Both natural gas and propane stove are great appliances for cooking in most homes. They are efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly. However, in most cases, these stoves only work with specific gases. For example, propane stoves will only work with propane gas.
So, what if you have a gas stove and prefer a propane one? In that case, you do not need a new propane stove. Convert natural gas to propane instead.
The great thing is converting a gas stove to propane is a hassle-free process. In this article, you will learn how to convert natural gas to propane. We will elaborate on the requirements for conversion, the preparations, the installation of the conversion kit, and more. Let us do this!
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What You Need to Do Before Getting Started
As we mentioned earlier, converting a gas stove to propane is a simple process. The process requires only a propane conversion kit and a little of your time. However, we are aware that Do It Yourself projects might not be a cup of coffee for everyone. If fumbling with screwdrivers, nuts, and gas lines is not your thing, this might not be a task for you.
In any case, you might buy tamper with the natural gas to propane conversion kit or install it wrongly, not to mention the hazards that might crop up. What to do? One of the options is to seek professional help. Engaging an experienced professional consultant might save more cost, in terms of money and heartache.
Nonetheless, if you are ready to proceed with this, the first task is to understand your device.
Research Your Stove
Is your gas stove compatible with propane gas? It is essential to know that converting a gas stove to propane is not possible with all stoves. Some stoves are tailored to only run on specific fuels, hence the need for research.
Your first place to check is on the owner’s manual. Usually, the owner’s manual will show the make and the models that the stove can work with. Armed with this information goes a long way in ensuring you buy the right lp conversion kit.
If the owner’s manual is unavailable, or information is unclear, you can call the manufacturers or dealers to find out.
Once that is clear, you can figure out their compatibility with specific propane gasses. Propane also generally refers to two specific gasses; propane and LPG(liquefied petroleum gas).
The difference between propane and LPG is in the composition of the gas. While propane is mainly one gas, LPG is a cocktail of other gasses such as butane, isobutane, or other derivative compounds.
Propane is the most popular gas used in cooking appliances. So if your appliance is for cooking, chances are that you need to convert it to propane and not LPG. This information is critical for fitting it with the right lp conversion kit.
Research the Proper Conversion Kit
When shopping for the lpg conversion kit, you will need to have its specifications. Remember, the propane conversion kit fits only with specific gas stoves. Therefore noting their make, model, and serial numbers is essential.
Fortunately, you can get all this information from the owner’s manual or from the manufacturers. Technicians are the other source of this information. Especially the technicians within your location can save you the trouble of having to call or visit the dealers.
Once armed with this information you can shop for the lp conversion kit. Keep in mind converting natural gas to propane conversion kit can be classified according to the sources. The popular sources include the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or the after-market parts.
Generally, the OEM natural gas to propane conversion kit is considered better quality and more durable. Additionally, they are complete and are likely to have all the essential components; pressure regulators, gas fittings, and other essential accessories. The only downside is that they are more costly.
So where can you buy the natural gas to propane conversion kit? Depending on the make and model, the lp conversion kit is readily available in the most approved OEM dealers, online marketplaces, or your local home improvement store.
Prepare for the Propane Conversion
After buying the propane conversion kit, the next step is to start the natural gas conversion process. Hopefully, you have your tool kit as well; mainly a wrench and a screwdriver. Successful natural gas conversion requires a systematic process starting with preparation. Here is what you need to do.
Shut off Any Existing Gas Supply
First, shut off the gas supply line while working on the natural gas conversion to avoid potential fire hazards or even an explosion. Do this by either turning off the valve on the stove or on the supply line.
Unplug the Gas Stove
This is another crucial precaution you need to observe before embarking on the process. Working with the stove plugged into the mains electric supply risks electric shocks. Switching it off and unplugging it from the mains is even safer.
Remove the Graters, Burners, and Other Removable Parts
Mind you, the fittings you need to convert are the regulator valve and the burner orifices. To access them, you have to remove most of the other parts to leave enough working space. These include graters and burners. Other parts to remove include the cooktop or the propane gas range hood.
Installing the Conversion Kits
After disassembling and doing the necessary preparations, next is the installation process. Remember, there is no universal installation process. As such, some steps might vary depending on the make and the stove model. Additionally, Keep the propane conversion kit manual within reach for quick checking.
Once everything is done, here is the installation process.
Replace the Natural Gas Orifices With the Propane Orifices Included in the Kit
Gas flow to the burners is controlled by the orifices(they are small fixtures with a hole in the middle). The flow rate of gasses leading to the burners is generally slower for natural gasses than for propane gas range.
That is why propane stoves have small orifices compared to natural gas stoves. Remove the gas stove orifices and install the new propane using a wrench.
Adjust the Air Shutters
Air shutters are the small knobs that control the air-gas flow rate to achieve the right mixture for the desirable flaming. Align the air shutters with a screwdriver until it turns blue. That is the ideal flame for effective heating.
Replace the Regulator Valve
The regulator controls the gas pressure from the gas line to the burners. The natural gas regulator is different from the propane gas range one, and you need to replace it. Use an adjustable wrench by turning the regulator anti-clockwise to remove the old one. Install the new one using the same wrench by turning it clockwise.
Reassemble the Stove
Having replaced the required parts; the regulator and the orifices. It is now time to return the removable parts back. Remember to screw and tighten firmly all the parts; the propane gas range hood, burners, and grates. If you properly follow the steps, the stove is fully assembled, but to be sure, you have to test it.
Test the Converted Stove
Finally, test the stove to see if the conversion was successful. Testing is also essential to be sure the converted stove is safe and ready for use. Here is what you need to do.
1. Test if the Power Is Flowing. Plug back the power connection to the mains and test if it is working. Do this by clicking the igniter to see if it produces sparks.
3. Ensure the stove burners are working. Ignite the propane gas range burners and ensure they are producing the right flame intensity. Failure to ignite can be a result of an adjusted air shutter. Try to adjust it until the flame appears blue.
2. Reconnect the gas pipes to restore the gas supply. Use the correct wrench size to connect the joints back. Using pipe tapes at the threaded joints can ensure a firm tightening.
4. Test for leaks. Testing for gas leaks can be done with a gas leak detector. Alternatively, you can use soapy water to achieve the same results. Add a few drops of liquid soap in half a liter of water and stir it.
Place a few drops on the gas line connections and observe. A leaking gas should form bubbles. You can reseal, or call for professional help if you are not sure of what to do. Most important, be sure to follow the instructions provided in the propane conversion kit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Hard to Convert a Gas Stove to Propane?
Converting gas stove to propane is a straightforward process. The natural gas to propane LPG conversion kit provides clear steps on how to do this. However, if you do not enjoy working on DIY projects with home appliances, this might not work for you. Seek professional help instead.
Is Propane Better Than Natural Gas for a Stovetop?
Propane gas delivers more BTUs than natural gas. Plus, it burns less volume per hour, meaning it heats faster and uses less fuel. This property makes it more efficient to use compared to many other gasses.