747 60665 64345 80253 156123
24 0.152 54309 58661 62711 66515 82959 161389
23 0.154 55748 60215 64372 68277 85157 165664
5/32 0.1563 57426 62027 66309 70332 87719 170649
22 0.157 57941 62584 66905 70963 88507 172181
21 0.159 59427 64188 68620 72783 90776 176596
20 0.161 60931 65813 70357 74625 93074 181066
19 0.166 64775 69965 74795 79332 98945 192487
18 0.1695 67535 72946 77982 82713 103161 200690
11/64 0.1719 69461 75026 80206 85072 106103 206413
17 0.173 70353 75990 81236 86164 107465 209063
16 0.177 73644 79544 85036 90195 112492 218843
15 0.18 76161 82263 87943 93278 116338 226324
14 0.182 77863 84102 89908 95362 118938 231381
13 0.185 80451 86897 92897 98532 122891 239072
3/16 0.1875 82640 89261 95425 101213 126235 245577
12 0.189 83968 90695 96957 102839 128263 249522
11 0.191 85754 92625 99020 105027 130992 254831
10 0.1935 88014 95066 101629 107794 134443 261546
9 0.196 90303 97538 104272 110598 137940 268348
8 0.199 93088 100547 107489 114009 142194 276625
7 0.201 94969 102578 109660 116312 145067 282213
13/64 0.2031 96963 104732 111964 118755 148114 288141
6 0.204 97825 105663 112958 119810 149430 290701
5 0.2055 99269 107222 114626 121579 151635 294991
4 0.209 102679 110906 118563 125755 156844 305125
3 0.213 106647 115192 123145 130615 162906 316916
7/32 0.2188 112534 121550 129943 137825 171898 334411
2 0.221 114808 124007 132569 140611 175372 341169
1
0.228
122196
131987
141100
149659
186658
363124
Chart values courtesy of Anderson & Forrester

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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.