Can I Use Propane On A Natural Gas Water Heater?

Can I Use Propane On A Natural Gas Water Heater?

You may be concerned about how well your home’s water heating system will interact with other appliances and what fuels you can use. “Can I use propane on a natural gas water heater?” is the basic question of all. The answer is not as simple as yes or no; it depends on various factors.

This comprehensive lesson will show you how to utilize propane on a natural gas water heater. It will weigh the benefits and drawbacks while considering safety and efficiency. By the end, you’ll know whether or not this modification is perfect for your home.

Natural Gas Vs. Propane: What’s The Difference?

To begin, it is critical to understand the primary distinctions between natural gas and propane. Natural gas is a hydrocarbon gas mixture primarily composed of methane. Propane, on the other hand, is a byproduct of natural gas production and oil refining. These two gases have varying pressures, amounts of energy, and chemical compositions, which can affect how well they perform in water heaters.

Compatibility Factors.

Kits for Conversion.

The first step in establishing whether your water heater is propane-compatible is to consult the manufacturer’s specs. Most water heaters are built to run on natural gas or propane, but some are not. Check your water heater for a “conversion kit” or “gas orifice” that you may need to acquire to convert your water heater to propane effectively.

Size Of The Burner and Orifice.

Because propane contains more energy than natural gas, the burner and orifice size must be adjusted to create the proper air-fuel mixture. This modification is usually made during conversion to ensure efficient and safe combustion.

Safety and Venting.

Propane combustion creates different byproducts than natural gas, which may necessitate changes to the water heater’s venting system. Proper ventilation is critical for preventing the development of hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide.

Also, Read: How Much Propane Does A Tankless Water Heater Use.

What Tools Are Needed to Convert the Water Heater?

You will need specific equipment and components to convert a natural gas water heater to a propane water heater. The following is a list of tools.

  • Screwdriver
  • Tape made of Teflon
  • Hacksaw/Pipe Cutter
  • Wrench with adjustability
  • Burner regulator for appliances
  • Air shutter for the burner

How Do You Convert a Natural Gas Water Heater to a Propane Water Heater?

The following are the processes for converting a natural gas heater to a propane heater:

Turn Off the Electricity.

To begin, switch off the power to your water heater. Separate the power connection cable from it as well.

Install the Propane Tank.

After you have shut off the water, you must also turn off the gas. Then, unhook the natural gas connection from the water heater and install the propane tank with an adjustable wrench and screwdriver.

Also, Read: How To Adjust The Temperature On Gas Water Heater?

Follow these procedures to install a propane tank:

  • Choose a well-ventilated open space.
  • Check that the area is level; if not, level it with a concrete pad.
  • Install the tank by connecting it to the propane system.
  • Fill the tank up.
  • Finally, have a professional recheck the system because it could be malfunctioning.

The Gas Control Valve Or Regulator.

Manifold Pipes will now be installed on your heater; keep them to the side to make room for the gas valve. After that, screw in the pressure regulator and reinstall the control valve spring. The air shield, also known as an air shutter, is now ready for installation. The burner assembly is now available for replacement.

Attach the Gas Connector.

The propane gas supply line should now be connected to the gas supply line. Connect the propane gas supply to the furnace after that. Meanwhile, you can connect the pressure range with an NPT (National Pipe Thread) connector that fits its size. Turn on your gas supply.

Pros of Using Propane on a Natural Gas Water Heater

Faster Heating.

Because propane has a larger energy content, your water heater may heat water faster, potentially lowering wait times for hot water.

Energy Conservation.

In some circumstances, propane water heaters are more energy-efficient, reducing long-term energy bills.

Environmental Advantages.

Propane combustion emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other fuels, making it a more ecologically friendly option.

Cons of Using Propane on a Natural Gas Heater.

Conversion Costs of Using Propane on a Natural Gas Water Heater

Converting your water heater to use propane might be costly because a conversion kit and professional installation are required.

Fuel Prices.

In some areas, propane is more expensive than natural gas, which can outweigh the potential energy savings.

Safety Concerns.

Propane use demands strict adherence to safety precautions, such as adequate ventilation and detection of gas leaks.


After successfully converting your water heater to propane, you may enjoy the numerous advantages that come with it. You can not only save money on your energy bill, but you can also feel certain that you are helping the environment. You may have hot water at any time with a propane-powered water heater.

Switching to propane-powered water heaters can help you save money while reducing your environmental impact. Propane is an appealing energy source for people looking for an efficient and cost-effective option to heat their water due to its efficient and clean-burning features. Converting your water heater from natural gas to propane is straightforward, but call a competent specialist if you are unsure about the process. Take advantage of the power of propane to heat your water!


What happens when a natural gas water heater is connected to a propane tank?

Because of this, propane orifices (the little hole that meters the gas supply) are typically smaller than NG orifices. When you connect an NG device to propane, you use far more gas than you should, and the appliance burns considerably hotter.

How can I transform natural gas into propane?

You should switch off the gas to the appliance. Remove the natural gas burners and unhook the item from the natural gas line. Next, screw the new propane burners onto the burner valves. Finally, connect the gadget to your propane line and make any necessary adjustments to your burner settings.

Can I accomplish the change, or do I need professional help?

A homeowner could undoubtedly execute this process. Even though it is a critical operation, it is doable at home if you have the necessary tools and skills. We don’t recommend trying them if you know nothing about water heater parts.


About Author

Mobeen Shahid

Mobeen Shahid

Mobeen Shahid is a Mechanical Engineer with two years of experience in the HVAC industry. His passion is analyzing HVAC issues, and he works relentlessly to devise customized solutions. He has been in the industry long enough to know the ins and outs and ensures that areas are optimally heated, cooled, and ventilated.

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