How to Convert a Natural Gas Gauge Heater to Propane
Last Updated on December 6, 2022 by Vernon Scott
Converting natural gas gauge heater to propane is very much possible. But there is some stuff you should check before you consider doing the conversion.
Firstly, there are many gas appliances, including heaters, that are meant to be running on only one type of gas. They cannot run on a different gas. So, you should check your gauge heater beforehand.
Also, the change will require some modifications of some parts and proper knowledge of how the gas heater works. Today, we will explain the procedure of natural gas to propane conversion on a gauge heater.
The Main Procedure
Here will show you the process step-by-step. Kindly read the whole thing before trying it. Before everything, you should get a conversion kit.
- Start by disconnecting the electricity and gas supply to the heater. Locate the burner access door, which should be at the back of the heater. Open the door by unscrewing it. Disconnect any wire connected to the natural gas valve regulator.
- Take out the rollout switch and the fire-detector wires. Also, take out the manifold pipe. It will give you access to the gas valve regulator. Unscrew the regulator cap and the pressure regulator adjustment. Remove the spring from the gas valve regulator.
- Insert the new spring. Also, add new pressure regulator adjustment screws replacing the old ones.
- Turn the regulator screws eleven times into a clockwise motion. Insert an ‘O’ ring into the adjustment cap. Now, take out the old orifices from the manifold. Afterward, add the new orifices. Unscrew the burner assembly from the flue panel.
- Slide out this burner assembly while balancing the opening inlet plate on the burner. Keep screwing them until their heads are in the same plain as the burner surface.
- You need to replace the air shield at the top and the burner assembly too. Connect the manifold pipe back and the electrical wires to the gas valve regulator, fire detector, and rollout switch.
- Add a new access door to the burner.
Attaching the Gas Connections
- Insert the propane supply to the gas supply line outside. Also, insert a shut-off valve with a gauge for the gas. It should be manual. Make sure that it is in the ‘off’ position. Attach your propane supply to the gas heater. You can use thread sealant to seal this connection.
- Remove the pressure vent tap from the gas valve regulator. Now, add an NPT connector of 1/8 inches in order to connect the pressure gauge. Position the shut-off valve to ‘on’ to start supplying the gas.
- Connect the heater to the electricity supply. Increase the thermostat till the burner of the heater flames up. Make sure that the minimum pressure in the gauge is 11 inches WC.
- Turn the electricity off, and the gas valve shut-off to the ‘off’ position. Disconnect the hoses from the gas supply and the gauge tube.
- Add a new pressure tap on the heater’s gas valve regulator. Position the gas manual shut-off to ‘on’.
- You can test the pipe connections with a foaming leak-sensing solution. It will cause bubbles on any leaking area. Add sealant to seal those places.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Possible to Change Your Gas Heater from Propane to Natural Gas?
It is indeed possible. But your gas heater should be able to run on natural gas. Not all gas gauge heaters can do it.
How Do I Find Any Leak in My Gas Connection Pipes?
There are foaming leak-detection solutions on the market. They make the leaked area bubble up as you turn the gas on. You can then seal those areas using a thread sealant.
Do Propane Gas Burns Hotter or Natural Gas?
Propane gas burns hotter than natural gas. However, you don’t need to concern yourself over this. Even though natural gas burns cooler, it balances it out by burning more amount of gas. So, the heat, in the end, is almost similar in both gases.
The process of converting natural gas gauge heater to propane is pretty confusing, we agree. If you don’t have enough knowledge of these matters, you can try contacting an expert. Also, you must check if your heater is conversable or not.
You must stay careful throughout the process. After you are done with converting the heater to propane gas, you need to adjust the input rate of the heater. You should research how to do that.