Why wont my gas barbeque get hot enough to cook?

gas bbq grill propane gas tank diagram showing safety features to understand barbeque heat
gas bbq grill propane gas tank diagram showing safety features to understand barbeque heat

As a BBQ grill technician I repair gas and charcoal barbeque grills and clean or replace burners, grill cooking grates, ignitors, heat shields and various replacement grill parts every day. There is a call I get at east once every day where a gas grill is inoperable. Although the customer thinks they need me urgently they do not need technical service at all. One of the most misunderstood functions of your gas barbecue grill today in in your propane gas container. Any portable propane container manufactured after September 1998 must be fitted with a overfill prevention device (OPD) and no propane cylinder without an OPD may be re-filled after April 2002. The triangulated handwheel denotes the OPD installation. By now, most gas grill owners have had their tanks confiscated at the re-fill station and have purchased a compliant propane tank. However, most gas grill users do not realize a device called a check valve is also installed in propane cylinder tanks as an additional safety measure.

propane container for gas bbq grill
propane container for gas bbq grill

The check valve is installed to detect hazardous leaks in your propane tank.  When the tank is turned to open, the liquid propane travels through the check valve, QCC and the barbeque grill regulator to fill the hose attaching to the grill manifold.  If the barbecue grill valves are in the “off” position the propane stops before filling the barbecue burners and the pressure checks back to the valve.  If there is a leak in any of the fittings that connect your propane tank to your gas grill, the drop in pressure is noted and the tank goes “into check” which restricts or stops gas flow.

dcs grill parts slide out gas grill tank drawer
dcs grill parts slide out gas grill tank drawer
gas bbq grill check valve from liquid propane tank
gas bbq grill check valve from liquid propane tank
barbeque propane tank opd -- overfill prevention device
barbeque propane tank opd -- overfill prevention device

My gas grill will not get hot.

I get several service requests every week from customers who believe they need a new propane gas regulator, ignitor electrodes, replacement grill burners and more. I have learned it is part of the mentality of the griller to self-diagnose the problem and come up with a solution and it is always tricky attempting to explain the probable culprit without telling the testosterone carrier of the house that the gas BBQ grill is not being used correctly.

The problem arises as a result of the OPD demanded by law. Both the check valve and the Overfill Prevention Device are tools to keep us safe while enjoying our gas barbeque grills and our backyard. When a new or newly filled propane tank is attached to your gas grill, the OPD is usually at its maximum limit position above a tank filled to capacity. The slight pressure of the OPD arm floating in the liquid propane can cause enough pressure that when the tank valve hand wheel is turned “on” the gas will rush through at a speed that feels like more water column pressure than is true. As a result of the pressure blasting into the gas hose, the tank goes into check.

The customer visits the gas grill store or calls the technician and requests a service call. Many clients believe they need a replacement grill burner, regulator or ignitor. Often, the gas will continue to flow into the gas BBQ grill but at such a low pressure that a customer will call to complain their grill will not get hot. Sometimes the barbeque will be unable to exceed 200 degrees in temperature because the propane tank is in check. I have had calls from customers who have been using their barbecue for several hours and cannot get their food cooked enough to eat!

While it is true that grill parts do sometimes need to be replaced and gas regulators are not made to last forever, if the complaint is the barbeque grill will not get hot or will not ignite, the problem can usually be addressed over the telephone. The trick is to educate the family chef without insulting their ability to grill or making them feel stupid.

outdoor kitchen built in door, drawer with lp gas tank slider
outdoor kitchen built in door, drawer with lp gas tank slider
broil king grill parts with tank drawer
broil king grill parts with tank drawer
infrared gas grill parts for intense heat
infrared gas grill parts for intense heat
still cant figure it out?  get a ceramic kamado barbeque smoker instead
still cant figure it out? get a ceramic kamado barbeque smoker instead

How do I fix the barbeque grill?

