Gas stoves are part and parcel of modern kitchens, as they offer quick and efficient cooking. However, not all gas stoves are created equal. Some stoves are designed to use natural gas, while others can use propane.
If you have a gas stove currently using natural gas, you may wonder if you can switch it to propane. The answer is yes, you can use a gas stove with propane. However, there are a few things you need to do in order to make the switch safely and effectively.
In this guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to convert your gas stove to propane. But here are some important things to understand, so we’ll delve into these first.
What’s the Difference Between Propane and Natural Gas Stoves?
The main difference between propane and natural gas stoves is the size of the orifice, the opening that controls the gas flow to the burner.
Propane stoves have smaller orifices than natural gas stoves because propane gas used in stoves is supplied at a higher pressure than natural gas. This means a smaller orifice is needed to get the same heat from your cooking range as you would from a larger orifice for natural gas.
Natural gas, a lower-pressure gas than propane, requires a larger orifice to allow more gas flow.
If you try to use a propane stove with natural gas, the flame will be too small and may not even light. Conversely, if you try to use a natural gas stove with propane, the flame will be too large and could be dangerous.
So, it’s crucial to use the appropriate orifice size for your stove. Utilizing the incorrect size can lead to safety risks or damage to your stove.
How can You Convert a Gas Stove to Propane? Step-by-Step Guide.
Here is how you can convert a gas stove to propane.
Step-1 Start by converting the stove
For primary conversion, follow these steps:
Check compatibility for your natural gas stove
First, check your product manual to see if it allows conversion. If your range manual or guide is missing, look for it online.
Beware, you should never carry out conversion if you don’t get information about the process from the manufacturer, as it can put your life and property at risk.
Get a conversion kit
You’ll need essential conversion components before converting your gas stove to propane.
Luckily, these parts are available in local hardware stores in the form of conversion kits, or you can get them on Amazon. Check the specifications of your gas stove and get the kit that works.
A conversion kit typically contains orifices of various sizes. If you don’t know what an orifice is, it’s a brass nut with a tiny hole sitting on top of the burner’s connection.
While choosing the conversion kit, make sure to get the right orifice sizes according to your desired heat output and altitude where you’ll be using the stove.
Disconnect the main supply.
Turn off the natural gas supply so that you can safely do the procedure.
Remove the gas range’s top and stands to discover the orifices and replace them.
Not all natural gas stoves are the same. To replace orifices, you have first to discover them. Generally, they sit in the middle of each burner.
So, remove the gas range hood or pan supports, and lift the burner caps and burner heads to find that small metal orifice with a hole to maintain the fuel supply.
To unscrew, you simply need to turn these orifice hoods anti-clockwise until they come loose.
You can do this by using a half-inch wrench. Then place the orifices you got for propane conversion, screw/fasten them clockwise, and it’s done. Remember to replace each burner orifice, aka nozzle jet, with the relevant orifice only.
By now, your conversion is done.
Step-2 Regulate the Pressure in Each Burner.
After replacing the orifices, you need to regulate the burners’ pressure. Here is how to do it.
Regulate each burner to a minimum flow ( the challenging part).
Regulate the burners to a minimum flow with the help of an individual gas regulator behind each control knob under the hood.
To do this:
- Remove the stove lid by unscrewing the holding screws.
- Then, remove the control knobs, and flip the stove’s top.
- You’ll find the gas regulator behind each knob at the rear.
- Insert a screwdriver behind the knob and move the screwdriver clockwise with one rotation or less.
- Place the stove lid in its place and put burner heads on their relevant burner.
- Install the elbow fitting where the hose connects to the stove.
Change the regulator pressure and connect it to the elbow fitting.
And finally, install the regulator by converting it to propane. To convertor the regulator, follow the instructions:
- Remove the regulator hex nut cap.
- Inside the regulator’s hex nut cap, you will see a plunger spring. Unscrew that plunger and flip it upside down.
- Reinsert it into the pressure regulator and reinstall the hex nut cap in the regulator.
It’s essential to change the regulator’s settings from natural gas to propane to control the higher pressure of propane gas. You can turn your gas range into a flame thrower if you’re not careful.
If your gas stove conversion kit includes the hose and converted regulator, you need not carry out this step. Simply connect the stove to the LP gas tank.
Step-3 Connect the stove to the propane tank.
You’re getting closer to your converted propane stove. Now it’s time to connect it to the hose that connects to the propane tank.
Connect the propane tank to the stove
Feel relieved because you are almost done converting your gas stove to propane. The last and one of the simplest steps is connecting your gas range with a propane tank.
