Converting to Natural Gas from Propane?

Hey Folks,
June 16th is my conversion date. Up here in the mountains we’ve been on propane but with the Olympics coming this winter, the good folks at the Olympic committee decided that Natural gas has to be implemented due to the big propane holding tanks being a terrorist risk for the games.

The company “Terresan Gas” are doing the conversion, hands-off style for the operator (huge project). They came in to my shop, did their research on the equipment (Triple stack Middleby, deep fryers and a 6 element range) and they are supplying all the conversion kits and everything needed to do the job.

So, what worries me is that natural gas burns differently than propane, not as hot, different pressure in this altitude etc… and I know the pizza ovens need a specific pressure to operate to perform correctly so I’m worried these techs doing the conversion will screw something up and in the end changing the outcome of my beautiful pan pizzas.

Question is: What can i do to ensure these folks do their job right? Get them to show me the pressure tests? if they mess up something it potentially means loss income for me… any suggestions would be appreciated.

I am getting ready to do this to my Lincolns.

Talk to someone that knows your model ovens and knows pizza. George can probably provide some insight on this.

I am getting parts and assistance from MF&B. They built a reputation rebuilding and upgrading ovens before they started building their own. And Mark knows pizza too. If they happen to be passing through when the gas is finally run I will have them do the conversion, if not I will get the parts from them and have a local rest. equip. company do the work.

Find out what experience the guys they are providing have with your specific equipment, and if the answer is not satisfactory I would try to negotiate a deal that allowed me to bring in a tech that knew his stuff. I would also want to ensure they use original manufacturer parts or parts from a reputable supplier.
(I had one guy recommended by our gas co. talking about just drilling out existing orifices to get more flow on equipment other than ovens ).

I don’t think you have much to worry about. Propane does burn hotter. You will need a bigger orifice on your equipment. The orifice is just a little brass nut. You can crudely convert with by just drilling the orifice hole bigger with a drill. A better idea is to replace the orifice with one with a larger hole that has been “sized” for your BTU needs.

I am sure the gas company will do this right. You will be cooking with real natural gas soon! Congrats

Hi Resort Pizza:

Changing from propane to natural gas will require you to have a 2-1/2 in gas pipe to meet the Middleby specifications for gas supply. That is for the oven alone. If you have other equipment the gas line for your furnace and the other equipment would be best to be separate from the oven supply.

Any competent plumber can calculate the size gas line for your furnace and other equipment. Gas pressure to the Ovens should be a minimum of 6 in to 12 in water column pressure. That can vary for altitude requirements

Consult Middleby as to any pressure changes or other requirements that may be required because of your altitude.

Any competent service man can make the change in the ovens. It is simply a matter of changing the orifice and a spring in the gas supply system.

The thermostats in the ovens will see to it that the proper baking temperatures are maintained.

George Mills

Excellent thanks for the help guys, the gas pipe is proper dimensions and all should be good