To reset the check valve and get back to cooking on your gas barbecue grill, first

  • turn everything off.  Turn off the grill, the rotisserie, the side burner and the LP gas cylinder tank.
  • Once everything is turned off disconnect the propane tank from the gas grill regulator by unscrewing it or pulling the quick-release on older or retro-fitted propane cylinders.
  • Now turn the grill on.  I know, it is dis-connected from the gas tank but we want to ensure that the pressure in the gas lines or any gas in the burners is released.
  • Leave the grill, side burner, rotisserie, etc on high for a few minutes with the hood open before turning all the valves back to the off position.
  • Make sure.  Most gas barbeque grill valves must be pushed in to turn them and if turning is attempted without pushing the knob, they will not turn to the “on” position.
  • With the grill, et al turned off reconnect the propane tank and slowly turn the hand wheel to the open position.
  • Slowly.  The trick here is to turn the hand wheel slowly.
  • When the propane gas tank is new or newly-filled, the gas is full and the OPD is pushing slightly on the top filled area and the gas will want to burst through the valve.  Slow it down by turning the valve on slowly and the check valve will reset itself.

Once this is complete, you should be able to turn the barbeque grill on high and ignite your gas grill burner.  Your barbecue cooking heat should be back to normal and cooking times decreased.  If the problem persists, try this process again to make sure you followed every step.  The check valve exists to save your life if there is a leak in any of the gas fittings.  Constant check valve issues could imply a gas leak and a visit from your local gas grill service technician may be necessary.

To find a leak, turn the barbeque grill valves to the off position and the gas tank valve to the full on position.  This should pressurize the gas line.  Spray soapy water on all the fittings and look for bubbles just like checking for the leak in a flat tire.

Do not attempt to correct a gas leak on your own.  While a check valve error when your gas BBQ grill will not get hot or will not ignite is a user education error and an issue corrected by learning about your barbeque and your propane tank, a gas leak should be corrected by a licensed gas service technician.  When using your gas grill, turn the tank on first and then the barbecue grill to begin grilling.  When you are done cooking, turn the gas tank off first and then turn off the barbeque grill valves.  This will minimize the amount of residual pressure left in the gas hose.  Keep some safety features in mind regarding your gas BBQ grill parts and you will not buy replacement parts that you do not need.   Aside from that be safe, eat well and have fun.

check valve -- everyone's done it, just admit it!

Did you ever check the valve of your grill and could not get hot enough to cook?

  • yes
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Comments 125 comments

Ruth  6 years ago

so helpful. I definitely will be buying and coming here for advice!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

Thank you! I know in your restaurant u make customers cook their own food. do you use gas or just charcoal?


webhostinging profile image

webhostinging 6 years ago

I can't wait to do some bbq in the summer anymore


Charles_Trento 6 years ago

Great information. I have seen your hubs and am very impressed. My wife and I are definatly going to purchase one. Which one would you recommend?


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

A grill? Choosing a bbq grill that will grow with you long term is selected based on usage, cleaning habits and what you will cook.

check us out at

http://www.grill-repair.com


matt 6 years ago

Dude that is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fix it in 2 minuts and have been complaining about the low cook temp for months! Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I almost went out and bought a new grill.


Gabriel 6 years ago

This was super helpful. The low temp happened to be after refilling the tank. I thought they filled it with natural gas instead of propane as I know natural gas burns colder. But I'm not sure if it could even happen. I followed the instructions above and everything is back to high temp. Thank you very much!


mike 6 years ago

should i disconnect bbq gas after use ?


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

Mike:

there are lots of maintenance and grilling articles at:

http://www.grill-repair.com/blog

and if you sign up on the home page at:

http://www.grill-repair.com

you will receive a book of great information about grilling and keeping good care of your barbeque.

To answer you though, you should turn the tank off when you are not using it. I turn the tank off when I am done grilling and let the lack of gas turn the grill off before turning the control knobs off. This way there is no residual gas pressure in the lines.


Anthony 6 years ago

Thanks so much.

This scenario was driving me crazy......Had a full tank, yet sometimes the unit would work fine, other times low heat.

It never occurred to me to open the valve slowly.

Now that I understand why, makes sense


jerry rigger 6 years ago

Can you remove the regulating valve and use you grill?


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

no. you cannot take the regulator off of a propane gas grill. The gas flow will usually be much too low to barbeque. Depending on the gas source gas can also come through with too much pressure but usually it is too little pressure.

