Can You Convert Propane Water Heater to Natural Gas: Save Big!


Debarghya Roy

Switching from propane to natural gas for your water heater might seem like a daunting task. Not all units are compatible with such conversions, and the conversion process typically involves professional assistance.

This blog will provide you with essential information about this topic, discussing factors to consider before making a decision, the benefits of converting, and how you can undertake it safely and efficiently.

Ready to dive in? Let’s unravel the mystery of converting your propane water heater to natural gas!

Natural Gas Water Heater

Key Takeaways


  • Converting a propane water heater to natural gas is possible, but it requires a specific conversion kit from the manufacturer and professional assistance.
  • Factors to consider before converting include the availability of natural gas in your area, the compatibility of your water heater for conversion, and the cost involved.
  • The benefits of converting to natural gas include significant cost savings, improved energy efficiency, and enhanced convenience and reliability. Natural gas is generally cheaper than propane and provides a constant supply of hot water without the need for refills or deliveries.

Can You Convert a Propane Water Heater to Natural Gas?

Absolutely! It is indeed possible to convert a propane water heater to natural gas, but it isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. This process calls for a specific conversion kit designed by the manufacturer of your water heater.

You can secure this kit through a certified distributor. This suggests your best bet would be securing assistance from an experienced plumber who has clearance to order these specialized kits.

In addition, certain qualifying conditions must be met for successful LP (propane) gas conversion to natural gas, such as ensuring that the conversion occurs before your home receives its natural gas supply service.

Similarly, while brands like Rheem offer handy propane-to-natural-gas conversion kits, some models – especially tankless ones – may not facilitate this changeover due to design specifics.

Finally, never attempt utilizing propane on a natural gas water heater; this could lead to negative outcomes due to their inherent differences. Therefore understanding those key differences between natural and propane heaters becomes vital during any potential transition phase.

Considerations for Converting Your Water Heater

When considering converting your water heater from propane to natural gas, there are a few important factors to keep in mind.

Availability of natural gas in your area

If you’re considering converting your propane water heater to natural gas, the first thing you’ll want to determine is whether natural gas is available in your area. Not all locations have access to natural gas lines, and without it, conversion would not be possible.

It’s important to check with your local utility company or provider to find out if natural gas service is available in your neighborhood. Additionally, keep in mind that even if natural gas is available nearby, there may be additional fees or costs associated with connecting your home to the main pipeline.

Compatibility of your water heater for conversion

Before considering converting your propane water heater to natural gas, it is crucial to determine if your water heater is compatible with the conversion. Not all water heaters can be converted due to differences in design and components.

It’s important to consult with the manufacturer or a licensed plumber to confirm if a conversion kit is available for your specific model. Keep in mind that even if a conversion kit is available, there may be certain limitations or restrictions on its use.

Understanding the compatibility of your water heater upfront will help you make an informed decision about whether converting to natural gas is feasible and worthwhile.

Cost of conversion

Converting a propane water heater to natural gas does come with a cost. On average, the conversion process can range between $8,000 and $12,000. This cost includes purchasing the necessary conversion kit from the manufacturer and hiring a licensed plumber to install it properly.

It’s important to note that the specific cost may vary depending on factors such as the size and model of your water heater, as well as any additional plumbing adjustments that may be required.

While there is an upfront expense involved in converting your propane water heater to natural gas, many homeowners find that the long-term cost savings make it a worthwhile investment in their home’s energy efficiency and convenience.

Benefits of Converting to Natural Gas

Converting your propane water heater to natural gas offers numerous benefits, including significant cost savings, improved energy efficiency, and enhanced convenience and reliability. But that’s not all – there’s much more to discover about the advantages of making this switch.

Read on to learn how converting to natural gas can transform your water heating experience for the better.

Cost savings

Converting your propane water heater to natural gas can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. Natural gas is generally cheaper than propane, so you can expect a reduction in your monthly utility bills.

In addition, natural gas water heaters tend to be more energy-efficient compared to propane models, which means they consume less fuel and further contribute to lower costs.

It’s important to note that the conversion process itself may involve some upfront expenses, such as purchasing a conversion kit and hiring a licensed plumber for installation.

Energy efficiency

Converting your propane water heater to natural gas can provide significant energy efficiency benefits. Natural gas is a cleaner and more efficient fuel source compared to propane, meaning that it requires less energy to heat the same amount of water.

This translates into lower utility bills and reduced environmental impact.

According to experts, natural gas water heaters have an Energy Factor (EF) rating that is typically higher than propane models. The EF rating measures how efficiently a water heater uses energy, with higher ratings indicating better efficiency.

By converting your propane water heater to natural gas, you can potentially increase its EF rating and save money on energy costs in the long run.

In addition to improved efficiency, natural gas also offers greater convenience and reliability for heating your water. Unlike propane tanks which need regular refills or deliveries, natural gas is supplied through pipes directly from utility companies.

This means you won’t have to worry about running out of fuel or scheduling tank replacements.

Convenience and reliability

Converting your propane water heater to natural gas offers numerous benefits, including enhanced convenience and improved reliability. With a natural gas water heater, you no longer have to worry about running out of fuel or scheduling propane refills.

Natural gas is delivered directly to your home through a utility line, ensuring a constant and uninterrupted supply of hot water. Additionally, natural gas water heaters provide instant heat, allowing you to enjoy hot showers and other household tasks without any delay.

This convenient and reliable source of energy will make your daily routine much smoother and hassle-free while saving costs in the long run due to its efficiency.

Conclusion

In conclusion, converting a propane water heater to natural gas is definitely possible with the right conversion kit. However, it’s important to consider factors such as the availability of natural gas in your area, the compatibility of your water heater for conversion, and the cost involved.

Despite these considerations, making the switch can bring numerous benefits including cost savings, energy efficiency, and increased convenience and reliability. So if you’re looking to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint, converting to natural gas might be a worthwhile investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I convert my propane water heater to natural gas?

In some cases, it is possible to convert a propane water heater to natural gas. However, this conversion should only be done by a professional plumber or HVAC technician who can ensure that all necessary adjustments are made and safety standards are met.

2. What are the benefits of converting my propane water heater to natural gas?

Converting your propane water heater to natural gas can offer several benefits, including potentially lower operating costs, as natural gas tends to be less expensive than propane. Additionally, natural gas is often more readily available in residential areas and may provide a more convenient fuel source for your home.

3. Are there any potential challenges or considerations when converting from propane to natural gas?

Yes, there are some challenges and considerations when converting from propane to natural gas. These include ensuring that your current system is compatible with the conversion process, verifying that the necessary infrastructure exists in your area (such as access to a natural gas supply), and complying with local building codes and regulations.

4. Should I hire a professional for the conversion process?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional plumber or HVAC technician for the conversion process. They have the knowledge and experience required to safely and effectively perform the conversion while adhering to industry standards and regulations. Attempting DIY conversions can lead to dangerous situations or damage if not done correctly.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.