Just make sure that everything is snug and safe. Check all the connections carefully and look for signs of leakage.
Check all the nuts and connections before placing the cover of the gas range. Once everything is in place, ignite the burners and check the level of flame. Don’t worry if you feel that the flame is higher or lower.
Step-4 Make the final inspection
Simply adjust it by loosening or tightening the nut behind the knob. Don’t forget to check the level of flames in the oven. To level these flames, adjust the thermostat behind the central knob. Make sure that the flame has a blue color and an even flow.
Conversion of a gas stove to propane is not a duck soup, and you should understand this. Here are some tips to keep you safe during and after the conversion:
- Start the conversion in an open area like your backyard and have a fire extinguisher nearby for safety.
- Ensure the main gas supply is completely shut off during the conversion and verify that it is disconnected.
- Visually inspect the stove for damage, loose connections, and signs of wear. Check burner orifices, gas valves, and other components.
- Examine all gas connections for tightness, leaks, and proper sealing using a gas leak detector or soapy water.
- Verify the correct installation and functioning of the propane regulator.
- Test the stove’s ignition system to ensure all burners ignite smoothly and consistently.
- Check the functionality of the gas oven if your gas range includes it. Check temperature reach and even heat distribution.
- Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector near the stove for added safety.
- Seek advice from a professional, especially if you lack experience in gas appliance conversions. A technician with a technical background in gas appliances can provide guidance.
- Check the compatibility of your appliance for conversion, as some manufacturers may limit the use of different fuel sources.
What happens if you use propane on a natural gas stove without conversion?
“You can’t directly attach your LP cylinder to your natural gas range without any conversion.” Right? Why is it so?
Propane and natural gas both have different densities and demand different pressure: LP needs to have a higher pressure, while natural gas needs low pressure. That’s why propane gas needs smaller orifices, and, in contrast, natural gas needs larger orifices to flow toward the burner and produce heat safely. If you don’t care about the proper conversion or choosing the right size of orifices, the result can be:
- A flame that is not only higher but uncontrollable enough to cause a fire in your kitchen;
- The propane tank blew out;
- Fuel ending in no time due to heavy flow;
- Leakage of propane gas and toxic and flammable carbon monoxide filled indoors.
Hence, conversion is unavoidable if you wish to run your natural gas stove on propane safely.
How much does it cost you to use a gas stove with propane?
The cost of converting a gas stove to propane can range between $150 to $500.
Usually, the conversion kit doesn’t cost you more than $50, but you have to invest extra money:
- Get a $30-110 pressure regulator if your natural gas stove needs a dedicated one. In most cases, natural gas stoves have convertible pressure regulators that allow you to switch your unit to propane by simply raising the lid and turning the plunger over. Yet, if your gas stove doesn’t have a convertible regulator, then you’ll need to buy it.
- Burner orifices are not complex components. They’re simple, oblong metal parts with a hole. Yet, they can cost you nearly $5-70, depending on the brand type.
- Next, you need an air shutter with a large opening to draw in more air for the combustion of propane that needs more oxygen. It’ll cost you a few dollars.
- Lastly, you need to pay the professional gas fitter who will convert your natural gas stove to propane. He can charge you anywhere between $150 and $300.
It can seem costly. Yet doing the process yourself can be risky when you don’t know the ABC of doing such tasks.
What size orifices should you choose to convert the natural gas stove to propane?
The orifices are available in different sizes. And, of course, you’ve to pick the smaller size according to your propane fuel flow maintenance. Yet, you must consider these things about your stove:
- Brand, model, and serial number of guiding you in choosing the relevant conversion kit,
- The installation site’s altitude affects the oxygen density, and you have to choose the right orifice’s opening size because the gas input will be sow by 4% per 1000 feet altitude. As a rule of thumb, an office with 0.082 inches or drill size 45 will be fine.
You don’t need to worry at this point, for when you pick the compatible conversion kit, it’ll come with the right orifices to support the propane conversion.
Most people who are impressed by the benefits of propane often ask, “Can you use a gas stove with propane?”. This post shows that you can easily convert a gas stove to propane by following simple guidelines.
Most importantly, the purpose of this article was to guide you to do this procedure by yourself. The process is quite simple and mainly involves tightening and loosening some nuts in the range.
The safety tips section added below the conversion steps will help you avoid any kind of mishap. Moreover, some commonly asked questions about this topic are also answered in this thread.
We hope that you have finally found what you were looking for.