Due to the price of liquid propane, many outdoor grill owners are making the decision to convert their outdoor grills to natural gas. Before making the change, you’ll want to know the steps to properly make the conversion.
Unfortunately, you cannot take a liquid propane grill, buy the necessary fittings and simply attach it to the natural gas line. Liquid propane gas burns hotter than natural gas and therefore, the valves and orifices are designed for a lower gas flow than a natural gas grill.
When a liquid propane grill is improperly connected to natural gas, the flames will be very small and the grill will not heat up properly. In order to safely and properly convert a liquid propane grill, the orifices need to be changed, as well as the attachment hose and regulator.
The safest and easiest way to convert a liquid propane grill to natural gas is with a conversion kit supplied by the manufacturer. Some liquid propane grills come with the necessary orifices to prepare the grill for use with natural gas. Some grills have flex valves that allow the grill to be used with natural gas when the liquid propane orifices are removed from the main burner valves.
Other liquid propane grills require the removal of the main burner orifices and the installation of new natural gas orifices. Side burners, sear burners and rear burners usually require the liquid propane orifices to be removed and new natural gas orifices installed. The removal and replacement of valve orifices requires disassembly of the grill.
In addition to installing the correct orifices to convert a grill to natural gas, you also have to connect the grill properly and safely to the natural gas supply line. The existing liquid propane gas hose and regulator must be removed from the grill.
If the natural gas supply line does not already have a shut off valve, one will have to be installed. If the grill is a built-in model, a yellow gas flex line is required to connect the grill to the natural gas supply line. If the grill is a cart grill on wheels, a quick-disconnect hose is required to connect the grill to the natural gas supply line. I recommend the use of a half-inch diameter line/hose whenever possible.
A natural gas regulator will also have to be installed to correctly regulate the flow of gas. It must be rated to handle the BTU output of the grill, and a natural gas regulator is required by California building code.
Once the correct orifices are in place and connected properly to the grill, check for leaks using soapy water. If no leaks are found, carefully turn on the grill and check for proper operation. If the grill is operating properly, it is ready for use.
Gas grill conversion should be done by a certified service tech.