Why Switch a Propane Fire Pit to Natural Gas

The best way to choose how to convert your propane fire pit to natural gas is with the help of an expert. But if you are doing it yourself, there are some considerations you need to make before deciding. You will want to know how much it costs and how long it takes and what type of fire pit can be converted? What are the risks? And how do I convert from propane to natural gas in the first place?

How Do I Convert from Propane to Natural Gas?

If you know how propane and natural gas systems work, you can change your propane fire pit to a natural gas fire pit by yourself. For that, you need a conversation kit and follow some safety measures. Sometimes, you only need to change the orificesBut in most cases, converting from propane to natural gas is not that simple. 

Remember, changing your fire pit fuel from propane to natural gas is a bit of a complicated process. Therefore, you should be an expert in this matter, or you can always hire a professional for the work. 

If you are confident about doing the change yourself, you need to consider some essential facts and the risk of switching from propane to natural gas, which we will further discuss later in the article.

Considerations Before Switching a Fire Pit to Natural Gas

You may use your propane fire pit nearly every evening in the cold weather. Hence, you are either tired of refilling the tank, or you want to cut the cost of propane gas. So, you decide to convert your propane fire pit into a natural gas fire pit. 

Well, deciding is the easy part. But practically applying the idea is not as simple. There are a lot of things you need to consider. In other words, changing the fuel system of your fire pit from propane to gas is difficult these days. 

First of all, your propane fire pit has to be compatible with natural gas. Then, you need a conversion kit for the change. If your propane fire pit is not compatible with natural gas, you can do nothing about it. 

Important facts you need to understand

Gas Fire Pit with rocks close up
Gas Fire Pit with rocks close up photo by 215991779 © JuliaDorian | Dreamstime.com

Gas line installation

So, your propane fire put is compatible with natural gas, which is good news. Now, do you have a natural gas line to connect to your fire pit? If you do not have a natural gas supply at the house, you need to contact your local gas supplier.

Check the internet or ask your neighbours for the contact details or number of the natural gas provider. You should hire a professional to install the gas line for you. Also, a certified inspector needs to check your gas supply to permit a connection to the fire pit. 

Moreover, bringing a gas line to your yard or lawn for the fire pit will need some digging. Hence, your backyard or property will need some changes as well. The digging will leave some marks on the ground. So, think carefully if you need these changes. 

Gas application conversions

These days, many propane fire pits are not compatible with other fuel systems. But you can change your model. Changing your propane fire pit to natural gas involves not only changing the orifice; it will also require changes or replacements of regulators, burners, and even the venting. 

Making changes in the parts is necessary because natural gas and propane gas have different pressure levels. Also, the gas jets of propane have smaller holes, but you will need jets with bigger holes for natural gas. Switching the gas line or orifices without changing the burner will not give you the heat you want. 

Propane Tank

You have read about digging natural gas lines for your fire pit, but what about your propane tank? Does your fire pit have a propane tank underground? 

Then, you have to get it emptied for your safety. You can also dig it out and sell it, which again means changes in the appearance of your lawn. When you sublet a propane tank from a business, things become pretty tricky. You pay the company to remove the tank, or you must consider purchasing the tank and dislodging it yourself.

The process of changing from propane to natural gas is much easier if you have the tank above ground. 

Cost of the Switch

The cost of switching to gas is another concern. The first step is to calculate all the changes you need, like applications and appropriate permits for your area’s codes. The cost varies according to the quality of the products and servicing charges.

It may seem expensive, but it will be worth it in the long run. Natural gas costs one-third less than propane. So, ultimately you will save a lot of money. 

Determine if the Fire Pit supports Natural Gas.

Please do not attempt to change your fire pit’s fuel system without checking its compatibility. Many propane fire pits are strictly for propane use. To verify your fire pits compatibility, contact the manufacturer or the manual of the fire pit. 

