Installing A Natural Gas Barbecue

An Uninterupted Supply of Fuel For Your Barbecue

A quick-connect outlet allows the homeowner to quickly
and easily move a barbecue.

Eliminate the inconvenience of propane tanks.

Use Your Existing Gas Service

For the outdoor barbecue enthusiast, there is no bigger nuisance than running out of propane in the middle of grilling a steak. However, with
a copper supply line delivering natural gas straight from the existing gas service to the barbecue, such disruptions disappear. The added
bonus is that natural gas is less than half the per hour cost of propane and there is no more inconvenience of refilling and replacing awkward
and expensive propane tanks. Existing propane barbecues can be easily converted to natural gas at a reasonable cost.

An eight-outlet copper manifold.
One port suppplies the barbecue.

Lowest Installed Cost

If natural gas distribution lines are typically installed using copper, steel or corrugated stainless steel (CSST), why is copper tube the
preferred material? A contractor survey based on the installation of a natural gas distribution system for six appliances in a typical
three-bedroom bungalow showed that copper is the most cost-effective material to use. The results take into account the fact that the total installed cost is a function of material cost and labour cost. Although the material cost for copper is more than a comparable steel pipe system,
it is significantly less than CSST. However, since copper is easier to install, labour cost is reduced, resulting in the lowest installed cost of the three materials. The results of the survey are summarized on the back cover.

Outside Connection

On the deck or patio, the gas supply line terminates at a quick-connect coupling on the outside wall, a feature that allows the homeowner to quickly and easily move the barbecue for cleaning or storage or to another quick-connect outlet. Modern outlets may also feature a variety of decorative cover boxes to suit individual tastes.

Quick-connect for a barbecue.
Open on left, closed on right.


With soft temper copper tube (Type G/GAS or Type L), a contractor can use a coil of small diameter copper tube, and easily bend it around
ducts and other obstructions, connecting it to an existing gas line. This ease of bending and small tube size is especially important in retrofit installations.

Why Copper?

The time-consuming and messy cutting and threading of steel pipe is eliminated.
Flexible copper gas tube has several advantages over threaded steel pipe and CSST. Copper is easier and faster to install than threaded steel pipe, and unlike CSST, no special fittings or joining techniques are required. Copper tube and flare fittings supplied by different manufacturers
are completely interchangeable and readily available-which is not the case with CSST systems.


Coiled soft temper copper tube (Type G/GAS or Type L) is available in lengths of up to 100 feet, which simplifies the installation. A gas supply
line to the barbecue normally can be run without joints, other than the flare fittings at each end of the run. The copper supply line is connected
to the existing service using a flare fitting at a tee or to a port on a gas manifold. The latter has become increasingly popular as more
homeowners ask for additional gas appliances such as fireplaces, outdoor heaters and gas lighting.

Since the addition of a gas supply line for a barbecue is typically a retrofit operation, ease of installation plays a major role. This is where
soft temper copper tube excels. Its ease of bending and small diameter allow for manipulation around obstructions and through tight spaces.
With a steel pipe system, the installer is faced with time-consuming and messy cutting, threading and assembly of many different lengths of
pipe. With copper tube, the installer can work far faster and cleaner, and the homeowner does not need to be concerned about a big cleanup
or any major alterations to existing walls and floors.

Basement Plan 1 - Branch Runs

Basement Plan 2 - Manifold With Individual Runs

Main Floor Plan

Additional Information

he CCBDA publishes an installer manual, Publication No. 14E, Copper Natural Gas Systems, as well as Publication No. 35, The Real Cost Story…Natural Gas Installed Cost Comparison, and No. 36, Installing a Natural Gas Fireplace. Available free of charge, they are guides for professionals involved in the design and installation of natural gas systems. They are also available on the Association's website at For further information or literature contact the Association toll-free at 1-877-640-0946.