How to Convert a Propane BBQ to a Natural Gas BBQ
Some say that they do it because it’s good for the environment. Others say that they do it just because it requires clean up. The honest truth is, converting your propane grill into a natural gas grill will just take away a lot of the hassle that goes along with one of the great All-American activities: grilling.
While it may seem dangerous and complicated to change over a system from propane to natural gas but if you follow these steps closely, you can give yourself a 21st-century grill in no time.
Step 1 — Prepare
Before you begin the process, make sure that it is possible to even make this switch. Most grills have a sticker indicating whether it is available for this type of conversion. If possible, find a conversion kit by the same manufacturer for the best results. If the manufacturer doesn’t sell a conversion kit but the barbecue is compatible with a conversion, you’ll have to gather the components separately.
Keep in mind that some grills have liquid propane conversion kits. This is not the same as a natural gas conversion kit. They look similar but will not work correctly, so do not this by mistake.
Also, make sure to turn the natural gas to your house off before you start your conversion.
Step 2 — Disassemble Grill Components
Be sure your barbecue has not been used for at least three hours before attempting this process. You don’t want to work with an overheated system and get burned.
Check that the propane tank is closed tightly. Then, remove the propane tank, propane pressure regulator, and hose.
Take off the grates and burner assemblies so that you can have easy access to the tube burners. Remove the hitch pins and carry-over tubes.
Unscrew the orifices from the end of the valves by inserting an orifice removal tool in the firebox burner and twisting. This is important, as orifices are not compatible with natural gas.
Step 3 — Replace Knobs
The knobs that worked for the propane grill are not going to work for a natural gas grill. In your conversion kit, there will be new knobs that will need to be installed so that you use the right amount of natural gas to keep your grill burning bright.
Simply use a Phillips head screwdriver after you have pulled off the knobs that are currently on your grill. Then unscrew the backing of the knob and replace it with what you find in the kit.
Step 4 — Replace the Necessary Components
With the orifices removed, replace the burner tubes as they were installed before into the firebox burner holes with the portholes facing upward. Be sure that the tube burner properly engages the valve. Secure tubes into place with the previously removed hitch pins.
Step 5 — Connect Natural Gas Supply
Run a hose from your home’s natural gas supply valve to the appropriate manifold connection.
Now, you have to not only run a natural gas line to your grill but also anchor it to your home or deck to make sure that it is safe. You want to keep this line as short as possible because the longer the line, the more gas is going to be needed to run the grill properly. The less natural gas you use, the less it costs.
Once you’ve run the line and secured the hose, then add a shut-off valve onto the line.
Step 6 — Check for Gas Leaks
The connection from the gas line to the grill has threading that should be completely tight before working on the grill. Make sure to use a wrench to get it as tight as possible. If you smell any gas turn off the barbecue, give it a few minutes, then go back and tighten everything again.
Also, make sure that there are no leaks in the line or where the line meets the grill. In order to do this, you will need to turn on the gas line and pour a bit of soapy water over the seams of the hose and connections. If the water begins to bubble, you know that you have a leak. You will need to seal the connectors and check again.
Step 7 — Test and Enjoy!
Double-check your work. If you’re confident you’ve not missed a step, test your new natural gas griller.
If all is well, enjoy your new barbecue knowing you’ll never run out of gas while cooking again!