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Question DetailsAsked on 4/9/2016

Can you replace a propane water heater with a natural gas one

I have a propane hot water tank I think needs replaced

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1 Answer


The burners and gas control valve have different sized orifices and pressures - and natural gas normally is supplied in the house at about 4-7 inches of water pressure, propane/LPG around 10-11 inches and is also a denser gas, so using an appliance listed for one with the other gas is highly unlikely to even work - and constitutes a major safety risk, is illegal, and is going to make for grossly inefficient operation even if you got it working.

Some water heater models do have conversion kits for them for propane/LP to natural gas (not the other way) - but by the time you replace the burner assembly and gas control valve you are already into probably well over half the cost of a totally new water heater. You could ask your plumber/gas fitter to give a quote for a conversion, but unless your water heater is only a year or maybe two old it is probably not worth the cost UNLESS your water heater is over 55 gallons and a replacement would have to be one of the new EPA required heat pump equipped water heaters, which are a LOT more expensive.

Of course you can install a natural gas heataer if you have natural gas service - but installing that is a pricey proposition if not plumbed to the house already, so requires a long-term view of the economics to pay off. Here is a link to a previous question with answer on that subject -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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