How To Convert A Natural Gas Water Heater To Propane

A natural gas water heater may not satisfy you as it can’t provide output efficiently. Using propane instead of natural gas is more efficient. Hence, people have an interest in converting a natural gas appliance to propane. Having a clear conception of how to convert a natural gas water heater to propane can be a help.

By knowing the process, you can eliminate the necessity of replacing appliances. All you need to do is use the conversion kits appropriately. You’ll need to replace burner orifices which are specially designed for propane.  

You must notify the altitude along with the model of the heater. Unless you do it carefully, a convenient oxygen density can’t be achieved. If you make any mistake in the setup process, you won’t get the desired output. Keep scrolling to know more about the conversion process in detail. 

How To Convert A Natural Gas Water Heater To Propane

How to convert a natural gas water heater to propane

Converting a natural gas water heater to propane requires following some strict steps. Here you know how to convert a natural gas water heater to propane. 

Installing propane tank using a conversion kit

Conversion kits allow you to convert a natural gas water heater to propane easily. You have two options here which could be more expedient for you. Here you know some easy steps about this process.  

Process:1- Convert furnace

  • Turn off the gas supply from your natural gas heater first. You also need to remove the screws of the burner access door. 
  • It’s time to get access to the gas control valve. You should slide out the manifold pipe to get access without any complications. 
  • Now, install a new spring in the control valve and screw the new pressure regulator. 
  • You need to turn the regulator screws clockwise along with installing a new O ring. 
  • Now, install a new top air shield. After that, you should replace the burner assembly. Also, put the burner access door back in its place. 

Process:2- Attaching the gas connection 

  • The first move is installing the outdoor propane gas supply in your gas supply line. 
  • Then, connect the propane gas supply to the furnace.
  • Now, ensure that the manual shutoff valve is turned off. If it’s not, turn it off from the “OFF” option.
  • After that, you need to install a ⅛ inch NPT connector so that you can attach the pressure range. 
  • Then, turn the gas supply on by turning on the system. 
  • After that, reconnect electricity to the furnace. If there’s any leak, you need to recheck the connection and fix it. 

Process:3- Adjusting input rate

  • Remove the burner access door along with turning off the electricity to the furnace. 
  • Then, turn the thermostat up until you see the furnace ignite. 
  • It’s time to adjust the desired pressure. You need to remove the cap on the gas control valve at this time. It’ll allow you to expose the regulator adjuster screw. By turning the screw clockwise, you can increase the pressure. Similarly, turn it counterclockwise to decrease the pressure. 
  • Now, replace the regulator cap and turn the gas control on. You need to turn the thermostat up until the furnace ignites. 

This process requires some technical skill and consistency. But, you’ll get the best output if you follow this method. 

Take the help of burner orifices

Burner orifices fit on the burner valves which come for using propane to the heater. Let’s get an elaborated overview on how you can convert a natural gas water heater to propane. 

Step:1- Off the gas supply to the heater

  • The first thing to do is turn off the gas supply to the heater. Unless you do this, you can be injured by some silly mistakes. There is a possibility that the heater may get damaged. 
  • As a part of the turning off process, you should take off the regulator also. 

Step:2- Dispose of the natural gas burners

  • Now, dispose of the gas burners perfectly. You need to follow the highest level of care while detaching the gas burners. 

Step:3- Screw the new burner orifices

  • Burner orifices are designed for propane. The right place for them is the burner valves. Your responsibility is to unscrew the nut that attaches the pilot tube with the pilot assembly.
  • If you don’t want to fall out of the orifice, then, remove the tube carefully. 

Step:4- Replacing the gas regulator

  • The existing gas regulator should be replaced now. Follow the direction depicted on the bottom of the regulator. The direction tells about in which way propane will flow. 
  • After replacing the gas regulator, you need to set the regulator accurately. The direction of the regulator should lead towards the gas heater line. 

Step:5- Final check

  • The final move is to check if all the connections are okay. If you doubt any gas leakage, recheck the connection.
  • If your gas heater comes with a safety valve, you should replace it immediately. You can use the conversion kits for this action. 

After following all the steps, your natural gas water heater will start to operate on propane. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are our propane and natural gas water heaters the same?

If we want to buy a propane water heater from any brand, we will notice that they are almost the same as natural gas water heaters. Generally, the conversion kit includes propane with it. This conversion kit helps modify the specific unit’s gas pressure regulator and orifice.

  1. Are natural gas and propane interchangeable?

As a fuel source, some appliance brands use either propane or natural gas. Unfortunately, these two are not interchangeable. Every source of fuel requires special fittings for gas utilization. If anyone wants to switch between these two water heaters, they will need a conversion kit. This kit will help in the installation process for the appliance manufacturer.

  1. Is it inexpensive to heat with natural gas or propane?

Usually, propane is more expensive than natural gas. Although propane produces about double the heat than the same amount of natural gas heater. The cost depends on the place. 

In some areas, natural gas heater costs less, while in some other places, propane is way cheaper. The best part is that they both are inexpensive compared to electricity in several areas.


After going through the methods, you’ve known how to convert a natural gas heater to propane. Performing this action is difficult unless you follow straightforward directions. All the steps depicted here are experimented with and elaborated in the easiest language. 

To make this operation successful, your prime responsibility is to screw the new burner orifices precisely. Without this action, you can’t get the desired heat as well as performance. Your target is to produce more heat than natural gas and so, your work deserves more accuracy. 

Converting a natural gas heater to propane isn’t possible for all models. As the gas-operated heaters come with low-pressure capacity, they’re not good with the high pressure of propane. Hopefully, you won’t face any more complexity while converting a natural gas water heater into propane. 

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