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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research, he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.
Barbecuing can become time-consuming and expensive if you need to continually change the gas tanks for your outdoor grill. Gas tanks can also be heavy, making it challenging to carry them across the backyard. An excellent solution is to run a natural gas line directly to your outdoor grill.
You can use the same supply that fuels your household heating, directing it straight to your grill whenever you’re planning a cookout. The added convenience and cost-savings when using a natural gas line make them an excellent choice for outdoor cooking enthusiasts.
Follow these tips to learn how you can convert to a natural gas line fuel system.
Check Your Gas Grill Type
If your grill uses propane, you’ll need to purchase a natural gas conversion kit from the manufacturer. These systems can cost less than $100, and you can learn to install the equipment yourself. If a conversion kit is not available for your gas grill model, you should never create a DIY gas conversion kit. Instead, you need to purchase a natural gas grill from a retailer.
Employ a Professional
Learning the process of how to run a natural gas line for an outdoor grill is fine, but this is not a job for a DIY hobbyist. You could be breaking the law in some states, and working with gas can be extremely dangerous. You would also need to check with your insurance provider if they would cover any damage resulting from an error in your work.
Instead of doing it yourself, hire someone with the appropriate certifications and experience. Before choosing a professional, check their online reviews to ensure their customers are happy with their work. If you hire someone with falsified credentials or who routinely makes mistakes, you could experience a dangerous gas leak. When the professional you hired visits your property, they will perform the following steps.
1. Designate a Gas Tap Location
The service person will look for the best location to tap into your existing gas supply. Choosing the most suitable place depends on where the gas pipes enter your property and where you intend to locate your grill. The most convenient location is usually where it is easy to attach new piping, such as at a T-junction.
Gas pipes need to be durable and are generally made of a material called black pipe. These connect using threaded fittings, and the service person takes measurements to determine what lengths they need to complete the work.
If you require a permit for the job, a contractor or service person may apply for a license on your behalf. However, they may request that you make the application. It is essential to ensure you obtain a permit before commencing work.
2. Connect a T-Fitting
It may be necessary to install a new T-fitting, and the service professional can ensure the connection is secure by connecting it using the correct threading. The Teflon tape helps keep the pipework airtight to prevent gas from escaping, and they may also add a shut-off valve in the area. If your pipework requires servicing, this valve makes it easier to turn off the gas supply at that location.
3. Construct the Pipe Run
To take the gas supply from your established property pipework to your outdoor grill, you need a pipe run. The service professional drills a hole in your wall and begins to connect different pipe sections. At each connection, Teflon tape or pipe dope secures the fittings for safety.
The service professional must use several straight pipe pieces in conjunction with elbow parts. This design means your pipe run can reach your outdoor grill using the least amount of materials. When the pipe run is complete, it ends at a location called a stub-out. The service professional will surround the stub-out with insulating material to reduce the risk of air leaks.
4. Install a Gas Valve
Placing a gas shut-off valve at the end of the stub-out makes it easy to disengage from the natural gas supply. This feature is vital if you want to take your BBQ to a retailer for servicing or if you buy a new grill in the future. The shut-off valve also connects using Teflon tape or pipe dope to prevent gas leaks.
5. Gas Supply Inspection
In some states, you may need to have a local inspector evaluate the work. Even if this is not a requirement, it is good practice to get a second opinion. Because gas is an explosive substance, it may give you peace of mind if two separate professionals agree the work is up to the required standard.
A service professional may arrange this inspection on your behalf. However, if you have to make the appointment, you must ensure you complete this task as soon as possible.
6. Test the Fittings
When learning how to run a natural gas line for an outdoor grill, safety is paramount. Before you sign off the work as complete, ask your service professional to turn the gas supply back on and test the pipe fittings. An electronic gas sensor can identify leaks that need repairing.
Alternatively, a less high-tech method is to spray a mixture of water and dishwasher liquid on the connections. If you see bubbles appear in the solution, this is a sign there is a gas leak. Ask your professional to reconnect these sections and repeat the testing process.
7. Connect the Grill
When connecting your grill, you need to use an approved gas hose. Your service professional may recommend a local retailer, or you can contact the manufacturer directly. After investing the time to complete the work correctly and ensuring it meets your local planning codes, this is not the moment to purchase a substandard product.
Attaching the gas hose is not difficult, but if your service professional is still on the property, you could ask them to do the job for you. It’s a good idea to watch the connection process if you need to do it again at a later date.
Enjoy Outdoor Grilling Convenience
You can now fire up your grill at the touch of a button. There’s no need to worry about running out of gas in the middle of a cookout, and you don’t have to lug heavy tanks around your backyard. Simply relax and enjoy the natural gas grilling experience.
An alternative to using an outdoor gas grill is making an outdoor brick and mortar grill that will suit your backyard. Read our brick grill designs for more information.
Read more: Best post mount gas grills.