Troubleshooting Common Gas Grill Problems

Posted: May 13, 2024

Easy Fixes to Keep You Grilling This Season

If you haven’t fired up your gas grill in a few months, now’s the time! Don’t wait until you’ve got a crowd of hungry mouths and a pile of chicken, burgers or bbq ready to go to discover your grill won’t light, the flames are low, or there’s an unexpected hissing sound coming from your grill tank. We’ve got solutions to help you troubleshoot these common gas grill problems. But it’s better to make sure your propane grill is ready to go ahead of time, so make sure you test and clean your grill ahead of any major gatherings.

Yellow or Orange Flames

The flame in a propane gas grill should always be blue. Orange or yellow flames are a sign that there’s something obstructing the burner. This is a particularly common problem if your grill has been unused for a while. Insects like spiders love to make a home in your burner tubes, and leaves, dust and other debris can find their way in and block burners if you’re not covering the unit properly between uses. To fix the problem, wait until your grill is at a cool temperature and clean the burners. Then run the grill on high for about 15 minutes to burn off any remaining debris.

Low or Sparse Flames

The most common cause of low flames is the fuel regulator. They can get stuck, and thus limit the amount of gas being sent from your propane cylinder to your grill. That means sparse flames and a lower grill temperature. To fix the problem, you need to “unstick” it by releasing the pressure on the regulator. Here’s how:

  1. Open the grill hood and leave it open
  2. Turn off everything on the grill, including the gas flow and the propane cylinder
  3. Disconnect the regulator from the cylinder
  4. Wait approximately five minutes
  5. Reconnect the regulator to the cylinder
  6. Open the propane cylinder supply valve very slowly
  7. Wait for one minute, then light the grill.

Grill Won’t Light

If the grill won’t light, it’s a problem with your igniter. The two most common types of propane grill igniters are piezo, which do not require batteries or electricity, and battery-powered or push-button igniters.

If you have a battery-powered igniter, replace the batteries.

If you have a piezo igniter, see if the burners can be lit with match or lighter. Inspect the grill for cracks in the ceramic tube and breaks in the metal tip. Make sure wires are plugged into the spark generator. If these troubleshoot tips do not work, contact a professional to properly diagnose and correct the problem.

Tank Hissing

If you hear a hissing coming from the propane cylinder connected to your grill, immediately extinguish all flames and turn off the gas—it may be a small leak. The good news, especially if it’s a hot, sunny day, is that the hissing sound you are hearing is because the pressure-relief valve is open.

Propane expands as it heats up. This is why propane storage tanks of any size are filled to 80% capacity, ensuring there is room for expanision. That’s also why every propane storage tank—including the small portable cylinders you use with your grill, as well as the bigger tanks for your home—have a pressure-relief valve that opens as soon as the pressure reaches a specific point. The result is some hissing as the pressure is slowly released, preventing your tank from rupturing.

If the pressure-relief valve is open, do not try to close it. It will close automatically when the pressure returns to a safe level. You can help cool your tank by spraying it with cool water from a hose.

If the hissing continues, or it’s not a particularly hot or sunny day, you may have a leak. Disconnect the tank, place it in a well-ventilated area and let it empty out. Once it’s empty, you can return it. Never transport a leaking propane cylinder.

Time for a New Grill?

If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your grill frequently, it may be a sign that it’s time to replace it. Rand Wade has a great selection of top-quality grills, that can take your grilling to the next level.

Contact us today for more information!