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Test a Gas Grill for Leaks

Ready to fire up the grill? Make sure it's ready! Here's how to check for leaks.
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Replacement parts for gas grills are available through larger hardware stores.

A gas grill is an outdoor cooking appliance, fueled by propane or natural gas, for grilling or barbecuing a variety of foods outdoors. A controlled amount of gas passes from the metal tank or household gas lines through fittings and a hose to the burners, where the gas is slowly consumed, creating heat for cooking on the grill top. Gas grills have become more popular than charcoal grills thanks to their ease of use.

Test the propane tank valve for leaks:
  1. Turn the grill control knobs on the front (and, on some models, the side) of the barbecue to the off position.
  2. Turn the propane tank valve fully counterclockwise to close it.
  3. Mix a test solution of equal parts of dishwashing liquid and water in a small container.
  4. To test for leaks, apply the test solution liberally to the connection between the regulator fitting and the tank valve using a small paint brush. Apply the test solution to the valve handle and threads, the length of the hose, and the connection between the hose and the regulator. If bubbles appear at any point, there is a gas leak.
  5. Tighten the connections and retest.
  6. If you still see bubbles at any of the tested connections, close the tank valve and replace the leaking component.

Test the hose fittings for leaks:

  1. With the tank valve open, brush the test solution on the fitting at the other end of the hose, located under the control knobs.
  2. Turn the control knob to high and test the hose and fittings leading from the control knob to the grill. Turn the right control knob to off. Repeat the process for the other control knobs.
  3. If you see any bubbles during any of these tests, close the tank valve and contact your propane dealer or your local gas utility. Do not use the barbecue until the leak is corrected.

Adapted from the new, Interactive Fix-It Club.
Written and illustrated by Dan & Judy Ramsey
Copyright Fix-It ClubŪ © 2004 All Rights Reserved.

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