Propane in Fire Pits

Here is a fallacy.

“Natural gas and propane are the same.  A regulator is all you need in order to use propane with a natural gas burner.”

Natural Gas and Propane ARE, in fact, VERY different.  Even more so when using with Aquatic Glassel.  Let me point out a few differences, then leave this open for questions and answers.

Propane is much more difficult to work with versus Natural Gas.  Natural Gas rises where Propane tends to sink.  What does this mean, relating to a fire pit?  If Natural Gas is turned on and not ignited, it will float upward into the air, eventually dissipating and becoming harmless.  Propane, on the other hand, will fill up the pit and overflow onto the ground.  It will create an invisible blanket on the ground, filling up all low lying areas.  Now you can imagine what will happen if it gets ignited!

This brings up the need for a thermocouple.  Since disaster can occur when Propane is left running without being burned up, a thermocouple is used to stop the flow of gas should the flame go out.  A thermocouple detects heat.  When there isn’t enough heat, it will close a valve.  This is a very important safety feature in Propane burner assemblies.  If you plan to build your own Propane burner, you must have a pan under the burner so the Propane will not sink down to low lying areas.  You must also use a thermocouple.  This means you will have to hold a control knob in place when lighting your burner.  When the thermocouple gets hot enough, the valve will stay open and the burner will stay lit.

Natural Gas is normally delivered at a very low pressure, so there is usually no need for a regulator to reduce the pressure before combustion.  Propane is usually stored at a high pressure and needs a regulator to reduce the pressure prior to combustion.  THEN it needs to be mixed with air before entering the burner.

I covered a couple basics.  Let the discussion begin…


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2 Responses to Propane in Fire Pits

  1. pete says:

    which do you prefer
    and do you have an plans for building a fire ring?

  2. carl says:


    Sorry for the late response. I prefer natural gas over propane by a large margin.

    My supplier has built a propane fire pit burner that can use the glass. It is available.

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