A natural gas barbecue grill has a number of advantages over the traditional propane one. Natural gas grills are connected directly to your home’s gas line and hence they are more cost effective in the long run.
The biggest advantage is the fact that emptying and refilling the fuel bottle becomes a hassle of the past. You will never run out of fuel in the middle of a barbecue and that is really what most owners love about converting to natural gas.
Can you use natural gas on a propane grill? Yes, in many cases you can with a natural gas conversion kit!
In this guide we will look at how to make the change through 6 steps.
Warning: Converting propane to natural gas should be done by a professional. Modifying your gas line could lead to explosion causing injury or death.
SEE ALSO: Gas Stove VS Electric Stove
If your grill is a few years old, then you will need to inspect it and see if it is worth converting. Check if the racks, housing and igniter are in a rust-free condition.
It might make more sense to start with a newer grill. You will then need “propane to natural gas” conversion kit.
Or you can opt for a grill already setup for natural gas.
Example of a BBQ you shouldn’t convert.
Turn off the gas to your house. This is essential, as you will be installing new gas lines. This is one reason why a professional installation is recommended.
Then locate the gas line of your home and install a Tee-connector, like the Shark Bite 1/2 inch Tee. This connector will make it possible for gas to be directed to the grill.
Make sure that there is an independent shut-off valve. More details of this should be included with your conversion kit.
After installing the Tee-connector, the first thing you need to do is check for leaks along the seams.
- Apply a thin layer of soapy water all around.
- Then turn on the gas. If you see any air bubbles forming, then it means that you have a leak problem.
- Seal the connector properly and try again until there are no bubbles.
The next thing is to remove the regulator from your grill. The regulator works to control the pressure of the propane fuel and so now it becomes redundant.
Your house’s natural gas regulator will now control the grill’s pressure too.
Locate the regulator and remove it. You will need to unscrew the hose out of its connection. You might even have to cut the wire if it is crimped without screws.
After this find the burner assembly and remove it too. You can refer the manufacturer to find the exact location.
Now you will see the orifices on the grill to which the gas line needs to be connected. However they are usually quite small in size and you will need to use a drill to enlarge them.
Be careful during this operation, as you do not want the size to become too big. A 1/16” drill should do the job perfectly. Check out the 12-volt Porter-Cable Drill/Driver to get the job done.
Increase the size of the holes slowly and keep checking to see if it is suitable with your home’s gas system.
Warning: Again, a professional should be doing the installation. Drilling metal causes heat and could ignite any unevaporated natural gas in the area causing injury or death.
The final step is to connect the gas line. Use the right sized hose and make sure that the connections are stable.
Then turn on the gas, light the grill and play around with a few settings to see if everything works fine.
If the flame is too weak, it could be due to the holes not being wide enough. If so, you will need to disconnect everything, drain the gas line and drill a bigger hole and repeat the earlier steps to ensure a leak proof seal.
There you have it. It’s a simple procedure, but you need to be careful. Then it is time to relax and enjoy your new natural gas grill. Your friends will be jealous!