You can convert your propane grill to natural gas with a simple procedure and some help from your grill dealer and natural gas company. Whether converting a barbecue grill, mobile home grill or propane stove to natural gas, you only need to change the size of the orifice that allows gas to meet the flame and burn. With mobile home grills and stoves, you buy kits that include simple instructions you can do yourself. With barbecue grills, you will need some help to convert your propane grill the natural gas.
The reason different sized orifices are needed to convert a propane stove or grill to natural gas has to do with the composition of these two different gases. Natural gas requires 40% more air to burn than propane does and it is delivered at a lower pressure than propane. This means the orifice must be 2.5 times bigger to allow for the additional air and lower gas pressure.
Kits can be difficult to find for converting a propane grill to natural gas. Homeowners must either drill out the present orifice to make it larger, or purchase a new orifice of the proper size if they want a natural gas grill. Drilling an orifice can be difficult and is best done with a drill press. Check with your dealer to find out the correct orifice size to drill.
If you have no drill press, it is best to remove the old propane grill orifice and bring it to the barbecue dealer to find a new natural gas grill orifice. You can locate the orifice by looking for a small brass fitting that is about ¼” (.6cm) or 3/8" (1 cm) in diameter. Orifice styles change with new grill models and are also different from one manufacturer to the next. Bringing the old orifice to the grill dealer ensures you get the correct style to convert the propane grill to natural gas.
Air intake adjustments must also be made after installing the new propane orifice to get the proper temperature flame. This procedure is done on the grill itself with a screwdriver but it is best to secure help from a professional at your natural gas company. Most providers will inspect the settings on any natural gas appliances at not charge to ensure public safety. A maladjusted grill can result in a pool of unused gas below the grill with the potential to ignite and explode from even the smallest spark.