Nowadays, most people think propane grills are good for the environment. Therefore, if you’re looking to convert your natural gas grill into a propane grill, it’s important that you know the process and steps involved. Gas grills are more expensive than their charcoal counterparts, but some consumers may prefer them because they do not require an open flame or charcoal briquettes.
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? In other words, if you are looking for a way to save money on your propane gas grill, converting it over to natural gas is an option worth considering. This process can be done with very little effort and will allow you to utilize the same equipment that most homes across America already have running in their backyards. However, this process does require some technical knowledge about how both types of grills work so it’s recommended that you hire someone who has experience if possible.
However, in most cases, converting a gas grill from natural to propane is not possible. In fact, there are several reasons why it might be dangerous or even illegal for you to try and convert your grill’s fuel so.If you own an older model that uses natural gas as its fuel source but also has the option of using propane, then read on – we’ll go over the steps involved in switching your grill to use propane instead!
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What is the difference between natural gas and propane grills
Natural gas and propane grills both offer a great way to get outdoor cooking done quickly. But, there are some subtle differences between the two that you should be aware of before making your purchasing decision. These differences mainly center around how each fuel source performs with various types of food and what portability is like for each grill. Let’s examine these differences in greater detail so that you can make an informed decision.
A natural gas grill uses a supply of natural gas to run the burners and sometimes the oven, whereas propane grills use a pressurized propane tank to provide fuel. As such, each type of grill will perform differently when cooking some types of food: Natural gas grills tend to cook at lower temperatures and Propane grills tend to cook hotter (but both are hotter than charcoal).
As far as portability is concerned, there really isn’t much difference between natural gas and propane grills since both styles need electric hookup or a large propane tank which must be transported separately from the actual grill itself. Each style has its pros and cons when it comes to portability so you will need to decide which kind of grill best meets your needs.
Propane grills are extremely portable and quick to heat up once you turn the gas on. Many people use their propane grill outside but it can also be used inside if needed for an indoor get together or party. If you have a larger family that enjoys outdoor cooking then this may be something to consider when making your purchase since having enough space for multiple grills isn’t always a luxury everyone has at their disposal. The more propane tanks you use, typically more gas is released so this means less refilling This makes it easier especially if you are hosting larger gatherings.
The more bottles you use, the hotter it’s going to get since there is more gas being released. This means your food will cook faster which can be an advantage if you are in a hurry or having company over at the last minute. Disadvantages of Propane Gas Grills: propane doesn’t provide quite the same flavor as natural gas does when cooking unless you buy extra attachments for your grill to make up for this difference. The more propane tanks you use, the more money it costs to run each grill depending on how often you use it. If you need a grill to only cook for yourself or occasionally, this might not be the right choice for you.
Advantage of natural gas grills: usually cost less than propane grills, larger models can cook for a crowd, and easier to find parts if they break down. Disadvantages: must be hooked up to a natural gas line (requires installation). Cannot use the grill at remote locations like tailgating parties unless there is a large propane tank available Propane grills. No need for electric hookup at the location where it will be used; can take anywhere, no need for heavy tanks (tank options range from small, portable ones much larger ones), must be hooked up to a propane tank (requires installation).
Natural gas grills are usually more expensive than propane grills because of the cost of hooking them up to a natural gas line, but this is still a nice option that gives you more control over your cooking. Natural gas also makes it easier to cook at lower temperatures if necessary. However, most people opt for propane since they can take the grill anywhere with ease which includes places like tailgating parties and camping trips where there will be no electricity available. In the end, both styles have their own benefits so it’s best to choose one based on what you plan on using your grill for.
As always there are exceptions to any rule so do some research and find out what other people who own each type of grill have to say about the differences between natural gas and propane grills. You can also ask your dealer or take a look at their website for more information regarding these types of grills and how they work.
The most obvious difference between a natural gas grill and a propane gas grill is that one runs off of liquid while the other runs off of a compressed gaseous form. Both types cook similarly to charcoal grills, though there are differences in terms of flavor, convenience and cost between the two.
Both propane and natural gas run on fuel that is derived from petroleum or methane (the latter is pulled directly from landfills) but they’re actually quite different fuels. For instance, each requires its own type of regulator; propane tanks use regulators that measure pressure while natural gas uses ones that measure volume (i.e., cubic feet).
