How to Check & Fix Leaks On A Propane Gas Grill: 3 Steps
When your propane gas grill has a leak it could cause significant damage to your grill, your home, and even yourself. By having a properly functioning gas grill, you won’t have to worry about gas leaks causing small fires and you can cook in peace.
To check a gas grill for leaks you will want to use a soap water solution and coat the hose and valve with the solution. If you see bubbles forming then you know there is a leak.
Ready to figure out how you can fix your own propane gas leaks? Then let’s dive straight in.
What You’ll Need
- Paint brush
- New hose lines (optional)
- New gas tank (optional)
Step by Step Instructions
It’s imperative you check for leaks if you feel there could be a potential problem. A gas leak can cause extreme consequences if it’s not taken care of.
Step #1 Check Your Grill Hoses
The most common problem when there is a gas leak coming from your grill is the hose. The hose connects your propane tank to your grill so that the gas shoots up through the inside of the grill and that’s how you have a consistent source of fire.
Over time, the hose will wear down and start to get holes in it from too much use. This is a pretty common issue and all you’ll need to do is replace the hose. The only problem is it can be hard to tell if the hose is actually the issue. The holes created in the hose can be fairly small and almost invisible to the naked eye.
Do not turn on the tank and try to feel for gas leaks in the hose. This is dangerous and any spark could cause a small fire. Instead, get a bucket half-filled with water. Throw in some soap so that the mixture has a lot of suds. Using a brush, dip it into the mixture and then start to coat the entire hose. Make sure every part gets covered in soapy water.
Then, turn on your gas again. Now you’ll be able to see where the gas is leaking out because you’ll notice small bubbles starting to form. This is where the gas is trying to escape and it’s blowing up bubbles because you coated the hose with soapy water.
You’ll also want to make sure the hose is completely connected to your grill and your tank. If it’s off a little bit this could also cause the leaks. If the hose turns out to be a problem, you’ll have to purchase a new one. You can buy one from most outdoor retailers.
Step #2 Check the Tank Valve
The valves on gas tanks are used to control the flow of gas outside of the tank. Most modern consumer grills, for example, have a valve with some sort of knob or lever that can be turned “on” and “off.”
Due to erosion or manufacturer issues, your valve could be releasing gas instead of feeding it into the hose. Again, you won’t be able to really see this happening. You’ll need the soapy mixture you created in step 1 to coat the valve. Turn on the valve and if you start seeing bubbles you know you need to replace it.
Replacing the tank valve is not going to be easy. If you don’t have the experience, you should consider taking it to a professional to get it changed.
You should try and tighten up all the connections around the valve first. See if something was loose that was causing the leak before taking it to a professional. Depending on how much gas you have left in the tank, you could just get it replaced if you go back to the store you purchased it from.
Step #3 Check the Gas Tank
It’s not very common, but if you’ve been using the same tank for a while it could cause some damage that’s causing the leak. Corrosion, rust, dents, or bulges can all cause gas to start leaking from your tank. Don’t even try to repair this yourself. It’s way too dangerous dealing with a leaking gas tank.
Instead, having a professional take a look to see if there’s anything they can do. Worst comes to worst, you may need to purchase an additional tank.
How can I tell if my gas tank is leaking?
One way is to listen for a hissing sound when the propane tank is turned on. The gas is pressurized inside the tank so it’s just waiting to go somewhere. When there is a small leak, all the gas will try to come out of the same hole. Even though the hole isn’t big enough to let out all the gas. When this happens, the gas will make a hissing sound as it’s escaping your tank.
Another way to check is if there is a bad smell. Gas normally doesn’t have a smell but to protect humans, a foul odor was added. If you smell rotting eggs or something similar, that means there is a gas leak nearby.
Can a leaking propane tank explode?
It’s very rare for a gas tank to explode from a gas leak. There are mechanisms built into the propane gas tank that allows for safety even from a leak.
The likelihood of your tank exploding is low but that doesn’t mean it can’t catch fire. If left on fire for a long period of time the tank could eventually explore.
What are the side effects of a propane gas leak?
You don’t want to be left in a closed room with a leaking gas tank. The leaking gas will cause all kinds of bodily harm. You’ll be left with irritated eyes, nausea, dizziness, coughing, or even burns if the gas ends up igniting.
Or course, most people use their propane as grills in the outdoors where there is plenty of circulation. This takes down the side effects considerably, especially if it’s a windy day.
Having said that, having a leak that you don’t even know is there can lead to a bigger fire and dangerous situation.
Will a carbon monoxide detector detect a propane leak?
It will be of no help to have a carbon monoxide detector nearby with a propane gas grill. The detector won’t be able to sense leaking gas. It wouldn’t even be able to do this in a controlled environment like a closed room so it will definitely be no help outside.
Can a propane leak make you sick?
Extended exposure to a propane leak will absolutely make you physically ill if you do not escape the gas leak.
Luckily, since you will be cooking outside, you don’t have to worry about extreme side effects from prolonged periods of exposure to gas leaks.
Fixing Your Propane Gas Grill
Check your propane gas grill for a leak by coating the hose and valve with a soapy water solution. If the solution starts to bubble, you know there is a leak. You can easily replace your hose but the valve will need a professional to handle it. Thanks for reading and if you have any more questions about your propane tank, check out the related articles below.