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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3

Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/18/2013 11:16 PM

I have a ng space heater that I want to convert to LP (Propane). Do I have to change the size of the orfices for each burner or can I just change from an NG regulator to an LP regulator? If I change thee size of the orfices to each burner, do I then need a LP regulator as well?

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Pathfinder Tags: convert NG to LP Natural Gas to Propane
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#1

Re: fhuwe123

11/18/2013 11:26 PM

The question is vague.

Here's a vague answer:

Can I convert my natural gas hot water heater to propane? - Yahoo

The maker of the heater might give you more spacific information, or not.

Can you search GlobalSpec.com or Google?

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#2

Re: fhuwe123

11/19/2013 12:54 AM

Generally a conversion kit consist of orifices and a different spring for the gas valve's regulator. It involves adjusting the regulator with the new spring using a manometer and adjusting the air/fuel mixture. If it's not perfect your space heater will become a space fumigator, and breathing may become difficult, and eventually completely unnecessary.

Plenty of people will say leave this to the professionals, or buy an appropriate propane space heater, or have a conversion kit installed by someone skilled and who owns a manometer, but with a little solder and the right size drill bit, you could cobble up a fine propane heater. Just don't fall asleep.

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#3

Re: fhuwe123

11/19/2013 2:42 AM

The two gases have different flame speeds and this will mean that the burners and regulators will need changing. However, it is not a task for an untrained person; if in doubt, consult a specialist - in the UK these will come with a "CORGI" [Confederation of Registered Gas Installers] badge and there are plenty listed in Yellow Pages.

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#4

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/19/2013 7:48 AM

With out the info you will also need to provide a tank of appropriate size. If too small for the volume needed by the heater. The evaporation of the liquid LP will lower the fluid temperature. To a point that you have no pressure or too low and heater will go out.

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#5

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/19/2013 7:55 AM

I can see from here that you have one of those frugal "no touch" heaters. The orifice and fuel regulator is cast out of cheap "white" metal. These items are designed to never be modified. They cannot be removed, opened or machined without breaking into multiple pieces.

The S-Mart logo right next to the product and manufacturer label told me this.

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#6

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/19/2013 7:57 AM

Contact the manufacturer. They should be able to either sell you, or recommend the right kit...if it's even possible.

The changeover is easy, you just need the right stuff, and the ability to follow the directions.

Edit: I think the gas and kerosene space heaters are a really, really, bad idea.

I was in Walmart the other day, and they had scented kerosene for those things...pine, vanilla, etc.

....and they wonder how people end up dead.

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#7

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/19/2013 2:20 PM

Changing it to run off LP will void the warranty and remove all liability from the manufacturer if it fails. To do it properly you need to get the conversion kit from them. They will also supply a new Id plate which will id the fuel the heater uses.

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#8

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/20/2013 12:46 AM

You have to change the regulator and the orifice. The regulator will have a removable cap and some means to change it to 11PSI from 4PSI by adding some extension to increase the pressure on the spring and diaphram.. The orifices should be reduced by about 2/3 the size of the NG orifice.

LP is nearly double the BTUs per cubic meter than Natural gas and so the orifice needs to be smaller to create the same flame on the burner.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/20/2013 4:06 PM

I think that should be "inches of water column" instead of PSI. Other than that good answer.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/20/2013 9:06 PM

Yes you are right! It should be inches of water not PSI. Thanks for pointing that out.

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#9

Re: Converting NG Space Heater to LP

11/20/2013 8:35 AM

It depends on the heater (equipment) design and where you are located.

For years now in the USA most heating equipment has been and is "dual-fuel" rated for NG and propane/butane.

On newer equipment the only conversion change required to go from NG to propane/butane usually is to install a smaller, correctly sized orifice and set the pressure at the regulator to the correct value using a manometer.

The only way to be sure is to contact the manufacturer and follow their directions.

While the procedure is rather simple, failure to precisely follow the manufacturer recommendations will result in either too much fuel (termed "over-firing") which can result in a serious explosion or not enough fuel (termed "under-firing") which will result in the burner shutting off "flaming out" and/or failure to ignite properly and could result in unburned fuel collecting in the area then exploding.

You must be knowledgeable enough to look at the burner flame height, position in relation to the burner surface, and the flame color to determine if the burner is correctly adjusted which in turn may require the orifice size to be even further adjusted/changed up or down in diameter.

If you have not been instructed properly and/or do not know the correct way to set the heater up, I would highly recommend you find someone that does and ask for help or hire them to do the setup.

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