How to Convert an Oil Burner to a Gas Burner

"American Boiler Company has been performing oil to gas conversions for years"

While converting an oil burner to a gas burner is not necessarily a long process, it’s one that requires specific steps to complete properly. One of the most important steps is contacting a company such as American Boiler Company to professionally assist you with the process. Here we’ll break down the steps for you and discuss how American Boiler Company can help.

Surveying the Site

First, you’ll want to call American Boiler Company and set up a free site survey. With a free site survey, a trained professional will:

  • Evaluate the current condition of the boiler
  • Determine the size and location of the current oil tank
  • Calculate how much gas piping is needed to connect the new gas meter with the burner
  • Get info on the future/current gas load for the building as well as the boiler size

Once the survey is completed, American Boiler Company will inform you of your options for converting from oil to gas. You can choose a dual fuel burner system or a gas only system. Switching to a gas only system will require the removal of any underground oil storage tanks. One benefit of a dual fuel burner is that the oil tank can remain in place. However, the gas utility will likely require a minimum amount of gas to be purchased each year if upgrades to the gas piping leading to the property are necessary.

If the boiler shows significant signs of corrosion or other damage, it may be necessary to replace the boiler as well as the burner. American Boiler Company will assess the remaining useful life of the boiler and alert the property owner to any dangerous conditions observed during the site survey.

Getting a Proposal

The next step of the process is to ask for a proposal. The main costs for converting an oil burner to a gas burner generally include the cost of the burner, along with its installation, as well of the cost of gas piping materials and installation of said piping. There will also be a fee for providing the utility company with a gas load data sheet.

Coordinating with the Gas Utility

The gas load data sheet is the primary means of communicating information about the project to the gas utility. It contains pertinent information on the project, such as:

  • Who owns the property
  • Where the project is located
  • What gas appliances there currently are and their individual gas loads, along with the new gas appliances and their gas loads
  • The make and model of the new burner and its gas requirements

Upon receipt of the gas load data sheet, the gas company will assign a reference number to the job and will look over the requirements of the project. This usually takes a couple weeks, during which time the gas company will go through a number of steps, such as:

  • Checking its capacity to provide gas to the building. American Boiler Company and the utility company may complete another site survey in order to see if the gas piping needs upgrading.
  • Figuring the cost of providing gas to the building. In cases where the cost is significant, the owner of the building may be required to sign a letter of commitment. This says the owner must use a minimum amount of gas per year and, in doing so, the utility company will pay for any upgrades necessary.

Installing the Gas Piping

As the gas company works on any upgrades needed, American Boiler Company gathers the materials needed and applies for plumbing and building permits. Once the permits are approved, American Boiler Company begins installation of the gas piping. The gas piping installation usually takes a week or less.

Performing an Inspection

When the piping is complete, the utility company and the building department will perform inspections to ensure everything is up to par. Once everything passes, the gas company will return to connect the new piping. This usually means the gas in the building will be shut off, so building owners should arrange to have the pilot lights turned back on afterwards.

Installing the New Gas Burner

With the new gas piping in place and inspected, American Boiler then proceeds with the installation of the new gas burner. As noted above, the burner can be gas only, or it can be a dual fuel burner capable of running on either #2 fuel oil, or natural gas.

With the new burner in place, the building is ready to switch over to gas. By switching to natural gas, building owners can take advantage of a cheaper and cleaner fuel. The substantial difference in the cost of natural gas versus oil makes oil to gas conversions a great investment with short payback periods.

American Boiler Company has been performing oil to gas conversions for years. While the process is not necessarily a difficult one, it’s important to consult a professional. If you’re a building owner or facilities manager thinking of moving from oil to a gas burner, contact American Boiler Company for more information today.