The first thing to know about the conversion process of gas appliances is that not all gas appliances can be converted.
Check your gas appliances for a warning against trying to do a conversion from Propane to Natural Gas or vice versa. If there isn’t a warning against attempting the conversion process, your gas appliance can probably be converted with a ‘gas appliance conversion kit’. However (and this is VERY IMPORTANT) a professional must do the conversion! Don’t try to do it yourself.
The conversion process for gas appliances involves taking the appliance apart and replacing parts. If it isn’t done correctly, and with the right parts, it could be dangerous. You never want to take risks with gas appliances.
The conversion process: LP Gas to Natural Gas
Most gas appliances in South Africa run on LP (Liquid Petroleum) Gas. However, as Natural Gas pipelines are installed around the country, the conversion process for existing gas appliances means an easy switch to cleaner burning gas, with an ‘on tap’ supply.
The reason for the conversion process is that LP and Natural Gas are delivered at different pressures. This is also the source of the risk:
The following parts need to be changed: If they are improperly changed or the wrong parts put in, there is the risk of gas build-up and explosions.
- Pilots and Burners: If it’s the wrong size for the gas pressure, you will get a flame that is too high or too low. This can lead to the gas not being burnt off properly. During conversion, it’s essential that replacing the burner doesn’t lead to damage or improper sealing.
- Air Shutters / Venting: The improper mix of air and gas may lead to incomplete combustion and a build up of gas in a room.
- Regulators: These must be replaced with one that designed specifically for the new gas pressure. The wrong regulator can lead to low or too high gas deliver and appliance malfunction.