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Thread: Propane to Natural Gas conversion on furnace

  1. #1
    DIY Member Willie Two's Avatar
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    Default Propane to Natural Gas conversion on furnace

    I have a RV trailer furnace that I would like to switch over to natural gas. Is it feasible or could they be just too great a difference in the unit construction. Thanks

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You'd need a regulator for the NG and a change in jets as the energy content between the two gases is different (NG has lower pressure and needs a larger jet). If the manufacturer has certified it for NG, you can get the kit from them. Otherwise, it probably isn't a good idea.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    This really is not a DIY job even if you can find and obtain the parts. You need to hire a professional who has the ticket to work on gas appliances. You f**k up and you and your family are dead. Yes, I know this is a forum to provide advice and assistance for DIY, but sometimes the best advice is to hire a professional.

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    What Gary said.

    Without a manufacturer's kit, indemnification, instructions & technical support many pros wouldn't even touch this one. Otherwise the shift of liability from the manufacturer to the retrofitter would be too heavy to be worth it. Even if the pro got it right 99.5% of the time, the downside risk wouldn't be worth it.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Yes, modifying the equipment tends to negate the AGA/GAMA listing it was manufactured under. IF the manufacturer is comfortable with it, they produce a conversion kit for the field. There will be plenty of lingo about needing to be installed by a qualified professional. This raises insurance issues if you do it yourself and the house catches fire!

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    DIY Member Willie Two's Avatar
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    Actually, The furnace has been salvaged out of an RV and I currently use it to heat a detached garage/workshop. I am using it now with a 30 lb bottle and changing it is a pain in the butt.......running a gas line would be an easy solution if the furnace was easily converted.

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Two View Post
    Actually, The furnace has been salvaged out of an RV and I currently use it to heat a detached garage/workshop. I am using it now with a 30 lb bottle and changing it is a pain in the butt.......running a gas line would be an easy solution if the furnace was easily converted.
    I guess you missed the point that everybody tried to make to you about the conversion, even if it works great now on LP. Don't mattere where you use it to keep cozy.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Two View Post
    Actually, The furnace has been salvaged out of an RV and I currently use it to heat a detached garage/workshop. I am using it now with a 30 lb bottle and changing it is a pain in the butt.......running a gas line would be an easy solution if the furnace was easily converted.
    I have always found the NG supplier ready to help with that kind of conversion. They want you to use their gas, and they want that done safely. So, give them a call and you might just find you can take the furnace there and they will have the new orifice needed for the gas jet and will inspect the furnace for any possible cracks and then install the new orifice for only a small price.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You need at a minimum both a new gas regulator and jetting. And, if the manufacturer does not certify the furnace for use with NG, you'll be at risk. As mentioned, IF a kit is available, then it is fairly straight-forward, otherwise, you shouldn't do it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Maybe a larger propane tank would solve the problem.

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    DIY Member Willie Two's Avatar
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    Maybe I'll just move down south !! Thanks all the advice, this thread could be closed now.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    You dont need a new regulator, the kit comes with a new spring to adjust the pressure and larger jets. Call the MFG or graingers parts.

    Being an RV, very unlikely that the valve was meant to be changed over to nat. Put your tank outside, make it larger and they will fill it for you.

  13. #13
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    ... Put your tank outside, make it larger and they will fill it for you.
    That is what my wife and I did on our houseboat a few years ago. A 20# bottle would run the 'fridge for a week while we carried our 100# bottle to shore and had the LPG folks come fill it at a friend's dock, and then we were good for another five weeks!
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

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