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? Natural gas is piped directly into your home and is turned into usable energy by a device called a natural gas utility. The electricity used to turn the energy from natural gas into usable heat is clean, renewable, and less expensive than propane. And since it’s already piped into your home, there’s no need for bulky propane tanks that have to be lugged around and refilled every few hours. With a natural gas grill, you just open up a valve at your house when you want to grill and enjoy the fact that you’re not paying for fuel or storing it in your garage.
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How to convert a natural gas grill to propane
On a recent family camping trip, we were fortunate to have two grills at our disposal: One was the standard 2-burner natural gas grill we’ve had for over three years (and still love). The other was a newer 4-burner propane grill that we picked up for about $150. And while it is nice to have both on hand, when considering our current situation and budget, I knew that in order for us to get the most use out of the new grill it would need to be hooked up to a small propane tank instead of the large natural gas hookup.
I know there are several of you out there who also own a natural gas grill-but with only one regulator and hose on hand, you also have a second grill going to waste. So I thought I’d let you know that converting your natural gas grill to propane is not only easy, but it’s relatively stress free as well.
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? All you need is a small wrench and about 15 minutes of time! Below are simple step-by-step detailed instructions on how to make this conversion in three easy steps. And the best part? You’ll be ready for those summer cookouts and family camp trips-with both a large and small portable tank!
Step 1: Check your grill to find the exact size of nut on the propane regulator: Some grills will require a ¼” nut, some a 5/16″ nut, and others a 13/16″ nut, A ¼” nut will fit the larger propane tanks, such as the 20 lb. tank, A 5/16″ nut will fit both the large and small tanks including the 16.4 oz., 14.1 oz., 9 lb., and 5 lb. tanks and A 13/16″ nut will only fit on all other small propane bottles (8 oz., 1 lb.).
Step 2: Remove the propane tank hose from your grill’s outlet and attach to the propane regulator: Remove the hose from your grill’s propane outlet and attach it to the regulator with a clockwise twist. Tip: Don’t forget this step. If you look at your regulator and do not see a place to attach the hose, then chances are you need to buy an additional “pigtail” hose –which is nothing more than a short propane hose that will allow you to attach your regular propane tank plug (see Step 3).
Step 3: Attach the propane tank to the regulator with a clockwise twist: Carefully screw on your propane tank by twisting the tank counterclockwise onto your new regulator (again make sure you purchased an extra pigtail if necessary).Tip: If you recently changed the tank, chances are there may still be some residual propane in the line-so if by chance your grill won’t start, just twist off your propane tank and allow it to vent.
Step 4: Light your grill and adjust the temperature controls once the grill has warmed up: Turn on your propane tank with a match or lighter; slowly turn up the temperature control to ignite the grill (if this doesn’t work, you can use a long stick lighter or tongs). Then set your temperature controls as usual. Once the grill has warmed up (and allowed ample time for any built up grease to burn off from the previous use), you’re all set to grill-and save!
The decision to change from natural gas (NG) or liquid propane (LP) is usually made by the grill manufacturer. There are no noticeable differences between grills that use NG versus those that use LP. Grills can be modified for either type of gas, but some manufacturers do not make them interchangeable. Also, if your grill was not originally designed to accommodate large-diameter hoses and regulators, then converting to larger- diameter hose and regulator may void the warranty.
If changing from NG to LP: to switch from natural gas to liquid propane, it’s best to hire a professional who specializes in such conversions because of possible problems with appliance zoning laws (which vary by locale). Still, if you want to make the conversion yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
A regulator with an adjustable output pressure. Since LP produces a higher percentage of “free gas” than NG does (meaning there is less liquid in the tank), it requires more control over its flow rate through your grill or hibachi than NG does. A hose equipped with flare fittings on both ends-for connecting to your existing propane tank and then attaching to your new regulator. An LP gauge that fits into the female end of the new hose-so you can see how much fuel is remaining in your tank. You also might consider including an electronic minimum-level controller that sounds an alarm when it’s time to refill the propane. And, One or more quick-connect fittings that attach to your grill-for attaching the new hose and regulator. If you want to completely replace your old gas supply lines with new, larger-diameter ones, now is the time!
