How to Convert a Gas BBQ to Propane How to Convert a Gas BBQ to Propane

What You'll Need
Flat Head Screwdriver
Assorted Screwdrivers
Needle Nosed Pliers
Numbered Set of Drill Bits
Wrenches
Pipe joint compound

Many gas BBQ grill owners find propane tanks to be more cost effective and convenient than natural gas tanks.  Propane tanks can be delivered right to your door and are also easily refillable.  Unless natural gas is piped directly into your home, propane is probably the way for you to go.  Expect the conversion process to take a good three hours.

Because natural gas has less energy than propane gas, the orifice on the valve must be larger for propane to allow more gas to mix with air.  Therefore, you may have to drill the hole out a little bit, or purchase a new orifice.  This job takes a fair amount of experience.  In addition, there are some manufacturers who take the position that the orifice violates the warranty.  Therefore, any questions or concerns that arise should be addressed by a professional.  

Step 1 - Remove the Cap on the Pressure Regulator

Using a flat head screwdriver, turn the cap on your pressure regulator and remove it.  Use the cap that you have just removed to tighten the cap underneath and make sure it reads LP.

Step 2 - Snap the Plunger Into Place

Turn the plunger over, remove it, and then snap the plunger back into its' original place.  Be sure to re-insert the cap into the regulator and tighten it.  

Step 3 - Turn the Top Burner Valves

Twist the top burner valve of each burner in a downward motion so that it touches the pin used for the LP setting.  Turn  clockwise, using a 1/2" wrench, but do not over-tighten.  In some cases, depending on the type of valve you have, you may need to replace the entire valve.  If your valve has a click-stop for low, medium, and high settings, there are three differently sized holes that allow the flow of gas.  These holes will be larger in a natural gas valve than those on a propane valve.  As a result, if you convert the orifice to propane without changing this valve, the low, medium, and high settings will become medium, high, and very high. 

Step 4 - Remove and Replace the Thermostat Knob

You should find your pilot screw located behind the thermostat knob.  Remove the knob and turn the control screw to the etting labeled LP clockwise.  Put the thermostat knob back on. 

Step 5 - Remove the Bottom Broiler Drawer and Burner Baffle Plate

Remove both the broiler drawer and burner baffle plates.  You should then be able to locate the wing nut.  Turn it in a counter clockwise direction.  

Step 6 - Tighten the Safety Valve Orifice Hood and Complete Your Conversion

Turn the safety valve orifice hood clockwise until it is completely tight.  

Step 7 - Check for Safety and Make Adjustments

Inspect your attachment locations for leaks.  Once you are sure there are no connection problems, turn on the LP gas and plug the power supply cord into a ground outlet.  Adust the air shutters so that the gas is distributed equally.  Readjust the range lighting pilots as needed.  You have now successfully completed your conversion.

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