Sunday, August 30, 2015

Converting a Natural Gas Cook Top Range to Propane (L.P.)

NOTICE: I am not responsible for YOUR actions.  This post is purely anecdotal. If you convert a cooktop to LP and blow yourself up, that’s totally on you.  I am providing information regarding where to get parts.  The whole “how you do it safely” thing is on YOU.

I spent the last two days having every nitwit in the plumbing and/or seasonal department of Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware tell me that hooking a 20# propane tank up to a regular gas range is the most bizarre and unheard of thing they’d ever encountered, and it would be impossible to do without consulting someone at a “very specialty” gas or propane type supplier.  Seriously.  Every single guy told me I’d have to go to a specialty supplier to make this work.


Before I say any more, let me tell you this: all you need is ONE, SINGLE 3/8” FL to 1/2” MIP ADAPTER, and here it is (and they ALL sell it!)…


As far as converting your range to propane, most cooktop ranges these days come with a little strip of metal fastened to the cooktop range regulator that contains tiny little brass orifices for converting the range from Natural Gas to L.P.  You simply unscrew the orifices that come pre-installed (the Natural Gas ones) and swap out the LP orifices (the one’s attached to the regulator) and then change the range’s regulator from Natural Gas to LP by either flipping a switch, or turning over a plastic insert.  The fact that everyone I spoke to was acting like this was the most bizarre and difficult thing they had ever heard was incredibly frustrating (and idiotic).

Every propane-fueled grill that Ace, Lowe’s, and Home Depot sells comes with a propane regulator and hose attached to the grill (to hook it up to a propane tank).  That same regulator/hose combo can be purchased separately, and will attach to your “regular” natural gas stove with the adapter pictured above.  Here’s what it looks like in action (twenty pound propane tank connected directly to cook top regulator)…


I am making no claims as to the safety or code/regulation requirements of this set up.  I’m simply stating that all it takes to get from your propane regulator hose (like what’s on your grill) to the cook top is the adapter pictured above (3/8” FL x 1/2” MIP).

I purchased a $1300 GE Profile Gas Cooktop from my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $75.  I then purchased a 6ft. stainless steel restaurant prep table off of Craiglist and will be cutting a hole in the top to drop the cooktop into.  Thus, I will have a five burner, propane-fueled cooktop and prep area on my patio, and will no longer be heating my house when cooking in the summer!

I plan on doing this conversion in our Airstream as well (buying a high end gas range at a thrift or salvage store and converting it to propane for the RV).  These cooktops are MADE to convert to propane.  Why was EVERYONE telling me it was such a crazy thing?!