Tips for converting a natural gas grill to propane
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? If you have a natural gas grill, but would like to run it on propane for convenience or other reasons, the switch is pretty straightforward. You can do it yourself in about an hour or two with some basic hand tools. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Locate your gas line coming into your home from the street, and shut off the main valve that feeds your house. It’s usually at street level somewhere near where your meter is located…If you don’t know where this is exactly, try looking at various places around your property for a valve that looks something like this:
When you find it, simply turn the knob 90 degrees counter-clockwise to shut off the gas. On occasion, you will not be able to turn this knob and instead there will be a “key” that you must remove first. If this is the case, turn as much as you can (maybe 90 degrees), then remove the key and finish turning the valve fully counter-clockwise.
If you’re unsure of how to shut off your main water supply, simply call your local fire department or gas company and they will tell you exactly what to do. It’s important to follow their rules exactly so no one gets hurt and so that your house doesn’t blow up!
Step 2: Remove the grill from its base on the deck/porch/patio or wherever you plan to work on it. Lay the grill face-down on some large pieces of cardboard so that no scratches are made to the cooking surface while being moved around. Then, use a socket wrench and remove all the bolts from the base of the unit. One trick for this step is to leave one bolt in each of the outermost holes, as these do not hold anything together but simply serve as alignment pins for assembly later.
Step 3: Pay close attention to how your gas line is connected-most likely there will be a fitting attached to it with a hose clamp that wraps around both sides of it. Loosen these clamp screws and slide them off the connection. When slid off, this part will look something like this: make a note of how it’s connected-you will have to re-attach the new fitting in the same orientation. You can also see here that there is a “mushroom” style gas cap over the connection on this grill.
Step 4: With your socket set, remove all but one bolt from each of the burner supports and slide them out from under the cooking surface about halfway. The grill should now be supported entirely by just 3 bolts on each side, as shown below:
Step 5: Find a hose that fits snugly over your propane tank’s connection valve and cut it off so that you have several feet protruding from the end. It doesn’t matter what kind of hose you use, but the most common type is known as “5/16” ID clear vinyl tubing.
Step 6: With a tubing bender , make about an inch-and-a-half minimum bend at the very end of your tubing that goes over the propane tank connection valve. The idea is to bend it enough so that it doesn’t rub on anything while still allowing full movement of the valve without having to move the grill around too much. If you don’t have access to a tubing bender tool, simply take some pliers and do your best to form it yourself by hand, or find someone who does own one and let them assist you (usually garden centers carry these).
Step 7: Remove the existing propane tank connection valve from your grill’s gas line and attach it to the connector coming out of your new regulator. The “male” fitting is threaded whereas the “female” fitting is not:
Step 8: Using a pipe wrench, tighten the connection at the regulator.
Step 9: Turn your propane tank’s valves off and hook up the regulator to it. Then turn it on. You should see gas seeping out of the white plastic bleed screw on top of your new regulator: If you do not see any leaking gas, close the screw a quarter turn and then open it a quarter turn to release any air that may have gotten trapped inside the regulator. Then repeat step 8 hooking up your new regulator to your tank’s valves.
Step 10: Turn on one of your grill’s burners and light it. With a second person, do some final checks for leaks by spraying soapy water over all of the fittings you’ve made so far. Bubbles will indicate where you have a leak. Tighten or re-align as necessary.
Your grill should now be running on natural gas! All that’s left is to dial in the correct temperature using your new regulator: If you ever change out your propane tanks, remember to bring the old regulator with you to make sure you get a new one that will work with your grill.
Why you should consider converting your grill from natural gas to propane
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? For many of us, the grill is an outdoor kitchen room centerpiece for everyday family meals, parties and holiday feasts. For others who live in apartment buildings or rental homes without decks or patios, they simply aren’t able to enjoy our favorite summertime activity.
Many people may not know that there are actually options out there besides charcoal and gas grills; converting your own version could be easier than you think. Propane (LP) grills work differently than natural gas (NG) grills do. Propane grills operate with a manual on/off valve which allows you to turn it off until you need it again, saving money when heating up the grill will not be needed. Natural gas grills are connected to the gas line and continue to run until you turn them off. The connection is required for safety and convenience. So what does this mean? It means that when heating up your grill on LP, it takes a little longer than NG-about 10-15 minutes.
