Once again it’s that time of the year, plenty of sun and warm weather, (we hope). It’s time to cut the grass and clean up the yard.
It’s the time of the year when outdoor activities increase, and a good number of peoples thoughts turn to outdoor barbecue.
Sounds great, however, every year about this time the number of incidents related to barbecue increases.
We all know barbecue are manufactured for both natural and propane gas, and in most cases can be converted to use either one. Care should be taken if you are converting a unit to another gas. Some units have been approved for the use of Natural or Propane and cannot be converted. For those units that are approved for use with either gas, there are certain things that have to be done. DON’T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS REPLACE OR DRILL OUT THE MAIN ORIFICE. As many of the new units are manufactured with three positions on the valves, i.e.: High, Medium, Low, to accomplish the turn down it is obvious that it is not controlled from the main orifice and that there must be some other means to reduce the flow.
Let’s remove the stem and the plug from a valve of one of the new barbecue; you will note there are three different opening sizes, one for high fire position, one for medium and one for low. Therefore, if you were to convert a unit from propane to natural gas it would be necessary to change the valves, or if you are a qualified person, have the correct equipment and information, you could drill out the medium and low orifices to accommodate the change in the gases. Under no circumstances should you just drill out the main orifice as this could create a very hazardous condition.
When converting from Natural to Propane gas there are no choices. The three position valves along with the main orifice must be replaced with the correct sizes.
There are many more topics that could be discussed with regards to safety, maintenance, etc.; however, most of these subjects are covered in the installation and operations manuals. Before the installation or sale is made of a barbeque, make sure you and the owner are familiar with its contents.
Until January 1993 propane cylinders had to meet the requirements as contained in the CAN; CGA B-149.2 installation code, this regulation stated: cylinders shall be fabricated, tested, inspected and legibly marked in accordance with CTC and DOT regulation. As of January 1993 Canadian Cylinders will be identified and marked as follows “TC” this designation shows that the approval agency is TRANSPORT CANADA. (See figure 7)