It’s true that the propane water heater is more beneficial than the natural gas water heater. There is growing curiosity about the conversion of these heaters.
Can a natural gas water heater be converted to propane? Yes, a natural gas water heater can be converted to propane if your heater has the convertibility factors. Converting to propane from natural gas is a better choice because a propane water heater provides more substantial benefits than the other one.
Here we have shared the process of how to convert natural gas to propane. Also mentioned are all the necessary tools and components that will be necessary while working.
What Is the Difference Between Natural Gas and a Propane Water Heater?
Both water heaters are used to heat water. The primary difference between these two water heaters is the heat source. Fuel for natural gas water heaters comes from a line that is supplied by a particular gas supplier. On the other hand, a propane water heater uses a propane cylinder that is typically kept at home and refilled when it runs out.
Both water heaters operate flawlessly. But occasionally, it depends on a number of variables, such as the cost of gas, the weather, the usage pattern, etc. Compared to propane gas, natural gas is more accessible and less expensive. On the other hand, propane gas is not popular because it is not readily available.
However, propane water heaters are more efficient and cost-effective.
Is every water heater convertible?
Not all water heaters are capable of being converted from one fuel source to another. To determine if your water heater is convertible, you need to check the manufacturer’s specifications, which can be found on the back of the heater or in the manual.
Some water heaters are only designed to work with one type of gas and cannot be converted. However, those water heaters that have the capability to be converted may be converted from one gas to another.
However, this process may involve many steps, such as replacing the venting or burner assembly. So it is a complex task.
What Equipment Is Required to Convert the Water Heater?
You need specialized equipment and components to change a natural gas water heater to a propane water heater. The list of tools is provided below.
- Teflon tape
- Pipe cutter/Hacksaw
- Adjustable wrench
The parts that require replacement are listed below. There are three parts you will need to convert this water heater
- Appliance regulator
- Burner air shutter
In addition to this, you also need-
- Propane gas pressure gauge
- Propane gas regulator
- Propane gas line fittings and connectors
- Venting system components (not compulsory)
How to Convert a Natural Gas Water Heater to a Propane One?
The following questions and answers relate to the conversion of a propane water heater from a natural gas water heater. Read this section if you want to know more.
Step 1: Turn off the supply
Turning off your water heater’s power supply is the first thing you should do. Keep the power connection line far enough away from it as well.
Step 2: Installing the propane tank
After stopping the water supply next, you have to turn off the gas supply too. Afterward, disconnect the natural gas line from the water heater using an adjustable wrench and screwdriver, and install the propane tank.
There are several steps to install propane tank:
- Choose a well ventilated free space
- Make sure the area is level; if not, place a concrete pad to assist in leveling it.
- Now install the tank, and connect it to the propane system.
- Fill the tank
- Finally, have a professional recheck the system because it might be flawed.
Step 3: Change the gas control valve/regulator
Manifold pipes will now be present in your heater; keep them to the side to make room for the gas valve. Next, install a new spring in the control valve, and then screw the pressure regulator in place. The air shield or air shutter can now be installed. You can now swap out the burner assembly.
Step 4: Attaching the gas connector:
Your supply gas line should now be connected to the propane gas supply. Following that, attach the furnace’s propane gas supply. In thIn the interim, you can attach the pressure range by installing an NPT (National Pipe Thread) connector in accordance with its size. Now turn on your gas supply
Benefits of Propane Conversion
Here are a few benefits of using propane gas:
- Energy efficiency: Propane is known for its high energy efficiency, as it contains up to 90% of the energy compared to other fuels which have less.
- Cost Effective: Although the availability of propane may be limited, it is still a cost-effective option compared to other fossil fuels.
- Workability: Propane is also a powerful fuel source as it provides consistent heat in a short amount of time, leading to energy savings.
Here are some frequently asked questions about converting a natural gas water heater to a propane water heater. Continue reading if you want to learn more about this.
Undoubtedly, a homeowner could complete this process. Even though it’s a crucial process, it can be converted at home if you have all the required equipment and the right knowledge. However, if you don’t know much about the water heater parts, we don’t advise trying them.
In North America, a threaded standard known as NPT is used to seal pipe fittings. The NPT connector aids in pressure range compatibility; it helps to operate gas pressure, specifically how much will flow throw the pipe.
Additionally, it provides a tight seal between the pipes or fittings during the transformation.
Workability is excellent. Propane gas water heaters heat water more quickly than natural gas water heaters. Aside from that, it is very energy efficient and can be used for longer than a normal gas water heater.
We believe you now have your answer regarding the question, “can a natural gas water heater be converted to propane?”
A natural gas water heater can be converted to a propane gas water heater if your heater has the conversion characteristics. To convert it, you need all the appropriate tools, heater components, and, most importantly, the right knowledge.
However, if you are unfamiliar with water heaters, hiring a professional to handle the conversion is best. The installation fee will be around $500.
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