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? Here’s some other things you should know:
LP grills can be stored inside during winter months without fear of harming the paint job, unlike NG which emits deadly carbon monoxide fumes while burning (meaning they need to be stored outside).
You can place an LP grill directly on your wood deck or patio, whereas with NG you need to place it at least 6 inches away from combustible surfaces like wood decks and patios.
An LP grill is significantly more affordable than an NG. You must have a gas line installed in order to have gas capabilities for your grill, which can be costly depending on the company doing the installation and where you live. Gas lines require inspections from the City of Calgary for safety reasons prior to being connected. The inspection can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks so it’s best to plan ahead if you’re thinking about converting your grill over.
A general rule of thumb when converting grills is that it’s recommended you use stainless steel or cast aluminum parts; they last longer and hold up better in comparison using any other metal (such as cheaper like tin). Stainless steel and cast aluminum parts also ensure a better performance and clean-up.
When converting your own grill, it’s best to be equipped with the proper tools, know all safety precautions and if possible, have someone help you hold certain parts in place while you attach others. If you’re looking into hiring a contractor to do the conversion for you, get at least three quotes before making your decision. You can always compare prices by searching online for “convert propane to natural gas” or something similar. Although it may cost more upfront to hire someone else to install your gas line and convert your grill than doing it yourself, consider future maintenance and reaping the long term benefits of having both options: an NG or LP tank will last anywhere from 2-4 years, meaning you’ll potentially save money in the long run.
No matter what grill type or size you have, it’s never too early to start planning for next summer. Not only will converting your current grill provide endless hours of outdoor entertainment for all, but if done properly it will last longer and be safer to use over time.
Just remember to follow all safety precautions, take your time and don’t rush. The increasing popularity of natural gas grills in the United States has led to some confusing and misleading information regarding propane grill performance. Naturally, this concerns consumers who are considering purchasing a new grill. This article is intended to help you make an intelligent decision on which fuel type might be right for your home or business while minimizing any risk associated with making the switch. After reading this article you should understand why switching from one fuel to another can actually result in better performance without sacrificing quality.
Regular maintenance on all grills is important to ensure that they run at their best. Many consumers like using natural gas because it allows them to simply turn on their gas supply and have immediate flame. A propane grill, however, requires more hands on attention. First you must “prime” the propane system of your grill before grilling begins. This occurs when liquid propane is turned into a gas in the main valve located at the bottom or side of your grill. The natural gas hose simply plugs into an existing home or business line while propane tanks require additional connections to ensure safety and performance.
When considering which type of fuel to use it is important to consider your cooking style and what flavor profile fits your taste buds best. Flavor profiles are affected by heat temperatures that can be achieved using either fuel type. Many consumers have become accustomed to having higher heat levels available with natural gas grills but this has not always been the case. There are now propane grills that have the ability to heat up to 650 degrees! Another noticeable difference with propane is that it does not burn as hot as natural gas, so there may be a slightly longer wait for your grill to reach its optimum temperature.
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? One of our knowledgeable Grill Consultants can help you decide which fuel type best fits your cooking style and budget.
Propane grills tend to be more readily available to consumers throughout the United States because the tanks are much easier to transport, store, and handle than liquid natural gas. Many BBQ enthusiasts have become accustomed to cooking at higher temperatures on traditional grills and will notice a decrease in temperature when changing from one fuel type to another. We recommend considering a grill with a sear station and burner when converting from natural gas to propane.
When you convert your propane grill, we encourage you to consider flavor profiles of your favorite foods and consider the following: “What is better for searing steaks, flavors imparted by high heat or longer cooking times with lower heat levels?” This is where our Grill Consultants can help!
When it is time for a new grill, consider going with a propane model
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? Learn about why propane is the preferred choice of barbecue grillers here.
Great Temperature Control: getting a char broil gas grills model means you have more control over your cooking temperatures, which will result in better tasting food . If you are looking for nice sear marks on your steaks, you are only going to be able to get that with a gas grill. Charcoal grills just don’t get hot enough to create the same searing effect that makes meat taste so good.
