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Thread: Propane Gas Heater

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    Default Propane Gas Heater

    Hi All,

    Is it possible to connect a Outdoor Propane Gas Heater directly to Natural Gas....something similar to making small adjustments to the jets on the BBQ and connecting to the main....

    If so, do companies sell kits and what are the dangers if any if you do not adjust the jets...I have noticed that it is similar to a bunsen burner, where as with a BBQ the jet is necessary to force a flame a certain height below the hot plate.

    your thoughts...

    cheers

    MarkS



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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    Hi All,

    Is it possible to connect a Outdoor Propane Gas Heater directly to Natural Gas....something similar to making small adjustments to the jets on the BBQ and connecting to the main....

    If so, do companies sell kits and what are the dangers if any if you do not adjust the jets...I have noticed that it is similar to a bunsen burner, where as with a BBQ the jet is necessary to force a flame a certain height below the hot plate.

    your thoughts...

    cheers

    MarkS
    It's possible.... it all depends on the make/model of appliance and if conversion kits are available.

    I'm not a gasfitter, but have had LPG appliances converted previously and there's more to it than just jets, as there are pressure and mixture differences between propane & natural gas. There are also venting requirements.

    Dangers if not done correctly?.... risk of explosion, fire, injuries, etc.

    Personally, I'd leave it to a licensed gasfitter.

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    thanks mtv...

    Would the kits be a generic type?

    I have no problems getting a gasfitter in, but mindful of the costs, is there a huge difference in pressure from the traditional bottle vs main gas? Is that the problem...

    Just don't want to spend a travel to and from collecting LPG bottles, etc..

    cheers

    marks

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    Yeah it can be done but as mentioned, it may be more to it that just replacing the jets.

    Bbq's are quite simple. All you need to do is swap out the jets and use a hose with a regulator fitted. Gas heaters are more complicated. Jets need to be swapped but so does the air mixture. I was going to convert a Rinnai convection heater myself but the computer had to be adjusted and a lot of parts swapped. Rather than run the risk of something going wrong, i had it done by a gas fitter.

    In your case i wouldnt think there would be a lot of parts involved but you would more than likely have to adjust the gas/air ratio as to give you the correct heat.

    Natural gas doesnt burn quite as hot as lpg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    thanks mtv...

    Would the kits be a generic type?

    I have no problems getting a gasfitter in, but mindful of the costs, is there a huge difference in pressure from the traditional bottle vs main gas? Is that the problem...

    Just don't want to spend a travel to and from collecting LPG bottles, etc..

    cheers

    marks
    Conversions differ greatly, so there's probably no 'generic type' conversion kit as such.

    It's not just a pressure difference, it's how it burns.

    Remember that propane is heavier than air and natural gas is lighter than air.

    Also, if you currently have LPG pipes to appliances in your home, the pipe size may need to be upgraded for natural gas, depending on the volume of gas to be used..... or if you are connecting your heater directly from LPG cylinders (via a regulator) you'll also need a natural gas outlet valve and suitable connection for your heater installed.

    There are so many variables.

    I suggest contacting some heating suppliers/gasfitters and explain what you have and what you want to do.

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    Have a look at this



    You will also need this



    Found this stuff while looking up manometers. I made one an calibrated the flow rate on my heater. Pretty good for $1 worth of plastic tube and some water.

    I was not converting fuels however but the site covers that.

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    I had a non flued free standing Gas heater converted from one to the other (cant remember which) and it cost about $80 I think.
    A lot cheaper and SAFER to get it done by a Gas Fitter.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    You would need a certified type B gasfitter to do the conversion as most LPG outdoor heaters will not have NG AGA certification(look for a sticker specifing it is approved for natural gas not just propane).
    Most imported appliences will not have a NG certification as it costs them too much to get certified. It is a lot easier to get a propane certification as it just needs a quick safety test.
    A type B gasfitter will provide a sticker that it has complied with the gas codes and takes liability if things go wrong, that being said not many type B gasfitters want to take on the job as it isn't worth it, they certify mainly comercial appliances(cookers boilers etc).

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    Yes I agree with mtv. that is depends upon the appliances. We are using gas on different places like car, and more transportation. so if the appliances is suitable we can use it as Propane Gas Heater

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    Hi All,

    Is it possible to connect a Outdoor Propane Gas Heater directly to Natural Gas....something similar to making small adjustments to the jets on the BBQ and connecting to the main....

    If so, do companies sell kits and what are the dangers if any if you do not adjust the jets...I have noticed that it is similar to a bunsen burner, where as with a BBQ the jet is necessary to force a flame a certain height below the hot plate.
    Ok, (as a licenced gasfitter), yes it is possible to convert the appliance to NG.
    However, legally we are only allowed to use 'as supplied' kits from the manufacturer to perform the conversion.
    We are NOT allowed to just put in bits that we think we need.
    When the 'approved' kit from the manufacturer is used then by default the appliance is then approved for use on NG.
    If there are no manufacturer kits then the appliance can not be converted (legally).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    thanks mtv...

    Would the kits be a generic type?

    I have no problems getting a gasfitter in, but mindful of the costs, is there a huge difference in pressure from the traditional bottle vs main gas? Is that the problem...
    No they are not generic.
    They are for a specific model or models.

    LPG is 2.75 Kpa
    NG is 1.0 Kpa

    Doesn't sound like much but a huge difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtv View Post

    or if you are connecting your heater directly from LPG cylinders (via a regulator) you'll also need a natural gas outlet valve and suitable connection for your heater installed.
    Ahhh this sounds quite dangerous? You cant mix LPG and NG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemRat View Post
    Have a look at this



    You will also need this



    Found this stuff while looking up manometers. I made one an calibrated the flow rate on my heater. Pretty good for $1 worth of plastic tube and some water.

    I was not converting fuels however but the site covers that.
    Sorry but I get a little passionate on this subject.
    I am not sure how you could have calibrated the flow rate with a manometer?
    A manometer measures pressure not flow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandgroper1 View Post
    Ahhh this sounds quite dangerous? You cant mix LPG and NG.
    You appear to have misunderstood.

    The thread is about converting from LPG to Natural, not mixing the two, if you read my entire post, not just the small section you've quoted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtv View Post
    Conversions differ greatly, so there's probably no 'generic type' conversion kit as such.

    It's not just a pressure difference, it's how it burns.

    Remember that propane is heavier than air and natural gas is lighter than air.

    Also, if you currently have LPG pipes to appliances in your home, the pipe size may need to be upgraded for natural gas, depending on the volume of gas to be used..... or if you are connecting your heater directly from LPG cylinders (via a regulator) you'll also need a natural gas outlet valve and suitable connection for your heater installed.

    There are so many variables.

    I suggest contacting some heating suppliers/gasfitters and explain what you have and what you want to do.
    Ok sorry, the bit that says that "if you are connecting from LPG cylinders you will also need a natural gas outlet valve" threw me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandgroper1 View Post
    Ok sorry, the bit that says that "if you are connecting from LPG cylinders you will also need a natural gas outlet valve" threw me.
    No probs, I can see how you may have misread it.

    Perhaps a comma or a full stop after (via a regulator) would have made it clearer.

    In other words, to supply natural gas to the location of the 'converted' heater, it's possible any existing LPG gas pipes may need upgrading to a larger size, or if you were using LPG from a cylinder with a regulator and hose/pipe prior to conversion of the heater, you would also require natural gas piping and outlet installed at the location of the heater.

    Hope that makes more sense.

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