How To Convert A Propane Water Heater To Natural Gas?

Converting a propane water heater to natural gas can be done by hiring a licensed professional to modify the burner and control valve to accommodate the new fuel source. This process involves adjusting the pressure, replacing or modifying certain components, and ensuring proper ventilation for safe operation.

Switching from propane to natural gas for your water heater requires specific technical knowledge and expertise, so it is recommended to enlist the help of a qualified technician to execute the conversion. They will have the necessary tools and experience to make the necessary adjustments and ensure that the conversion is conducted safely and efficiently.

By following these steps, you can successfully convert your propane water heater to use natural gas without compromising its performance or safety.

How To Convert A Propane Water Heater To Natural Gas?


Understanding The Benefits Of Converting

Switching from a propane water heater to a natural gas one comes with a range of advantages. Whether you’re looking to save on costs or reduce your environmental impact, converting to natural gas can be a smart choice. Let’s explore the benefits in more detail:

The Advantages Of Using Natural Gas Over Propane:

  • Cost savings and efficiency improvements:
  • Natural gas tends to be more affordable than propane, resulting in potential long-term savings on your utility bills.
  • Converting to natural gas can also lead to increased energy efficiency, as natural gas water heaters often have higher efficiency ratings compared to propane models.
  • Enjoy faster and more efficient heating with natural gas, ensuring you have a readily available supply for hot water whenever you need it.
  • Environmental impact and sustainability considerations:
  • Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel compared to propane, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions during combustion.
  • By converting to natural gas, you contribute to reducing air pollution and improving local air quality in your community.
  • Natural gas is a domestically abundant resource, making it a more sustainable choice in the long run. It reduces reliance on imported fuels, promoting energy independence.

Converting your propane water heater to natural gas presents numerous advantages, both in terms of cost savings and environmental benefits. Not only can you reduce your utility bills, but you also contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future for everyone.

Evaluating Your Water Heater’S Compatibility

Before converting a propane water heater to natural gas, it’s important to evaluate your water heater’s compatibility. This will ensure a successful conversion process and prevent any potential issues down the line. Here are the key points you need to consider:

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Checking The Manufacturer’S Specifications

  • Review the manufacturer’s documentation and specifications for your water heater model. Look for information on whether it can be converted from propane to natural gas. If the manufacturer does not recommend or allow conversion, it’s important to follow their guidelines to maintain the safety and efficiency of your water heater.

Identifying The Gas Valve Type

  • Determine the type of gas valve used in your water heater. There are two common types of gas valves: Standing pilot and electronic ignition. The gas valve type will determine if the conversion is possible or if additional steps need to be taken.

Assessing The Burner Assembly And Orifice Size

  • Examine the burner assembly to ensure it is compatible with natural gas. Some water heaters may require a specific burner assembly for natural gas conversion. Check the manufacturer’s documentation or consult a professional if you are unsure.
  • Verify the orifice size of the burner assembly. Propane and natural gas have different energy contents, so the orifice size needs to be appropriate for the type of gas being used. If the orifice size is not compatible, it may need to be replaced or resized.

By thoroughly evaluating your water heater’s compatibility, you can determine if it is suitable for conversion from propane to natural gas. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines, identifying the gas valve type, and assessing the burner assembly and orifice size are crucial steps in ensuring a successful and safe conversion process.

Always consult a professional if you have any doubts or questions.

Step-By-Step Conversion Process

Converting a propane water heater to natural gas involves several key steps to ensure a safe and effective transition. To help you with the process, we’ve broken it down into easy-to-follow instructions:

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials

Before beginning the conversion process, make sure you have the following tools and materials on hand:

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Pipe wrench
  • Pipe cutter
  • Teflon tape
  • Natural gas conversion kit
  • Screwdrivers
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves

Safety Precautions And Shutting Off The Gas Supply

Safety should always be a top priority when working with gas appliances. To begin the conversion process:

  • Ensure all gas appliances in the area are turned off.
  • Locate the gas shut-off valve near the water heater and turn it off.
  • Open windows and doors to provide proper ventilation.
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Removing And Replacing The Gas Valve And Burner Assembly

To proceed with the conversion:

  • Disconnect the gas supply line using an adjustable wrench.
  • Remove the gas valve and burner assembly from the water heater.
  • Install the natural gas conversion kit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace the gas valve and burner assembly.

Adjusting The Air-To-Gas Ratio For Optimal Combustion

For the converted water heater to operate efficiently, the air-to-gas ratio must be properly adjusted. Follow these steps:

  • Locate the air shutter adjustment on the burner assembly.
  • Use a screwdriver to control the air intake by opening or closing the shutter.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended air-to-gas ratio settings.
  • Modify the air shutter accordingly for optimal combustion.

Testing And Troubleshooting The Converted Water Heater

After completing the conversion process, it’s crucial to test the water heater to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Turn on the gas supply and check for any gas leaks using a soapy water solution.
  • If there are no leaks, ignite the burner and observe the flame.
  • The flame should be a steady blue color with a slight yellow tip.
  • If the flame is too yellow or exhibits abnormalities, consult a professional to troubleshoot the issue.

Remember, converting a propane water heater to natural gas requires careful attention to both safety precautions and technical specifications. If you’re unsure about any step in the process, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure a successful conversion.

Seeking Professional Assistance

When it comes to converting a propane water heater to natural gas, it’s important to understand that this is not a diy project. In order to ensure a safe and successful conversion, it is highly recommended to involve a licensed technician or plumber.

Here are a few key points to consider when seeking professional assistance:

When To Involve A Licensed Technician Or Plumber

  • If you have limited knowledge or experience with gas systems, it’s best to leave the conversion to the experts. A licensed technician or plumber has the expertise and training to handle complex gas installations.
  • Working with gas can be dangerous, as it involves handling flammable substances and dealing with potentially hazardous situations. Professionals are trained to mitigate these risks and ensure the process is carried out safely.
  • Converting a water heater from propane to natural gas requires technical knowledge and specialized equipment. Professionals have access to the right tools and resources to perform the conversion correctly.
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Complex Installations Or Unfamiliar Systems

  • If your water heater is part of a complex system or setup, it’s wise to involve a professional. They can assess the entire system and make any necessary adjustments or modifications to ensure compatibility with natural gas.
  • Some older water heaters may have different components or mechanisms that require specific expertise to convert. A licensed technician or plumber can navigate these complexities and ensure a seamless transition to natural gas.

Ensuring Compliance With Local Building Codes And Regulations

  • When converting a propane water heater to natural gas, it is essential to adhere to local building codes and regulations. Failure to comply can lead to safety hazards or legal issues. Professionals are well-versed in these requirements and can ensure compliance throughout the conversion process.
  • Building codes and regulations may vary from one location to another, so having a professional handle the conversion ensures that all necessary permits and inspections are carried out correctly.

Converting a propane water heater to natural gas should be done with the help of a licensed technician or plumber. They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment required to handle the technical aspects and ensure compliance with local codes and regulations.

By seeking professional assistance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your conversion will be carried out safely and efficiently.


Converting a propane water heater to natural gas can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for homeowners. By following the proper steps and ensuring the necessary safety precautions are taken, you can successfully make the switch. Start by checking if your water heater is compatible with natural gas, and if not, consider purchasing a conversion kit.

Make sure to shut off the gas supply and power to the water heater before beginning the conversion process. Install the conversion kit, making sure all connections are secure and properly tightened. Once the conversion is complete, test the water heater for any leaks or malfunctions.

Regular maintenance and inspection should also be conducted to keep the water heater functioning optimally. By converting to natural gas, you can save money on fuel costs and reduce your carbon footprint.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.