Thinking of installing a new barbecue?
It’s the perfect addition to the home for anyone looking to entertain. Whether it’s for Christmas barbecues, Saturday burger and beers, or just for dinner every once in a while – you can’t go wrong with adding a barbecue to your home.
In Australia, an estimated two-thirds of all households have a grill parked out on the patio or in the garage. Most of these grills use gas to power them up, supplied by its own propane LPG gas tank, allowing homeowners to move the grill around and be an independent mini kitchen. However, in recent years, some people have been connecting their outdoor barbecue grills straight into the natural gas line of their home.
On the surface, this seems like a good idea. You will not ever have to worry about your propane tank going empty mid-grill, especially in the middle of a big pool party. No need to carry that bulky LPG tank anymore just to get it refilled or replaced and of course, natural gas is more eco-friendly and a lot cheaper than propane. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll soon see that connecting your barbecue to your main gas line may not be the best of ideas.
Here are six reasons why you should stick to propane and ditch the gas line:
1. You Might Have the Wrong Grill
If you want to tap your natural gas line, make sure you have the right grill.
You would need a natural gas-powered grill which is different from a propane grill. And if you don’t, you will have to purchase a new gas grill, which is much more expensive (or you can purchase a conversion kit for your propane grill).
2. Complicated Conversions
Propane grills can convert to a gas grill, but you’ll have to purchase a gas conversion kit that matches the manufacturer.
You will also have to make sure you convert the unit correctly, using the proper valves, connector pipes etc. Making a mistake here can lead to disastrous accidents. It’s recommended that you contact a professional gas line installer for these conversions.
3. Permanently Fixed Grill
Once you connect your barbecue grill to a natural gas line, it will be permanently stuck in the same position forever.
You will no longer be able to move it, unlike a propane grill with its own LPG tank. This lack of mobility might cause a problem if you have a big backyard or want to serve up your freshly grilled burgers and steak poolside, for example.
4. Dedicated Gas Line Installation
Connecting your barbecue to your gas line is not as simple as installing an extra gas pipe from your main directly to the grill. Most domestic gas systems can only handle the gas load computed at the time your home was still under construction. Anything extra, like an outdoor grill, cannot be accommodated and you will have to install a new and dedicated gas line directly to your grill.
5. Extra Expense
Deciding to convert your barbecue grill to a gas-powered can get very expensive. You will have to purchase a new grill or convert it from propane to gas. Natural gas grills are more expensive than LPG grills, and even if the cost of conversion is less, you will still have to spend a fair amount for a set.
Installing a dedicated gas line will set you back potentially a few thousand dollars as well. Gas fitting is a delicate process, and you will have to also take into account that you will need outdoor fixtures as well.
There could also be extra insurance fees involved because your council or homeowner’s association might require you to take a policy out or your current home insurance policies might not cover gas grill damages.
6. Potential Red Tape
Since gas-powered grills can be extremely dangerous, your local city council or neighbourhood/homeowner’s association might require you to get extra fire permits and even insurance policies to cover your grill.
Ready to Convert?
Converting your barbecue from LPG to natural gas is a complicated process, and there are many opportunities it can go wrong if not done correctly. We recommend sticking with your LPG supply since it is a more convenient and safer option all around. However, if a gas barbecue grill is something you’ve decided you want for your home, consult with professional plumbers who are certified for gas work.
Our team of licensed plumbing experts can help you with the entire process from start to finish, from surveying, helping with the permits and other paperwork as well as the actual set up and installation.