Propane is greener than natural gas and doesn’t require local gas lines, so there are certainly advantages. Unfortunately, you cannot buy propane dryers; you have to convert natural gas dryers to be used with this gas.
Thankfully, the conversion isn’t too complicated; it just requires a conversion kit. Now, I have been caught out on “easy” solutions before, unaware there is nuance to the seemingly simple process. So, you need to know which conversion kit to get.
Gas dryer conversion kits are not considered universal. Whether or not actual mechanisms differ, you need to get an approved kit that will comply with manufacturer standards. It is better to consult experts and brands to find out which kit will fit your dryer and carry the correct warranties.
LP Conversion Kits Differ
Liquid propane (LP) converter kits for dryers are not universal. You need to select a kit that is compatible with your dryer model and will still provide the appropriate BTU rating.
You can get these kits from different brands like Whirlpool, Samsung, Speed Queen, Electrolux, and others.
I cannot say for sure if there are significant mechanical differences between the conversion kits offered by different brands and for different models (I have not had a chance to see the kits for many different models), but there are some things to consider.
How the Kits Differ
Conversion kits come with a few standard items that you will find across brands: the propane orifice, leaker limiter, and instructions for how to attach these fittings. These are the fittings you need to convert to propane usage.
The orifice needs to be appropriately sized and tested for safe use with your dryer model, so you need to buy the correct kit.
However, brands often carry few kits intended to be used with many of their dryers. This can be confusing if buying a specific kit should be the result of specific sizing and dimensions for different models. But it would make sense if you consider that gas dryers generally have the same size fittings.
The difference comes from the instructions and approval of the brand. You will also have access to customer support and return options. This is part of the catch and why you should opt for a brand over a generic kit.
Why the Kits Are Different
When it comes to dryers, manufacturer instructions take precedence when it comes to installation, venting, and operating. This is why it is typically better to select a conversion kit that comes from the manufacturer of your dryer.
There are a few exceptions here since you can interchange kits from related brands, like in the case of Whirlpool, Amana, and Maytag. These brands fall under the same umbrella and approvals.
If you purchase a genuine kit, you are purchasing the warranties and code compliance that they come with. If you are directed to avoid generic parts, you can run into problems regarding code compliance, insurance claims, and warranty claims.
The brands provide instructions on how to use their part with their dryer. This means that you will be following manufacturer instructions, which can be presented to inspectors as proof of appropriate appliance use and maintenance.
It also means the instructions will match exactly with what your dryer is like.
Brands also instruct that a professional, preferably a brand technician, must install the kit to ensure everything is correct and the machine is calibrated. Technicians may refuse to use unapproved kits to avoid legal issues and prevent usage issues.
How Do You Know Which One You Need?
You should start by checking your dryer manuals, which are often available online. This ELFG7637AT Electrolux Complete Owner’s Guide provides a product serial number for a Frigidaire conversion kit that you must use with the dryer.
Unfortunately, it appears that most brands don’t have a list of compatible dryers with the online product listings. However, you should still check if the online store has this information for your specific dryer brand.
You might be able to phone or chat with customer support. Alternatively, a professional that you hire for the installation may know which kit to get and might bring it as part of the service if you request this.
Or you can look at the amazon listings for conversion kits. In the questions section, you might be able to find information on which dryer models you can use the kit with.
Alternatively, you can head down to a store that offers appliance parts, or a brand store, to check the physical packaging. Sales consultants will also likely be able to help you find what you need.
Can You Accidentally Use the Wrong Kit?
If you got confused with your dryer’s model number, whether it be from a misreading or damage to the label, you might end up getting an incorrect conversion kit. Or it might be that you couldn’t find which model the kit is for and took a guess.
It is likely possible that you will be able to actually fit this kit to your dryer. However, it is not guaranteed that it will work properly.
It might be that you will have a problem with too much gas getting through if the orifice is slightly bigger. This would result in wasted gas and the dryer might get too hot.
It might also just compromise your dryer warranties and guarantees with the seller and brand.
However, gas dryers must be carefully maintained, which involves good-quality and well-installed components. It is never wise to deviate from manufacturer instructions and approved parts because this helps make the dryer safe to use.
Of course, there might be specific circumstances where you have a dryer from a smaller or imported brand, and you cannot get a branded kit. In addition, it may be possible to miss-size the kit since the generic kits may not account for these brands and dryer models.