Do not use Propane on Natural gas equipment,0,5223350.story

Family evacuated as gas fumes fill Brentwood home

BY MATTHEW CHAYES and JOSEPH MALLIA | An extended family of 12, including an infant, were evacuated from a Brentwood home after being overcome by carbon monoxide fumes apparently caused by an unlawful heating system, fire and town officials said Friday.

The level of gas poison in the home was six times higher than the amount considered deadly, said Brentwood Fire Chief John Carney.

Emergency workers were dispatched to 124 Gibson Ave. to answer an emergency call that came in at 7:06 p.m. Thursday.
Islip Town inspectors also were called to the house, where they found illegal gas piping to the boiler and propane hooked up to a system designed for natural gas, officials said. They also found four illegal bedrooms in the basement, which was not habitable space, officials said.

One member of the family who is visiting for the holidays said he now realizes that the toxic gas was slowly poisoning them Thursday night as they relaxed in the house after dinner.

“My youngest son comes out and goes, ‘Daddy, I’ve got a headache,’ which is not normal,” said Luis Marcano, 33.

“And then my wife was complaining … that she wasn’t feeling well, and then my mom was complaining that she wasn’t feeling well,” he said.

Marcano, a machine operator who lives in Orlando, Fla., said he was visiting with his wife and two sons. He said his parents and three siblings live in the Gibson Avenue house. Three of his nieces and nephews were also there, he said.

Islip officials found seven violations, and the town will serve notice on these violations to the owners, Rafael and Teresa Portes, who do not live at the house. Neither could be reached for comment.

There was no prior history of multifamily code violations at the house, Islip Town spokeswoman Catherine Green said.

Marcano denied that the house where his family lived violates the town code.

Last month, two adults and a 4-year-old girl died after carbon monoxide fumes filled a condemned West Babylon home.

I’ve seen these warnings before, but don’t understand the details. The gases are different but how does CO develop as a result using propane in a natural gas appliance. I’ve also seen conversion kits for barbecues. Obviously there’s a reason.

A confused newbie


Natural Gas and Propane are delivered at different pressures. That is determined by the regulator and the orficices in the burner tubes. If the regulator which determines pressure and the orfices are not matched there could be a problem.

By changing the orifice in the equipment, can you not then burn propane in say, a stove, origanally intended for natural gas? The reason I am asking, in our new house, we plan to have a propane range, but all the ranges being sold up here are for either electricity or natural gas.

I would be inclined to check that out with the manufactures. I have been in homes with Propane and have seen gas stoves, so I don’t think you would have a problem with getting one.

I use a propane stove/oven up at the cottage fwiw.

I have owned gas ranges that had dual fuel regulators and orifices that required setting per the instructions depending on which fuel was used.

You just tell them you want propane and they will bring it in for you no big deal some times a small charge for Handling . Go to propane gas dealer they have them in stock in Belleville .

Thanks Ray, Roy and Mike.

Thanks Ray, bookmarked for future use.

The difference is not the pressure but rather the btu value of the fuel.

Natural gas is comprised primarily of Methane & Ethane (C1 & C2 Carbon)

Propane is a C3 Hydrocarbon having greater btu value than Methane / Ethane.

Don’t think so.

Almost three times more pressure is used to deliver propane to a burner than is needed by natural gas (methane). Propane is generally set for 10" Water column (W.C.) manifold pressure or pressure after the gas valve versus natural gas which is generally only set for 3.5" w.c. manifold pressure.

LP is delivered at a higher pressure as it is a Liquid fuel as opposed to Natural Gas which is delivered in a gaseous state.

At a Higher Pressure, is more or less LP consumed at the Appliance opposed to Natural Gas to maintain the same temperatures?


Propane, mentioned has a higher density than natural gas (methane) and a higher Btu heating value. All of this affects the size of the gas jet or burner orifice that the gas will be metered through in your heater. Much higher pressure is also needed to push the gas through the lines and through the burner orifice.

I know that when my stove was installed which was set for propane the orfices where changed as well as the internal regulator.

Thanks for the replies. I now understand why the appliance won’t operate correctly, but why and how does this turn into a CO poisoning inside the home?

All burning of fuels give of CO ,oil wood ,gas, Propane,Thats why we recomend CO detectors in every home all levels.
Thats why we have auto closing doors on the Garage to home .

An orifice that is improperly sized / rated for the fuel will impact the firing rate of the gas burner.

CO production is relevant to the air / fuel ratio mix of the fuel gas.

Yes, all burn’t fuels produce CO, But why did the CO not vent to outside? Perhaps it is not just that the appliance operated incorrectly but rather the exaust gases were not discharged properly as a result of reverse chimney slope or lack of updraft?

The furnace may have been faulty the article said it was an unlawful heating system.