If you’ve recently decided to switch to propane gas, you may have some natural gas appliances laying around that aren’t yet equipped to handle propane gas.

And with the do-it-yourself fever that seems to sweep into our lives every spring, you might be thinking about converting those appliances yourself.

Though mostly possible, appliance conversion has become more difficult over the past few decades, as appliance manufacturers create models specifically designed for either propane or natural gas.

If an appliance can be converted, doing so involves replacing gas orifices, burners and/or appliance regulators to allow for the vast difference in pressure between natural gas and propane gas.

Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind if you’re thinking of converting an appliance from conventional to propane gas:

    1. Check the appliance. Most will list the specific gas it is designed for and whether it can be converted. This information can be found on the rating plate, located near the gas control valve. If your appliance can be converted, the packaging will most likely say so as well, and a conversion kit might even be included in the package.
    2. Find out if you need an expert. Some cities have ordinances that require conversion be done by a trained professional. You’ll want to review the laws in your area before you begin any project. If you’re unsure of the process, or have never done it before, it might be wise to leave it to an expert. Additionally, certain parts, such as appliance generators, should only ever be changed or serviced by a professional to avoid damage or safety hazards.
    3. Never attempt to convert an appliance if you are unsure whether it can be converted. You could start a fire or permanently damage the appliance.
    4. Check your supplies. It is imperative that the parts used are the correct size. Improperly sized burners, for instance, can combust or damage the appliance.
    5. Do not attempt to convert electric appliances. Conversions are only possible between natural gas and propane appliances.
    6. Consider the cost. Often, it is cheaper to buy a new appliance than to purchase the parts necessary to convert an old one.

Following this advice will help you decide whether conversion from conventional gas to propane is the right choice for you.

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