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Running a gas stove on propane

 
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Hi! I live in an off-the-grid tiny house in the middle of the woods. I have been cooking on a camp stove, but was recently given a gas stove/oven by a friend. My house is not exactly a place I can hook up natural gas to, but I have heard of people running gas stoves on 20-lb propane tanks. I've been trying to find info on how to do it, but so far I haven't found anything that has made me feel ready to take it on. Has anyone done this, or does anyone have any advice? Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Most gas stoves can be converted from natural gas to propane simply by change the gas orifice. I say 'most" because I've heard of some brands where the orifice cannot be changed. But the majority can.

A appliance repair service should be able to match up your stove with the correct parts to sell you. You'll need the make and model to match up the correct orifice. Most parts cone with instructions. If not, then google the instructions online or search YouTube for a how-to video. Instructions call for checking the gas flow pressure after installation, but frankly, people in my region convert their new stoves without doing the gas pressure check and things have always been fine. But that said, you might be able to rent the necessary tool from an appliance store to check that, .........or just have the appliance repair place install the new orifice and pay the bill.

I'm a do-it-yourself type person and converted my natural gas stove to propane myself. I have a Premier stove which required a propane orifice and an adjustment to the 'turn on" knobs for each burner and the oven. That adjustment was simply turning a switch from one side to the other. Simple. One direction = natural gas, the other direction was for propane use.
 
Nick Taylor
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Thank you, I'll look into this!
 
pollinator
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In addition to changing the orifices, you typically have to change/adjust the pressure regulator.

Anyway, as Su Ba pointed out, any good appliance repair shop can convert it for you.  I wouldn't recommend this as a DIY project unless you really know what you're doing.
 
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The most recent stove that I bought came with orifices for both types of gas. And with instructions for how to convert between them.

 
gardener
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You can use a 20 pound tank.  More is normally better in this case.  A 100 pound tank lasts me a year.
 
pollinator
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Nick Taylor wrote:Hi! I live in an off-the-grid tiny house in the middle of the woods. I have been cooking on a camp stove, but was recently given a gas stove/oven by a friend. My house is not exactly a place I can hook up natural gas to, but I have heard of people running gas stoves on 20-lb propane tanks. I've been trying to find info on how to do it, but so far I haven't found anything that has made me feel ready to take it on. Has anyone done this, or does anyone have any advice? Thanks!



Yes it generally is just a matter of switching burner orifices.

If you are living off grid you might want to look into bio-digesters. Most of the world is using them, but for some reason a lot of the 1st world nations have never heard of this idea. It is basically building and artificial stomach. You add in your yard and food waste (can also use human waste) and get out methane gas to cook with, compost tea, and a solid compost. It is a way to turn your waste into a benefit.I am looking to build one when I build my house, it will help you get off the propane buying by producing your own gas for cooking.
 
John F Dean
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I am looking into methane production for my place. It looks like it will be a 2001 project.  I have too many half finished projects in my place.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Nick,

My wife, years ago, worked in a factory that made gas ranges.  They all used the same internal parts regardless of brand.  I am not saying one size automatically will fit all, but the odds seem to be in your favor.  You may want to check with a local repair person.
 
pollinator
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I worked with these folks 5-6 years ago. Very helpful and pretty much have anything anybody could want in way gas orifices. The website seems to have evolved some, but hopefully the business has remained good.

https://andersonforrester.com/products/


Rufus
 
John F Dean
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I just had a thought, which  in my case is normally dangerous.  I have always made the switch when using LP.  Has anyone here run lp without making the switch?
 
Rufus Laggren
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Read up on regulators, gas and propane. I don't remember the exact numbers, but I think natural gas may be supplied at relatively low pressure compared to propane. If you are brave, it shouldn't be too much trouble to just try it, say on a small stove or grill. Just look carefully at the pressure you supply the propane and do it somewhere you can cut the supply real fast and clean up any surprises.

You know that propane tanks run at about 250 PSI, right? The regulator at the tank takes it down to 11inches water column (or 22?). Natural gas runs in the house at maybe 1/2PSI, maybe 5"water column. Somebody here may have better recall - it was 10 years ago and I'm pretty much winging it. If you work from a good regulator at the propane tank, the resulting pressures should be manageable by most appliances.   I _think_ I remember when going from propane to natural gas, the orifice needed to be much larger to get any decent flame AND the combustion air inlet had to be adjusted or changed.

However, it would likely be cleaner and faster to just google it... You're going to want some real understanding if you plan to invest much time in this. Oh, and low pressure gas gauges are called manometers; they're available various places like ebay. Old industrial instruments the most robust if you find any, but there are dozens of products out there. The electronic kind are about 1000 times easier to use than the original fluid types (U-tubes).


Regards,
Rufus
 
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