It will be clearly stated on the manual or label if your propane fire pit is convertible to natural gas. It is always better to buy fire pits convertible from propane to natural gas, or vice versa, because it’s impossible to predict when you’ll require a changeover from propane(LPG).   

Invest In a Converter Kit

A high-quality converter kit is a must for changing propane fire pit to natural gasYou may have got one with your fire pit when you bought it. If you do not have a converter kit, get a compatible kit with your fire pit. 

According to the type and manufacturer, the cost of a kit can vary greatly. They can be costly. So, Shop around for the most suitable converter kit for your purpose. The conversion kit will come with 

Conversion in 3 Steps 

Considering all the facts, you may decide to convert your propane fire pit. Here are some helpful tips that will help you with the conversion process: 

Step 1: Choose your fuel, your ignition type, and the shape of your burner 

You may choose natural gas for the fire pit since it runs for an extended time and costs less than propane gas. Now, it is time to consider the ignition type. There are two systems for igniting your fire pit: gas and electric. The electric ignition system is easier to operate. If you have a low budget, use a gas system. 

Then you have to decide on the burner shape and size. Fire pits have different sizes and shapes. Hence, their burner size and shapes also vary based on the inner dimension of the fire pit. There should be a three inches gap between your burner outer edge and the inner edge of your fire pit. The gas jet holes of the natural gas burner must be larger than propane burner jet holes. 

Step 2: Set up ventilation & Find the Gas Valve

The ventilation system of the propane fire pit and natural gas fire pits are not always the same. Your area may have a law for vent holes in fire pits. You may have to change the ventilation system of your propane fire pit when you convert it into a natural gas pit. 

Your conversion kit will have a new gas valve limiter stop. You should install a ¼ turn ball valve to regulate the gas to operate the burner. It is essential to mount the gas valve where you can easily reach it.  

Step 3: Install the Fire Pit Pan & Choose Your Fire Pit Media

If you want to make your fire pit more attractive, use a fire pit pan. It also improves drainage and minimizes the use of fire media. You can also have easy access to your gas lines when you have to repair your fire pit. 

Finally, choose your fire pit media. You have many options to make your fire look natural and attractive. Lava rocks are great media to decorate and for even distribution of fire. You can find the same effect using Fireglass. 

What Are the Risks of Switching a Propane Fire Pit to a Natural Gas Fire Pit? 

There are some severe risks related to changing propane fire pit gas to natural gas. To put it simply: If you’re not an expert with conversion kits, you should leave the job to these specialists. 

You should carefully connect the natural gas line to the fire pit. Any leak or loose connections can cause dangerous gas explosions. Similarly, you should install the conversion kit properly. Otherwise, the fire pit will not work.

Based on your location, you may require permission to convert your propane fire pit t natural gas. Any changes without permission are a punishable offence. So, make sure to the laws related to fire pits and gas use. 

 Does Natural Gas Have Environmental Benefits?

Clean Energy
Clean Energy photo by https://www.twenty20.com/photos/

By switching to natural gas, you will not only save your money but also protect the environment. Natural gas is abundant in nature. It is the cleanest fossil fuel. Burning natural gas produces 50% less carbon dioxide compared to wood and coal. 

Propane fire pits necessitate the use of a propane gas tank, which can leak and disperse toxic gas and chemicals. It is risky since it has the prospect to erupt and causing damage to the surrounding vicinity. Whilst also propane gas is denser than the atmosphere, natural gas is lightweight. An underground reservoir holds natural gas, which reduces the risk of accidents.

Furthermore, fire pits powered by natural gas generate more heat. Consequently, you don’t have to provide as much natural gas as propane gas during the cold season. You will also save energy in this manner. Natural gas is the purest fossil fuel currently available, with 90% or greater direct use effectiveness.

The Future Is Natural Gas for Our Homes.

Earth-Ship homes use organic compounds such as plants or animal waste to create natural gas from scratch, without ever needing any energy sources outside the Earth itself – all through recycling reformers’ trash into clean electricity in just seconds.