Ease of Use: if you have ever used a charcoal grill, then chances are they were harder to maintain than a gas grill. There is no need to build a fire in your charcoal grill every time you want to cook, unlike traditional grills which require you to burn wood or charcoal briquettes. Just turn a knob and ignite the propane in your gas grill. The whole process will take less than a minute.
Environmentally Friendly: Another reason why gas grills are better is because they have considerably lower emissions compared to their charcoal counterparts. The amount of particulate matter that comes from a charcoal grill can be downright hazardous to your health, with some studies showing over 40000 chemicals coming from the burning of regular briquettes.
Better Flavor: Because propane burns cleaner, you will notice a more intense flavor in your meat or vegetables. While some may argue that charcoal grills produce better tasting food, the smoke and other byproducts from the burning of charcoal briquettes is going to have an effect on the taste-not always a desirable one.
Better for Your Wallet: You can save money with a gas grill because there is no need for charcoal or propane refills. It also doesn’t cost as much to maintain these types of grills over time, so you won’t have to buy new ones every few years. With all of this savings combined with how easy it is to use one, it’s clear why more people are choosing propane grilling over charcoal.
Better for Your Health: Using a propane grill is better for your health because you will not have to breathe in the same amount of dangerous chemicals that are emitted from regular briquettes. These types of grills are also much cleaner when it comes to disposing of used up charcoal, which means that there will be less risk of groundwater contamination. These are just some of the many reasons why propane grills are superior over their charcoal counterparts. There is no need to limit yourself to only cooking food over random pieces of wood or coal anymore, especially when you can get much better results using a gas grill. If you are in the market for one, then make sure that you choose a propane model to get started.
According to the latest figures from the EPA, gas grills produce 90 percent fewer emissions than charcoal ones. In other words, if you’re trying to lower your carbon footprint while still enjoying a classic cookout , switching from charcoal to propane could be a huge step in the right direction.
Propane grills are also more fuel-efficient and tend to burn cleaner than their charcoal counterparts. This is because burning gas emits very few toxic pollutants into the air. What is more, according to a study conducted by Environmental Health Perspectives, propane fires have been found to emit almost no chemical soot particles, which can injure lungs and trigger asthma attacks. Charcoal fires, on the other hand, release substantial amounts of pollution into the air, including hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, soot particles and other toxins.
If you stick with propane to grill your meats, chicken, fish and veggies this summer you’ll be doing yourself-and the planet-a big favor. Not only will you be ready for your next backyard get-together, but your body will be too! According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cooked meat marinated in rosemary extract was found to have significant cancer-fighting powers. The results showed that proteins in cooked beef were more resistant to certain chemical reactions known to trigger cancer cell growth when exposed to high temperatures. Find out other surprising things that happen when you cook meat at different temperatures.
The benefits of using a propane-powered grill over one that uses natural gas
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? Propane gas is numerous. In fact, the benefits of a propane grill over a natural gas/propane grill are so great that if I knew what I know now about cooking on a propane grill vs a natural gas/propane grill when I bought my first one, I probably would have bought a propane-powered one instead. You might want to read this article before you decide which type of grill best fits your needs.
At present, there is only one company in North America that manufactures and sells both types of grills for residential use: Napoleon. Napoleon also makes the two most popular brands of natural gas grills sold by American retailers today: Broil King and Lynx (an import from Australia). Most other companies that sell natural gas grills only sell them and never manufacture them.
Both types of grills have their advantages and disadvantages, but after 13 years of cooking on both types I strongly prefer propane-powered models since they can do everything natural gas models can do and more, with less hassle and better results to boot. And the best part is: you don’t need a special regulator to use a propane grill; it is as simple as screwing in a tank (provided your grill has been designed for 1 lb or larger cylinders). Meanwhile, not all natural gas grills are compatible with 100% propane; those that do not require you to buy an additional regulator at an extra cost and some retailers won’t even tell you about the additional cost until after you’ve bought the grill.
