I just bout a used gas stove. They used it with natural gas I need it for propane. I thought it was fine but it smells like gas the first time I started it and there was flames coming out the bottom of the inside of the oven. Is this normal to have flames? Also do I need to convert it to propane?


1 Answer 1


Natural gas and propane are different. The main difference is the pressure of the gas (natural gas is at low pressure because it is sent from the utility to you as a gas, propane is liquid inside your tank so it is very high pressure when it turns into a gas). Running a device designed for one type of fuel with the other can be quite dangerous. Problems can include flames larger or smaller than expected, explosions (unlikely but possible) and carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous because it is a deadly odorless gas and can cause serious problems even at very small concentrations.

Most brands/models of stoves can be switched from one type of fuel to the other with some small hardware changes. For example, this is the conversion page for several Whirlpool models. The adjustments usually require replacing some parts (orifices, pressure regulators) and changing some settings. It will all vary by model - the parts are very specific.

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    Yes, certainly the design pressures are incompatible but the air mixture created by the orifices for natural gas (methane) is all wrong for propane. One methane molecule (CH4) needs (2) O2 molecules to burn and make (1) CO2 and (2) H2O. But air is about 20% O2 so 1 volume of CH4 needs 10 volumes of air. Propane (C3H8) needs (5) O2 to make (3) CO2 and (4) H2O. So one volume of propane needs 25 volumes of air to burn vs 10 for natural gas. The air shortfall for propane gives you carbon monoxide. The propane conversion kit is not optional, it's mandatory as a life safety issue.
    – MTA
    Dec 3, 2023 at 2:32
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    @MTA I did say "quite dangerous." Dec 3, 2023 at 2:33
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    Indeed you did! I wanted to expand on your excellent and totally correct answer to emphasize the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning unless a proper propane conversion is performed.
    – MTA
    Dec 3, 2023 at 2:36

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