Converting a Gas Dryer from Natural Gas to Propane

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on March 13, 2009

in Dryer Repair

All gas dryers come from the factory setup for natural gas. If you’re gonna use propane with your dryer, you’ll need to convert it. The cost for this conversion is generally not included in the delivery fee because a company assumes significant liability if they do it wrong, like this guy did.

First thing you’ll need to do is buy the gas dryer conversion kit. They’re all the same so this one will work just fine. The kit comes with instructions and stickers. Follow the instructions to the letter and affix the stickers on the dryer as instructed. The purpose of this post is to give you a peek at what’s involved and to supplement the instructions, not replace them.

conversion kit for a gas dryer to convert from natural gas to propane

Before you start taking the dryer apart, you need to stop and do two things:

1. Unplug the dryer and

2. Shut off the gas to the dryer, shown below.

07D6FE40-4CF9-42A1-8273-97F8F19AB26B.jpg

Now we’re ready to go inside ‘cuz that’s where all the action is, including the gas burner assembly. This page will help you with disassembly for most models. More dryer disassembly help is in the Laundry Appliance Repair Forum.

Next step is to get familiar with the basic anatomy of the gas burner in a dryer. Here’s an picture a typical burner assembly.

Anatomy of a Gas Burner Assembly in a Dryer

Here’s a closeup of the ignitor itself, just so you can see what it looks like.

The Ignitor in a Dryer Gas Burner

So, stepping back and looking at the big picture with the drum out, the guts of a typical gas dryer look like this.

Gas Dryer Guts with the Drum Removed

Enough anatomy, let’s get on with the conversion! Turning first to the gas valve and regulator, there’s the brass plug with a little nylon pin sticking out of it (see the conversion kit picture above). That white nylon pin is called the blocking pin. Unscrew the plug on the valve, called a leak limiter, and replace it with the new one that has the blocking pin. This changes the gas regulator pressure setting for propane.

The Valve Coils on a Gas Valve in a Dryer

Next, change the orifice metering plug in the burner. This controls the amount of gas that enters the combustion area.

Dryer Gas Burner Orifice

One point of technique here. Both the metering orifice and the blocking pin plug are made of brass and going into a steel valve body. Brass is softer than steel and will make a gas-tight seal without having to use gorilla force. When you screw these brass fittings in, don’t go nuclear, just snug ‘em down.

Here’s a pictorial diagram that summarizes the entire conversion process.

Pictorial of a Gas Dryer Burner Conversion

Next, turn the gas back on and leak check around the blocking pin plug. You can make a solution of dishwashing liquid and water and just dabble a little bit on there. If no bubbles, then you’re good to go. Wipe it off and let’s move on to the last step.

Last step is to put the dryer back together and run it to make sure that the burner fires up and doesn’t stink like rotten eggs. If all that checks good, go pop yourself a cold one and grab me one, too, while you’re at it, Budrow. Domo!

To learn more about your dryer, or to order parts, click here.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jjsherfy July 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I just did this conversion yesterday and everything works no leaks but it takes longer to dry clothes and does not seem to get as hot. I can hear the propane ignite and burn and then stop after ten seconds run for awhile and do it again. Is this normal?

OddDuck November 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Sounds like you do not have enough air flow and the High Limit Thermostat is shutting down the burner. Once it cools off, the burner re-lights. This is causing the long dry times.

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