If you are using natural gas, often the ng is regulated before the gas line gets to the grill. in that instance, the regulating valve at the grill is a double blind and can be removed. there are times when it is a good idea to remove the appliance regulator but the gas flow must be regulated before it gets to the gas appliance.

if you go to the blog site at:

http://www.grill-repair.com/blog

and use the "search" box at the top of the page, there are articles online written by us that will help you understand the proper regulated water column for gas appliances.


cheryl wood 6 years ago

great advice, worked like a charm, I have a 700.00 dollar grill that my husband complained was a piece of crap.I've actually tried even flipping the tank upside down to get the gas to flow, how dumb is that ... thank you for your advice it was spot on and truly awesome...


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

Thank you. Please be careful and have fun.


jonathan t profile image

jonathan t 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA

i am a big outdoor kitchen enthusiast. I am glad you wrote this informative hub. I'm sure it's going to help a lot of people with their barbecuing needs!! Great job


Grillfan22 6 years ago

One of your comments is that you shouldn't take the regulator when using a propane tank because "the gas flow will usually be much too low to barbeque. Depending on the gas source gas can also come through with too much pressure but usually it is too little pressure."

Aren't regulators ment to reduce the pressure ?. So, i don't understand why taking the regulator off will reduce the pressure ?

Thanks for you help.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

not the regulator but the gas valve. If you run the burner direct through a hose and regulator to the tank, the pressure will be too low. With the valve on the pressure is much higher. Logically I would think the absent valve would make the burner seem to be on "high" all the time but it does not work. without a gas valve the pressure drops to unusable levels. Even a simple ball valve (shut-off) increases performance.

Some grills that have 2 regulators, for instance Solaire and Alfresco both ship with an appliance regulator that sometimes needs to be removed when an inline tank is used.


Doug  6 years ago

Yep that worked Thanks!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

almost always does. you wouldn't believe the amount of client who call because they think they need a service call and all they need is to reset the tank.


Mike 6 years ago

Thanks so much I always knew to shut off the grill first but since I los my knobs I just left them on....Gotta get a new grill but there is no money for it in the budget. I grill all year does not matter the weather would rather grill then cook inside lol (mikefaulkner@frontiernet.net)


MrDonut 6 years ago

Thanks, you're a party-saver. As I read your instructions I recalled the procedure and knew exactly what I had done wrong. We so often take for granted the instant access we enjoy with the internet, but even more so generous, helpful folks such as you who take the time to share their wisdom. Many, many thanks...


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

Thank you again for your feedback.

Mike get a knob at:

http://www.grill-repair.com/replaceknob.html

there is a great universal knob that fits everything, item 02342. it comes with several different sized inserts for the knob and it looks better than most of the knobs that come with the bbq.

jason.


Wes 6 years ago

You're awesome! I just spent half an hour messing with my grill thinking I was going to have to take it somewhere to get it fixed, googled "not enough propane pressure to grill", found your article and viola! Works perfect. Thank you!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

Thanks Wes. Google is awesome like that, I am glad we could help!


anniesmum 5 years ago

Thank you great news for us glad we found you after all what good is an Aussie without a bbq that works, could not even cook the prawns on Christmas day the pressure was so bad. looks like lunch today will cook

Thanks


Ben Benoit 5 years ago

I had already exchanged a tank (now I know perfectly good) and was on my way to finding a new regulator when I found this page.

THANKS!!! This worked perfectly.


bogoofygg 5 years ago

Wow I'm so surprised something on the internet that actually worked THANK YOU VERY MUCH!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 5 years ago from florida Author

Thanks bogoffygg there is a lot more at:

http://www.grill-repair.com/blog


Dave Yeakley 5 years ago

I spent all winter intinking I would need to buy new grill. Read your comments and fixed my grill in five minutes. This is great.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 5 years ago from florida Author

i am glad to hear it!


tyler 5 years ago

you rock thanks


DB 5 years ago

I'm a believer...it worked...THANKS


Cole 5 years ago

I fiddled with it like you said a couple of times and now i have some good flame. I had flame before but it was real low.

Thanks.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 5 years ago from florida Author

happy to hear it. very simple solutions are usually the best.

today is Memorial Day.

Happy Memorial Day to all -- love Freedom and appreciate our ability to save liberty from the horrifying violence and tyranny of pettiness


BillG 5 years ago

Finally some really useful and clearly explained information on the web!