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? Some of the advantages of propane-powered over natural gas models are listed below:
Lighters are usually included with most propane model grills whereas they are generally not included with natural gas grills. A common complaint I hear from grill owners concerns their frustration in trying to get their lighter to work on their natural gas grill, especially when it’s cold outside or when there is a lot of wind. This leads me to my next point about lighters – Natural gas is heavier than air and thus tends to settle near your deck/patio during wintertime when there isn’t much wind, which means you’ll have difficulty lighting your barbecue when it’s cold and/or windy outside. Propane is lighter than air, which means you’ll have no such problems lighting it when it’s cold or windy. However, you will run into this problem if there is not much wind where you live; hence my recommendation to buy a grill with an electric starter.
Propane grills are far more energy efficient than natural gas models simply because the propane fuel they use doesn’t go bad like natural gas does when unused for long periods of time (which is why restaurants and other very large users of outdoor appliances prefer propane over natural gas: they can store large amounts of propane in reserve without it going bad before their next use). In fact, the amount of energy used to power a propane grill for one hour is approximately equal to the amount of energy needed to power an electric kitchen stove (not oven) for about 20 minutes.
It is more convenient to carry 1 lb bottles than 5 or 10 lbs tanks when you need to take your grill with you on vacation, especially if your grill needs the larger tanks. For example, it would be very difficult (if not impossible) for me to lift and heave my Pro Classic’s tank into the trunk of my car; whereas I’ve done this numerous times with 1 lb cylinders. Also, while some people complain that they can’t use their natural gas grills in cold climates because their regulators freeze up in wintertime, all you have to do is turn off the tank valve and drain your regulator in order to prevent this from happening. Propane tanks do not freeze nearly as easily because they are not pressurized, which brings me to my next point… In general, propane is easier to store for long periods of time than natural gas since it does not expand when cold weather arrives. And if you’re going on a trip where you won’t have access to a common grilling appliance (i.e: a natural gas grill), you can still bring your own fuel with you by buying a couple one-pound cylinders or simply borrowing them from friends/family members who use them too. For all the reasons listed above, propane grills tend to be less expensive than natural gas grills which is why I often recommend them as a gift for Father’s Day, birthdays and Christmas.
For those who live in colder climates where natural gas heating/cooking appliances are the norm, shopping for a propane grill might make it much easier to cook with your existing appliances since all you’ll have to do is replace the regulator on your existing appliance (if necessary). Not only will this save you from having to buy an additional regulator, but it means that if somebody recommends a particular brand or model of BBQ grill, then chances are there won’t be any compatibility issues between their recommendations and yours. In fact, many manufacturers produce both propane and natural-gas models of their best outdoor appliances. Therefore just because you didn’t take my advice about buying a propane grill does not mean you will have to buy another one if the primary user of your outdoor appliances prefers natural gas.
It is easier to find parts for propane grills than for natural gas models simply because there are more propane accessories out there. For example, I am currently shopping around for replacement parts for my Weber Genesis Silver B/C while doing research on other BBQ grills in the process and so far the only thing I have found that does not work with it is a side wobble kit which probably wouldn’t cost much anyway so it was not really an issue. By contrast, while researching other BBQ grills I came across numerous adapters, extra burners etc that eliminate the need for propane accessories.
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>>> See more: Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? Weber Summit natural gas to propane conversion
Converting to propane is usually a good idea because it’s more economical and the gas grill will be easier to maintain. If you want to convert your natural gas grill, however, there are some things you need to know before starting. The first thing many people think about is whether they have enough room around their home for an entire tank of liquid propane or if they can just use 20 pound cylinders like with BBQ grills that run on gasoline. You also need to make sure the burners on your new grill match up with what’s already in place so that any sealant used doesn’t have leaks after installation. Finally, converting over may not be worth it if your current model was made within the last few years.
Can I convert natural gas grill to propane? When it comes to converting a natural gas grill, the process is quite simple. All you have to do is remove your old burner assembly and replace it with one that operates on propane fuel. Your new system will work just as well with lighter fluid or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking food. In order to convert from LPG to another type of fuel source, such as natural gas or electric, you’ll need an adapter kit which can be purchased at hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. This conversion requires more time than swapping out burners but could save you plenty in appliance repair costs over time if your home has already been converted to use less expensive fuels like electricity instead of LPG or natural gas.