Not only does this cutting-edge technology help us preserve Mother Nature while living sustainably on her bounty, but it also produces ample amounts of electrical power for your daily needs, so you’ll never need batteries again!

Summary of Fire Pit Natural Gas Conversion

In this youtube clip, Mark Ryan offers a superb illustration of how to implement a natural gas conversion kit,  therefore helping you comprehend the points raised in this article.


Mark Ryan. (2020, August 1). Outland Living fire table LP/propane to natural gas conversion [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f11y84_0CnE

Conclusion

Factoid: It turns out that the ancient Chinese unearthed natural gas 500 years ago. They used a bamboo shoot ( panda bears’ favourite) as a pipeline to transport this valuable fuel and then converted salty seawater into fresh drinking water.

Thank you for reading this article on how to convert propane fire pits to natural gas. I hope now you will be able to make an informed decision on the best way forward and make your home environment and stay warm, safe, secure and green!

Sources of Information

Generator-Services. NZ. (n.d.). Converting Gas Appliances – Propane and Natural Gas Appliance Conversions. Www.Propane101.Com. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://www.propane101.com/lpgasapplianceconversions.htm

Friedman, D. (n.d.). How to Convert a Gas Appliance from LP to Natural Gas. InspectApedia.Com. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Gas_Conversion_LP_NG.php

B. (2021, April 12). How to Convert Your Propane Grill to Natural Gas. TheOnlineGrill.Com. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://theonlinegrill.com/convert-propane-grill-to-natural-gas/

C., R. (2021, September 19). Converting Propane Fire Pit To Natural Gas – Dream Outdoor Living. Dream Outdoor Living. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://dreamoutdoorliving.com/converting-propane-fire-pit-natural-gas/

Hiensch, D. (2020, January 13). Can you convert propane fire pit to natural gas? FindAnyAnswer. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://findanyanswer.com/can-you-convert-propane-fire-pit-to-natural-gas

Toco, Y. (2020, March 21). Can you convert any propane fire pit to natural gas? AskingLot.Com. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://askinglot.com/can-you-convert-any-propane-fire-pit-to-natural-gas

Killian, K. (2020, July 2). Fun Facts About Natural Gas. UGI EnergyLink. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://ugienergylink.com/fun-facts-natural-gas/

Noonan, J. (2020, March 4). Should You Convert from Propane to Natural Gas? Bob Vila. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://www.bobvila.com/articles/propane-vs-natural-gas/

Family Handyman. (2019, October 31). Gas Grill: Propane to Natural Gas Conversion. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/gas-grill-propane-to-natural-gas-conversion/

4 thoughts on “Why Switch a Propane Fire Pit to Natural Gas”

  1. A fire pit is a must-have in my future house. It will definitely come in handy on those cold winter nights where you want to sit outside with a cup of hot chocolate. Natural gas is the way to go. It is just so convenient. i will be sure to share this article around. 

    Reply
    • Love it, Daniel.  Do you want to do your part for the global climate change crisis? Connect with earth and flames, then light up a fire pit in your palace. Yes, propane fires pits ARE still an investment but switching them over natural gas can make it more practical long term!

      Many Blessings 

      J W RIDDELL -THE FUN HUB

      Reply
  2. Thank you for this wonderful post. My husband would love this article. He is a hands-on guy and understands all this stuff. I, on the otherhand am more of the hiring someone else mindset. We don’t have a fire pit currently, but it is something we would enjoy very much. Thanks to your article, we would definitely go with the natural gas instead of propane.

    Reply
    • If natural gas is available, it is the most cost-effective option. If your yard or home is too tiny, a biofuel fireplace may be an alternative worth considering. Yes, some of us prefer to seek the confidence of a professional when dealing with risky installations. Still, I’m confident you could perform this switch while adhering to a few safety precautions. Thank you so much for reading.

      Reply

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