Firebreather 5 years ago

The trick for me was to turn the gas back on SLOWLY. Didn't do it the first try, but this site had that tip, and it worked great. Saved the old grill from the recyclers.


Firebreather 5 years ago

I spoke too soon. It worked OK until I shut the grill down and turned the tank off (last). I have to go through the whole process every time I want to light the grill. For every 8-10 trips through the procedure, I get a normal flame. Maybe the regulator really is bad. It's two seasons old.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 5 years ago from florida Author

turn the tank off while the grill is still burning. This causes all the gas in the manifold and gas lines to burn. When you turn the tank off it will take about 10 seconds for the burners to burn out but then the lines are safe and clear. When the tank is turned on - slowly - next time it will fill the gas line and manifold, stabilize and check the valve correctly.

If there is pressure in the line there is a "backflow" when the tank is opened and it confuses the pressure check. DO NOT forget to turn the control valve to the OFF position once the burners have gone out. It is easy to forget to do that because the burners are not burning but if the valves are ON when the tank is turned on the gas will escape from the ON valve and confuse the pressure check.

http://www.grill-repair.com/blog


Chuck 5 years ago

Thank you very much information was exactly right All systems are go


Elizabeth 5 years ago

When I read this I found it inconceivable that my problem could be so easily fixed. I had already bought a regulator, thoroughly cleaned every single inch of our BBQ and nothing! I called the manufacturer and they suggested we order new inners at $150.00 and I would have a six week wait. I printed your instructions and gave them to my husband. He immediately tried your advice and WHALLA the bbq works like new.. UNBELIEVABLE!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!


RJW!%&% 5 years ago

Thanks it worked the open slow part


Nancy Pearce 5 years ago

We tried your solution 4 times. It burns high for about 15-30 seconds - you could hear the propane "blowing." Then it slows down again to a low flame and that's the end of "high." Could it be the connection line? We just bought it last year. We had it laying on the picnic table (disconnected) and liquid came out of it. Is that a problem?


Nancy Pearce 5 years ago

I neglected to mention that the grill works perfectly with a 1 lb portable bottle (it's a little grill).


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 5 years ago from florida Author

I had this happen with a portable, table top infrared gas grill. Is your grill infrared? if so i think the liquid and the pressure problem means the burner cracked. Water grows mass exponentially when it becomes steam and the growth will cause the ceramic tiles to crack in an infrared grill -- infrared burners cannot burn with water inside.

The other problem I have seen is moisture inside the regulator. The little diaphragm gets wet and is alters the movement inside the regulator.

I need more info. contact me at

service@grill-repair.com


Nancy Pearce 5 years ago

One of our neighbors in the campground found the problem. The star washer in the end of the hose was cockeyed and the ball was crooked. He took it out, put the spring back in, put the ball back in and put the star washer back on top and tapped it back in with the blunt end of the drill bit. Works great. Thanks.


kyokoo 5 years ago

You are my grill god and made my grill cook great. Funny how a hot grill can end the long weekend nicely. Grillrepair, I salute you!


Cal 5 years ago

My brand new Charbroil 4 burner grill heats to only 500 degrees (according to the temp. guage). After 15-20 min of preheating I can pretty much hold my hand about an inch above the cooking area. I have tried the reset procedure. Please Help!


Dan B 5 years ago

After years of thinking of being a grill king I have learned my most valuable lesson and I thank you! I had always blamed it on humidity or just the grill but never on me opening the valve to fast! Men never do anything to fast!!! Thank you again!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 5 years ago from florida Author

I am thrilled this Hub has been so popular and I am proud to have helped with this information. In his comment above, Cal asked about his Charbroil. A Charbroil is a barbecue and as a barbecue it is designed to surround the food with heat trapped inside the closed hood of the barbecue. A Grill gets hot enough to grill at the grate level without closing the hood but grills are rare -- and usually infrared. A barbecue will normally max-out at 450 - 500 degrees and this is perfectly normal heat for a barbecue.

