When you have no idea what is wrong with your propane grill, the best way to tackle the problem is by walking through a step-by-step troubleshooting process. This allows you to identify the problem by slowly ruling out different possibilities.
However, several common problems have straightforward resolutions. Typical issues seen with propane grills can range from clogged burners to malfunctioning regulators and gas leaks.
The one item that is essential to troubleshooting a propane grill issue is a propane tank. You’ll need to turn on the valve to see what is happening with the gas.
Understanding How Propane Grills Work
Propane needs to flow from the tank into the grill. The tank connects to the grill with a hose. On its way to the grill from the tank, the gas passes through a metal regulator. This is a small round metal piece attached to the hose, either near the grill or right by the plastic connector connected to the tank.
Essentially, the regulator makes sure there isn’t too much gas flowing to the grill by monitoring the pressure. A regulator is an effective but simple device that can sometimes get stuck. If you have looked at every possible problem and you still can’t find a solution, it’s time to replace the regulator. It’s essential to change the regulator every 15 years, regardless of if an issue is occurring.
Low Flame and Temperature On Burners
One of the most common problems you can have on a gas grill is a low flame. What does this issue look like? You’ll turn on the grill to preheat it but can’t achieve a high temperature. If you usually preheat the grill to 500°F, maybe you can only get it to about 300°F.
The main reason this happens is that the regulator gets stuck. Fixing it is simple, and you don’t need any additional tools. Make sure the grill is completely off. Then, turn off the propane valve and disconnect the tank’s hose. Then, put all the grill knobs on high and wait for about one minute.
Finally, turn all control knobs off, reconnect the tank, and open the valve. When you light the grill, it should heat up normally again.
How to Prevent it
You should always turn off and turn on the grill the correct way. When you turn off the grill, turn off the control knobs first and close the tank’s valve. When you start the grill, open the valve first and then turn on the control knobs. Also, open the valve very slowly.
When the Grill Won’t Start
If your grill isn’t starting, something is likely wrong with the ignition. If you can light the grill manually with a stick lighter, it means something is wrong with the ignition.
There are three main kinds of spark generators on grills. The most rudimentary is called piezo. This is the kind that produces a loud snap. Some grills have a spark generator that works with batteries. These types of spark generators produce a one-click sound. In this case, the first thing to check is if the batteries are dead. The third type of igniter is electric, with power coming from a nearby outlet.
How to Troubleshoot it
Look inside the grill and check if there is a spark when you press the ignition button. Some grills have burners with independent ignition, and some grills have a single igniter that lights all of them.
If you have independent ignition and none of the burners will light up, this means the problem is at the source. There is something wrong with the button or with the wires that connect the button to the igniters.
If you have independent ignition and only one or two burners turn on, those specific burners are clogged. Remove the grates and the barrier, look for the igniters that are not working, and gently clean them.
Yellow Or Orange Flame
If the flames on your burners are not almost entirely blue, there’s likely a problem with gas and oxygen not mixing correctly. The way to fix this is to adjust the burners’ air shutters. To do this properly, you’ll have to remove the burners from the grill.
Step 1: Remove the Burners
Make sure your grill is completely cool and turned off. Remove the grates and the barriers underneath them. On some models, the burners are tied to the back of the grill with a cotter pin. You can remove the pin with some pliers.
You might have to remove the control panel to adjust the shutters on some gas grills. Read your grill’s manual to see how you can safely and effectively adjust them.
Step 2: Adjust the Air Shutters
You’ll notice a screw you can loosen to adjust the air shutter. Make the opening more prominent on the air shutter so that more oxygen enters the burner and mixes with propane. Remember to tighten the screw again before placing the burner inside the grill.
Uneven Heating Or Hot Spots
The main reason this happens is that the burners become clogged. Gas Grill burners usually have small holes that allow gas to flow through. When grease drippings make it through the barrier or flavorizer bars, they might end up clogging the burners. In this case, clean the burners with a grill brush. It’s also a good idea to take out the burners and clean them very thoroughly from time to time.
Another reason why this might happen is that the control valves on the burners are clogged or blocked. These valves are on each of your grill burners, and they control the flow of propane into the burner. It’s easy for insects to crawl into the center of the valve and block propane flow.
Smelling Gas From the Grill
There’s a quick and straightforward way of testing for a gas leak. Use some water and dishwashing soap mixed in a spray bottle. With the tank’s valve turned on, spray the valve, connector, and regulator. If you notice any bubbles on the surface of the water, it means there’s a leak. You should also perform the same test underneath the grill where the hose connects to the grill.
Enjoy Cooking On Your Problem-Free Gas Grill
There’s nothing like a successful troubleshooting session on your grill followed by some burgers and hotdogs. These common issues are easy to fix, and over time you’ll become accustomed to dealing with them quickly. When troubleshooting on your grill, make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions.