Outdoor Gas Grill Conversion 

I receive a lot of calls from customers asking for the plumbing fittings they need to connect their LP outdoor grills to natural gas (NG).  Unfortunately, simply connecting an LP grill to a NG supply does not work, and here is why.

LP gas burns hotter than NG and therefore, the regulator, valves, and orifices on an LP grill are designed for a lower gas flow than a NG grill.  When an LP grill is simply connected to a NG supply, the flames will be very small and the grill will not get hot enough to cook with.  If you simply connect a NG grill to an LP tank, the flames will be very large and uncontrollable.  In order to safely and properly convert an LP grill to NG, the orifices need to be changed as well as the supply line/hose and regulator.

Not all LP grills are made to be converted to NG and "universal" conversion kits are not "universal".  Universal conversion kits, purchased at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc., are only designed to work on specific grills. The recommended, safest, and easiest way to convert an LP grill to NG is with a conversion kit supplied by the manufacturer, and designed to work with the specific grill model being converted. 

Some grills are sold with the necessary orifices to convert the grill from LP to NG while other grills have "flex" valves.  Flex valves have the LP orifices in front of the NG orifices and the LP orifices are simply removed to convert the grill to NG.  Care must be taken not to remove the LP and NG orifices at the same time. Some LP grills require the removal of the main burner orifices and the installation of new NG orifices. Side burners, sear burners, and rear burners usually require the LP orifices to be removed and new NG orifices installed. The removal and replacement of valve orifices requires dis-assembly of the grill.

In addition to installing the correct orifices to convert a grill to NG, you also have to connect the grill properly and safely to the NG supply.  The existing LP gas hose and regulator must be removed from the grill.  If the NG supply line does not already have a shut off valve, one will have to be installed. If the grill is a built-in model, a yellow gas flex line is required to connect the grill to the NG supply.  If the grill is a "cart" grill on wheels, a "quick-disconnect" hose is required to connect the grill to the NG supply.  I recommend the use of a 1/2" diamater line/hose on higher BTU grills.

A NG regulator will also have to be installed to correctly regulate the flow of gas.  The NG regulator must be rated to handle the BTU rating of the grill, and a NG regulator is required by CA Building Code.

Once the correct orifices are in place and the grill is connected properly to the grill, check for leaks using soapy water.  If no leaks are found, carefully turn on the grill and check for proper operation. If the grill is operating properly, the grill is ready to use.

Gas grill conversion should be done by a certified service tech, this article is meant for informational use only and not as an instruction guide for the conversion of outdoor grills.

 The Grill Man, La Quinta, CA 92253, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho MIrage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Indio, Desert Hot  Springs,

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