The best example is Weber and a typical Genesis or Spirit gets as hot as 475 on average. If you want to sear a steak or sear fish filet at 1000 degrees or higher -- restaurant quality searing is considered 800 degrees -- use a cast iron griddle. Set the cast iron griddle inside the closed hood of the barbecue and let it get hot. Cast iron conducts heat well and will get twice as hot as the air conducting convectional heat in the BBQ.


Shayne Macleod 4 years ago

Great fix!!!

Helped me out alot, and worked instantly.

I had no idea about these values or putting the hose on too fast, very informative.


mfield72 4 years ago

I already knew of that problem and knew of how to reset it but i must say that im sure your article will be very helpful to those that didn't know. The article was educating and written in a way that those that are not " BBQ " orientated will be able to understand quite easily. - GO the aussie bbq.


Mardrew 4 years ago

Amazing! Worked perfectly!


Mudgen 4 years ago

I have done this reset procedure over and over on a Genesis Silver B. Occasionally the grill heats to 500+, but most of the time it only gets to about 400. I have 3 tanks, so I don't think they could all have defective check valves. Could the regulator be at fault in this case?


Mudgen 4 years ago

I went to Home Depot to buy another regulator, but they didn't have a Weber-specific one in store, nor a Marshall 405H of another brand.

So I tried adjusting the one I have. Pulled cap screw, used hex key to turn disk down 4 turns, it will now go to 500-550 with no problem in about 15 minutes. Everything is good, but I'll probably order a Weber replacement.


Joe 4 years ago

I bought a new grill last year because it was doing this only to find my new one also gave me the same problem. Looking forward to tryting this soon as the weather breaks a little. THANK YOU.


guy 4 years ago

Thank you!


hank 4 years ago

I've been battling this problem 4 years until I saw this intellegent article. All others articles on the internet tell me I have spider webs in my gas tubes - obviously wrong.

thank you very much!!!


josh 4 years ago

my gas grill gets to like 600 degrees when i turn it on low.. i have replaced the burners regulator and the tank... so what is the deal


Steve 4 years ago

I have an LP quick connect on my RV. I hook a hose from my RV to my Weber Baby Q. There is a regulator on my Baby Q. Do I have to remove it? The RV quick connect is hooked up after the RV regulator.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

Wow -- a lot of comments since I was here. Thank you all!

Mudgen -- if a tank goes "into check" and you attach a new tank the gas pressure hit the check valve going the wrong way when you open the tank valve. You cannot skip the step above that empties the pressure from the manifold.

Also DO NOT adjust the spring on your regulator!

Josh -- 600 degrees? is that good or bad? As you'll see in comment by Mudgen he is happy with 500-55- and a normal "bbq" is not going to get hotter than that. If you're saying 600 degrees is too hot you can change out the orifices to bring it down or you can usually adjust the valve using the set screw in the valve stem. Contact us at

Service@Grill-Repair.com

for additional assistance.

Steve -- the regulator is only going to allow a certain amount of pressure through. It Does Not lower the pressure if the pressure is already at the right setting. whether you have one regulator or a dozen regulators will make no difference.


Andy 4 years ago

I have not tried the fix yet, I will tonight, but I have not seen a mention to natural gas grills and low heat. Grillrepair - Does your fix also work if my grill uses natural gas from a direct line from my house and not from a tank? I thought I remember reading somewhere that if a grill uses natural gas, there is no regulator installed on the grill. If this is the case how do I solve low flame/heat on a natural gas grill?


Manuel 4 years ago

Worked like charm. You saved me $$$ and a good grill from the landfill!!!


Amy j 4 years ago

Thank you so much for the information. You saved my summer!


Chad 4 years ago

A BBQ Repair Technician and an excellent writer! I really enjoyed reading your article and I’m embarrassed to say it solved my problem.


Mike 4 years ago

I have read through all of the questions and answers but do not find anything referencing my situation. Can you help? My home is propane. My propane supply comes from a 300 gallon tank located a hundred feet or so away from where I get it. I have a LP barbecue hooked directly (no regulator) to the gas line (with a shut off valve). I don't think there is enough pressure to heat my barbecue to the desired temperatures. I live in a warm climate and I have a difficult time getting the barbecue to get over 300 degrees even with the lid down. My question is, what pressure should I have coming directly from the propane gas line to get good performance from my barbecue? If I don't have adequate pressure what can I do about it? Thanks for you help!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

andy & mike:

there is a formula for determining the inner diameter of a gas line based on the hose material (different materials = different friction), BTU needed at the end of the run and the length of the run. The gas company should be able to determine this properly and allow for additions to the gas line or a higher BTU grill added in the future. It is "standard" to use the formula and augment the result as future-proofing.

