As fossil fuels dwindle in amount, all natural therapies have become applicable in areas other than health and beauty. And one of them is using ‘natural gas’ as fuel. Natural gas is just what the name implies – natural. Methane from the marshes or its mixture with ethane from composting are your most suitable candidates. But these are not as powerful as propanol or liquefied petroleum because they are not as carbon-rich as the latter.
Can a natural gas range be converted to LP?
So here we will see if you can convert a natural gas range to a propanol based LP (Liquefied Petroleum) one.
The short answer to the obvious question is – yes. A conversion is possible. If you are one of the lucky ones, your gas range might have come readily from the factory for a propanol based LP conversion. If not, you can do it with a little technical know how and tools. It’s better for a professional to do it, but if you are hell bent on doing it yourself, there are certain things that you should know.
Understanding the types of gas range
The burners on your gas range come in two types – a sealed one and a non-sealed one. Sealed top burners have a seal over which you place your utensils. This seal prevents any spillages from affecting the brass fitting and clogging up its orifices. Non sealed burners are an open top. There’s no seal or anything to prevent the spillages from blocking the brass fittings.
How do you go about it?
Naturally, the disassembly has a few more steps in the sealed version.
- Coming to the brass fittings themselves, these are the things that have orifices in them from where your flame comes out.
- The size or diameter of these orifices is very specific for the kind of gas coming out.
- Natural gas uses orifices with a smaller diameter, while LP gas requires higher pressure and a bigger orifice.
- If you have one of those modern gas ranges which come with adjustable orifices, half or more of your job is done!
Just get the diameter requirements for LP gas from the user manual, or the manufacturer, adjust the orifices and connect your LP gas bottle or cylinder according to the specific instructions on your model. If you are not so lucky, you’ll need a slender metric wrench and/or a nut driver to remove the burners, one by one and then replace them with the desired orifice diameter.
The Other Things to Keep a Note Of
Now before you forget, you need to adjust the simmer settings, otherwise, with the larger orifices, your simmer will be too high. You can tune this for every burner by adjusting a screw in the burner shaft.
Then comes the regulator. Ideally, manufacturers have an idea about this conversion and provide an insert which has NAT and LP inlets. You just need to remove this insert, flip it so that the LP inlet is your primary one, reinsert it, flip the cap back on and hey presto! You’re done, and saved yourself a ton of money!