How to Switch from Propane to Natural Gas for Your Grill

Need help switching from propane to natural gas but don't know where to start? Today's guide is meant to be a comprehensive overview of the transition.

propane natural gas conversion pipe kit

A switch from propane to natural gas could help you save money in the long run and provide a more stable source of energy for your grill.

However, this can be intimidating due to the fact that you may have to consider things like how feasible and secure the plan is.

Converting to natural gas is usually easy and uncomplicated, but there are a few things to think about first.

Want to buy a grill that runs on natural gas? Look at what others have said about my natural gas grills.

Here are some things to double-check before you try to convert your grill:

Check to see if it works together

As a first step, you should verify that your grill is compatible with natural gas. For this, you can use either the manufacturer's website or the grill's owner's manual. You could also look for dual fuel markings on your grill.

Buy a conversion tool.

One of the most useful pieces of equipment is a conversion kit. But watch out, you'll want a conversion kit made for your specific grill model. A universal kit will not work, so make sure to get the one your grill manufacturer suggests.

Consult with a pro

Even if you think you know what to do, it's best to consult an expert to make sure you're being thorough and safe, especially given the risks associated with using natural gas.

If you want to install a flexible gas hose or make a switch, you should check with a local plumbing inspector first. When it's not possible due to legal constraints, they may propose a more long-term solution.

To make the switch, you need to know if your grill is compatible and if doing so is legal in your area.

If you want to switch from using propane to natural gas, here's how to do it.

The gas should be turned off at the main and the canister.

Since we're switching between two different gas supplies, we must turn them both off first. The best way to ensure everyone's safety is to turn off the gas supply.

Turn off your main gas valve first. After that, put away the hose and the propane canister. Additionally, you should turn off all the valves and open one to let out any remaining gas in the manifold. This should guarantee that the grill is completely devoid of gas.

Disassemble the grill.

In order to convert your grill, you'll need to get inside it, so we'll need to clear some space.

Take off the side rack, the main grill grates, and the flame tamers from your grill. After that, you can take out the carryover tube and the hitch pins that are holding the burners to the brackets. The carryover tube (sometimes referred to as a crossover tube) is a conduit through which gas can be transferred from one burner to another.

Disconnect the burner tubes from the valves and slide the burners out to remove them.

Locate the firebox opening in the grill burner area, and using the orifice removal tool included in your conversion kit, carefully pry it open. Remove the orifices from the valves' ends using the instrument.

Don't dispose of these orifices as trash. If you ever decide to switch back to propane for your grill, you'll find these parts to be useful.

The valves are made for use with natural gas once the orifices are removed. Stop trying to find replacements

Unscrew the bezels containing the propane gas and pull them away from the control panel. If you want to use natural gas, swap out the bezels included in your kit for those that are rated for that. Before tightening, check that it is aligned with the knob. Replace the control knobs on the valve stems by pressing them in.

Take off the control unit.

This step will vary according to the style of your grill. To remove the valve tubes from your grill for conversion, you will need full access to the control panel if the burners run into it as shown in the image below.

In the case that your grill's valve tube and burner connection are situated beneath the cooking grates, you can skip this step and proceed directly to Step 2.

Disconnect your grill's control panel. Most propane grills, including the Weber Spirit, have this feature, and it's easily lifted and removed. It is expected that the control valves will be accessible after this is removed. Find the gas line leading from the manifold to the valves now that they are exposed.

cleaning lubricating weber propane gas grill valves Pictorial representation of a digital Weber gas grill

The burner is lit and the control valve's tip is placed inside. Adjusting the air flow through the Weber pipe burner's valve, which functions like a carburetor, causes gas and air to be sprayed into the burner's front.

To get to the orifice, we'll need to slide the burner off the valve. There are two ways to remove the burner from the control valve. In most cases, however, the state of the grill determines which of these options we'll go with. If not, consider yourself fortunate, because grease and material breakdown typically make this call for us.

Tube burners should be reinstalled.

Replace the tube burners into the firebox burner holes so that the port hold is pointing upward and in line with the valves. Check that the tube burner is properly closing the valves.

Use the hitch pins you took out to fasten the tubes to the bracket.

Hitch pins should be reinstalled, and the carryover tubes should be replaced.

Get rid of the LP controller

Disconnect the LP regulator hose assembly from the manifold using the wrench provided. Keep this piece on hand in case you decide to switch back to propane.

You can find the LP regulator hose in the cart or under the burner shelf on the side.

Insert the natural gas hose from your converter kit through the cart's back panel and into the manifold connection from there if it is located inside the cart. Help the hose find its way to the manifold.

In the case of a side burner, the hose can be routed through the panel and directed toward the side burner connection.

The natural gas hose must be tightened onto the fitting with a wrench.

The benefits of switching to natural gas

Switching to natural gas eliminates the need for regular refilling of propane tanks and monitoring with propane tank gauges.

However, this limits where you can move your grill, as it must be placed near your home's natural gas valve. Converting to natural gas would not be a good idea if you frequently take your grill on trips, such as camping or tailgating.

In contrast, converting to natural gas is something to think about if you primarily grill at home and want to save money on propane costs.

A conversion kit is the most crucial piece of equipment for making the switch from propane to natural gas in your grill. Connect your propane grill to your home's natural gas line with this hose, which features brass fittings on both ends. However, the manifold's fitting is brand-specific, so you'll need to make sure you get one that works with your gas grill.

Follow the instructions provided with the conversion kit you choose to install.

Conversion kits designed for the following brands and models of grills should all work fine:

  • Char Broil
  • NexGrill
  • Universal
  • Camp Chef

Can I change my Weber grill over to natural gas?

The short answer is "yes," but proceed with caution, as Weber advises against it and states that you will lose your warranty if you damage your grill in the process.

It's also worth noting that working with gas supplies is inherently risky unless you know what you're doing.

Here is Weber's official statement:

We don't allow conversions or sell conversion kits because of safety concerns, the complexity of the technology and gas train components, and the amount of disassembly required. In fact, converting a grill can render the appliance's warranty null and void and even make it unsafe to use. ”

What does the orifice size of a valve mean?

In addition, the size of the valve's orifice should be taken into account. The diameter of the drill bit used to create the tiny hole in the valve's center. The orifice size is typically labeled on the valve.

Drill counts and hole sizes can be deceptive at times. The larger the drill bit, the smaller the resulting hole.

It's all a matter of gas pressure, gas volume, and orifice size when calculating BTU output. Because of this, the number of BTUs produced by the same quantity of natural gas will vary depending on the orifice size used.

You should never drill these holes on your own. A simple method for determining which conversion kit is appropriate is to use the numbers provided.

Affiliate links / Images courtesy of the Amazon Product Advertising API / Most recent update on 2023-01-25

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