The end of the run should be delivering 11" for LP or 2" - 6" natural gas. If you're unsure get the gas company to use a manometer; a manual pressure tester is about $50. and I have been on job sites where the appliance pulled more BTU than the gas line could deliver. The flames usually go out or they pull liquid without allowing time to vaporize. This is dangerous.

Add a regulator if there isn't one and if there is a regulator add a double stage regulator. This is what double-stage regulators are made for.

If that does not do it you'll need to change the gas line to something with a greater inner diameter but test the line for 11" first.


Chris 4 years ago

Great stuff,

My wife now thinks I am an engineering genius because I "fixed" the BBQ, without doing my usual trick of spending lot's of money after getting grumpy!

Even better when I admitted that I had done an internet search and actually taken advice she now thinks I am a sensible human being...

Fingers crossed for lights out (no advice needed)!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

nice, chris!

we also publish a lot of useful "fixes" on our blog at

Grill-Repair.com/blog


Rich Carthew 4 years ago

Thank you for this informative post! - Like you said, I tried to self-diagnose the problem myself -even tried the soapy water test for leaks before trying Google and visiting your post. It's Saturday morning and tonight: The Grill Must Go On! - So you saved the day - lol. Cheers again Mate,

Rich.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

thank you! have fun and enjoy independence day!


jcc 4 years ago

I have a new weber genesis and I don't like it! I have tried it 3 times and it takes forever to cook 4 little burgers, and 3rd try was with chicken breasts sliced open. It has 3 burners and a seer that does nothing.True Value has been a great help and told me to open the valve very slowly. I did that and it still takes to long to cook. I also unscrewed the plate below the knobs and saw and brushed the burner screens, they were clean, and I took flavor bars off to see the flame, it was 1" to 1.5" high, should the flame be higher? Anyway I am still dissapointed and want to return it. When I turned the valve on slowly on the propane tank I heard a little click and continued turning it slowly only half way, not all the way like I used to do. And I turn burners off first then the tank then open burners to drain gas. What am I doing wrong, any help please.

Thanks.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

jcc --

Weber makes good products with great warranty service but based on my own expectations I could not own a weber. maybe it is not the right product for you either or maybe there is a problem we can find. When all the bbq burners are on and the hood is closed how hot is the barbecue after 10 - 12 minutes?

i really do not think hubpages is the right place for this and do not want any trouble from the site. contact us directly at: service@grill-repair.com -- so we can determine if the grill has a problem or if a weber is simply not the right product to meet your expectations.


Sofrustrated 4 years ago

You've helped so many people with this information, I hope you have an idea for me. I tried everything you suggested, and I still can't get a full flame (tops out at about 200 degrees with four burners). I disconnected the gas and opened the control knobs to clear the gas. Then I waited a long time and closed the control knobs and reconnected the gas. I opened the valve on the tank very slowly part way, and ignited one burner. I opened the valve a little more and ignited the second burner than opened the valve all the way and klit the last two. I closed the lid and an hour later, still about 200 degrees. Then I did it again, but first turned it off by the tank the way you suggested. I've done this several times, and still no luck. It is a Kenmore Elite, about 3 or 4 years old. Should I try a new regulator?


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

Thank you for the opportunity. Unfortunately sometimes the parts need some attention and without knowing a little history it is almost impossible to advise you.

....Sometimes the tank is bad but sometimes it is just overfilled. Taking it to a Licensed and Reputable Fill-Station (not a gas station or lowes) should be able to weight the tank and test the valve.

.... Sometimes it is the regulator but this is rare because a regulator that is bad will usually not work at all or will leak.

.... Sometimes the air shutter on the venturi needs to be slightly adjusted.

....Sometimes the set screw on the control valve needs to be adjusted.

....Sometimes if the grill has not been used in some time pull the orifices and clean both the orifice and the front of the valve where the orifice attaches because tiny insects nest in this cavity behind the orifice.

