What Happens If You Use Propane On A Natural Gas Stove?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins
Natural gas stoves are among the most common variety, and many homeowners wonder if you can use an alternative fuel source. You technically can use propane gas in a natural gas stove, but it is dangerous and can create an overwhelming flame. Follow along as we explore the safety hazards and dangers that come along with using propane in a natural gas stove.

A large percent of our population is under the false understanding that you can use propane on the stove that’s set up for natural gas. If you do this, it could be extremely dangerous if your stove has not been converted for propane usage. What would happen if you do try using the propane?

If you use propane on a natural gas stove, the flame will be too large. This is because the orifice jet for natural gas is considerably larger than the one used for propane. This can lead to burn injuries, damage to your stove and home, and even lead to death if it caused an explosion.

In this article, we will explain why you should not use propane to fuel your natural gas stove. Also, we will explain why it’s essential to convert your stove from natural gas to propane. Doing so will ensure you can safely use your propane stove with the right size of flame. This will reduce the risk of burns and explosions.

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What Happens If You Use Propane On A Natural Gas Stove?

If you try and use propane on a natural gas stove, you will not be pleased with the outcome. There are several scenarios that can unfold, some less serious than others, but why risk it?

Nothing Might Happen

It could very well be that nothing happens. Maybe you’ve found a way to adjust the orifice jet, or you were able to add some components to help so that the flame isn’t large.

However, this still doesn’t rule out the high probability of your propane leaking or the propane creating pressure that causes blowback. That blowback will suction the fire into the propane hose, causing your tank to explode. Depending on the size of your tank, this could be deadly.

Too Large Of A Flame

Since the orifice jet for the natural gas is larger than the propane one, this will result in too much propane escaping through the jet at once, which then causes a larger flame. And we’re talking about a significantly larger flame.

Think of the flame on a flamethrower. Now imagine that coming out of the burners on your stovetop. This would result in a possible house fire, your stove getting ruined, and even 3rd-degree burns.

Pressure Build-Up Resulting In Fire Blowback

Since too much propane will escape at once, this can lead to an incredible amount of pressure inside your stove components. When you ignite it, this can cause a whole slew of problems, including your stove blowing up or even the flame blowing back up through the tube into your propane tank, causing a deadly explosion.

You Might Be Able To Convert Your Natural Gas Stove

You do have the option to convert your natural gas stove so that you’re able to use your propane safely. However, it’s crucial that you check with your local city codes, as some mandate that you get it done by a professional. Also, check to ensure that the conversion is possible, as some natural gas stoves cannot be converted.

Instructions For Converting Your Natural Gas Stove

In the event that you can do this conversion on your own, we’ve included a few basic steps to help get you started.

  • Purchase a conversion kit. When you first purchase your appliance, it might have come with a conversion kit already. If you have that on hand, then you won’t need to buy a separate one. However, for older appliances, you will need to head to the store. Follow the instructions that come with the conversion kit and refer to the manual for your stove to ensure you do this safely.
  • Replace the spuds. The most significant change that you will make is replacing the larger orifices with smaller ones so that less propane is fed through. The propane will contain more heat energy, which means you don’t need much to cook your food. It’s a good idea to consult a professional for this phase of the conversion to ensure there are no propane leaks.
  • Adjust the settings. After the orifices and valves are replaced, you will need to adjust the settings for them. This step allows you to ensure everything is good to go so you can experience risk-free cooking and baking.

Do you learn better by watching, then check out this video.

Reasons To Convert From Natural Gas Stove To Propane Stove

While both natural gas and propane are similar fuel sources, they are not interchangeable. But there are many benefits to using propane over natural gas. We’ve listed just a few of these benefits below.

Propane Is Efficient

Compared to the energy in natural gas, propane contains twice the amount. This means that you will use half the amount of propane versus the amount of natural gas used for cooking. This is done without the sacrifice to the heat level, as you will still have the same temperature.

Propane Costs Less Or The Same

Since you will need about half the amount of fuel when you use propane instead of natural gas, you can expect to save a decent amount of money for fuel. Even if you live in an area where propane doubles the amount of natural gas, since you’re using half the amount, your cost won’t change. So, finding a good deal on propane means even more savings!

Pay As You Go

Another benefit of propane over natural gas is that you pay as you go with propane. You can time the refills when propane is at a lower price and choose providers to fill with.

On the other hand, the natural gas price is locked in as you are stuck purchasing the natural gas from the company that is in charge of your gas lines. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on the company.

Additional Information You Need To Know About Converting Your Stove

  • The cost is between $150 to $200. To convert a gas stovetop with four burners, you can expect to pay about $150 to $200 for professional services. This includes about 1 hour of labor, plus the travel time. Always make sure to ask what’s included in the price before hiring.
  • The conversion kit is usually on the back or the side of the stove. Sometimes you can find the conversion fittings in a plastic bag stuck to the side or back of the stove. However, if your stove doesn’t have one, you need to find out if it’s possible to convert that one. If you can, then you will need to buy a conversion kit from the store.
  • Different sizes of orifices for each burner size. The burner size will determine the size of the orifices you use. If you have four different sizes of burners, expect to have four various orifices that need to be installed.
  • The regulator needs to be converted. You will need to convert your regulator from the standard 4 inches of pressure for a natural gas stove to 10 inches of pressure.
  • Adjust each burner for a simmer setting. You will need to provide a minimum adjustment for each burner for the simmer setting. Make sure that the flame is low, but not to where the flame goes out when it transitions from high heat to low heat or high flame to low flame.
  • Always check for propane leaks. Use a spray bottle filled with soapy water to check any gas lines that you have messed with. Spray the soapy mixture onto the gas line and watch for bubbles. If bubbles begin producing, then this means that you have a gas leak and will either need to replace the line or call in a professional to fix it.

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Don’t Use Propane For Natural Gas Stoves

While natural gas and propane are similar fuel sources, they cannot be used interchangeably. If you use propane on a natural gas stove, this can result in fires, explosions, and even death. By converting your natural gas stove, you can make sure you have all the necessary components for using propane. However, before you begin the conversion process, check with your local city codes. Some areas require you to hire a professional and will not allow you to do this conversion independently.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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