Love to Barbecue? You're Not Alone —
So Why Not Make It a Permanent Arangement?

April 5, 2005


NEW YORK, NY— Barbecuing is one of the nation's most popular summer pastimes with most grill owners firing up at least 22 times between mid-May to September.

That people love to cook and eat outdoors should come as no surprise. A total of 14.4 million barbecue grills were shipped to stores last year to meet the demand, and the trend is expected to continue in 2005, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA).

On its Web site, HPBA reports that 70 percent of all grill owners fire-up their grills on the Fourth of July, making our nation's birthday the most popular holiday for barbecuing, followed by Memorial Day (62 percent) and Labor Day (55 percent).

Most grill owners (63 percent) fuel their barbecues with Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), better known as propane, and the majority of these grills use portable gas canisters that must be refilled or exchanged at designated locations when the canister is empty.

For the 63 million American households with access to natural gas or a propane supply (usually through a permanently installed propane tank), there is an easier way to barbecue that doesn't require refilling gas canisters.

Just as a gas fireplace, oven, water heater or clothes dryer may be permanently connected to a home's gas supply, so can an outdoor barbecue. Connecting a gas branch line to the grill is a relatively simple procedure that a qualified plumber can perform in a matter of hours.

To help keep installation costs down, make sure your plumber uses flexible soft-temper annealed copper tubing. Sold in 50- and 100-foot coils, it can be installed in one long, continuous run-without the time-consuming jointing and threading required for rigid steel "black" pipe. It's also less expensive and easier to work with than corrugated stainless steel tubing, known in the industry as CSST.

Another option for homes with a gas supply is installing a gas convenience outlet outdoors. This makes plugging in your outdoor appliances, like grills and patio heaters, as easy as plugging in an electrical appliance inside.

Convenience gas outlets have a built-in safety device that prevents the gas from flowing if the appliance is not properly connected. The grill can be easily attached and disconnected from the outlet, so moving the grill for storage or cleaning is never a problem.

Grill manufacturers sell gas conversion kits separately to allow their grills to be used with either natural gas or propane, so you don't have to get rid of your favorite grill.

For more information on the many uses for copper tube in your home, visit CDA's Copper In Your Home section.