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Derrick Riches

Checking for Gas Leaks

By June 17, 2013

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Recently I discussed the importance of Cleaning your Venturi Tubes. Equally important to the maintenance of your gas grill and the not burning down of your house is checking for gas leaks. These two culprits account for the vast majority of fires associated with gas grill. Propane and natural gas are heavier than the air around us. Meaning that they will fall down from your grill. If you have an enclosed cart or an enclosed space that gas can collect in large amounts, particularly on a windless day. So checking your grill for leaks is the most important Common Gas Grill Problem you will encounter. Propane and Natural Gas have distinct odors so if you have substantial leaks you might be able to smell them. However, this isn't sufficient a test for finding LL potentially explosive leaks.

To check your grill for gas leaks you need a small basting brush and a bowl of very soapy water. To check for gas leaks you need gas so make sure your fuel tank is full and that the tank valve is in the on position. This will pressurize the fuel lines from the tank to the control valves. Do not light the grill. Do not smoke. Do not have any open flames anywhere near by. Now brush your soapy water over all hoses and connections. Apply slowly and watch for bubbles to form. Any place you have bubbles forming (there will be bubbles from the application already) you have a leak.

Leaks can be caused by loose connections or by cracked or broken hoses. Once you have identified any potential leaks turn off the gas and disconnect the fuel line. Loose connections can be tightened but cracked, broken or worn parts will need to be replaced.

Photo 2013 Regarding BBQ Inc., licensed to About.com, Inc.

Comments

September 23, 2008 at 6:05 pm
(1) Bernie says:

Propane is heavier than air, natural gas however is lighter than air and will dissipate rather than pool in an enclosed area. Natural gas also has only have the energy per volume of propane. Either way, with the lid down on a gas BBQ you can build up a explosive mix if you have a leak or flame out.

July 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm
(2) Butch B. says:

I recommend that instead of a dish of soapy water and brush use a spray bottle with the soapy water in. You will find it easier to spray all the connections and hoses. Then hose everything off once done.

January 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm
(3) Matt Borden says:

How about when its 20 degrees outside and you decide to fire up the grill? Spray or brushing on is likely to freeze pretty fast. Need to do anything different? Look for frozen air bubbles? lol

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