With a little guidance from you I could probably narrow it down. Usually the tank is either over-filled or was not purged by someone who does not know what they are doing. The other adjustments above are very rare. If the tank is new or was newly filled that's the first place I would look for a problem.

I don't think I can put it here but if you go to our profile you can contact us via email or go to our domain and click to contact from there and we'll provide a more specialized service.

Thank you.


Sofrustrated 4 years ago

Well, you were probably right because I tried it everyday and finally I got it to a full flame. So I wonder if the tank wasn't filled properly - when I take it to be filled, should I say they should purge it first? I also bought a gauge to attach to the tank. Thank you! I live in Denver Nd have no idea where I would have had to take it to be fixed, not to mention that I'd have no way to get it there.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

purging is not necessary after the first time. Tanks are filled with air and a kind of air/water vapor when they are new and empty because a "true" vacuum would crumble the inner mass. The air and vapors have to be purged or the tank will always have a problem.

Once the tank is purged the first time it should be fine.

If there is a problem it is probably over-filled. I had a tank filled last week and the fill-station-guy did not use a scale or a gauge or anything. Easy to screw up.


fillster 4 years ago

wow....incredible....fixed my problem in less than 5 minutes....if there were more people like you in this world, this world would be a better place....this low pressure thing has happened to me before and when i refilled the tank it went away...this time it came on, replaced the tank with a full one and it was still there....googled the problem and came to your article....thanks again!


Michael 4 years ago

Thanks, I was on my way to buy a new regulator, but figured I'd better check online first. Thanks for the help, it worked perfectly.


Dennis 4 years ago

Thank you for the advise, it worked!!


Poppy 4 years ago

Wow - You just saved me $3-4 hundred on a new BBQ. In a few minutes I'm going to be eating some ribs I thought may have needed to go to the oven. I'm very impressed and will be cutting and pasting your solution to my kids. Thanks Again.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 4 years ago from florida Author

Thanks Poppy! We actually post a lot of helpful solutions on our blog site also. We have some of the popular ones on hubpages but our blog has new products, how to install and repair tips. You can also leave a comment on Hubpages or contact us through Hubpages with a question and we'll make a hubpage to answer the question.

That way our how-to hubs grow based on what you and other readers would like to see here.

http://www.grill-repair.com/blog


TycoonSam profile image

TycoonSam 4 years ago from Washington, MI

Thank you so much! This was an awesome hub. I was frustrated as heck because my barbecue would not get above 200 degrees. I'm going to run through your steps right now!

Voted up, useful and awesome!


Ernie Martin 3 years ago

There is another reason why your gas grill does not get hot

The darn factory uses way to small of inside sized lp gas hose and another reason is the darn gas regulators are JUNK ! So have your gas man put on larger gas hose and then change the cheep regulators to AJUSTABLE ones, then DRILL out that @#$^@#$^ spring on the inside, NOW you are cooking ! ( not responsible)


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

Most people do not know enough about the regulator to have the accountability to use an adjustable regulator. They'll end up using it like a valve for more gas flow as you seem to be suggesting. Removing the spring or shortening the spring usually stops the barbecue from working at all because gas comes through too fast and freezes the gas lines and the tips of the orifices so no gas flows at all.

It is a good idea to put a better regulator and gas line on the grill because a lot of barbecue models have cheap foreign parts. This should only be a problem with large high BTU grills and a double stage regulator is normally standard with high-end high BTU grills.

A cheap branded import will have a lot of cheap parts and if you start replacing them all you could build your own BBQ!

Just buy a better appliance.


CaymanOilers 3 years ago

Excellent article... did the trick for mine the first time... Thank you!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

I am happy you were able to get the grill working right! We get calls all day long from people who want on-site service calls because the barbecue will not get hot enough to cook. This is a common problem and easy to reset. Have fun!


Kevin Bernal 3 years ago

Great worked quickly and this problem bugged me for a year! Like most was considered buying another grill. Your a grill saver!


Brennan 3 years ago

My grill was not heating properly so I followed your directions step-by-step; sure enough, my grill is heating like it did when I first bought it. Thanks for the advice-- now if only I could get my battery operated ignition to work again...


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

Use a new battery and unplug the electrode wires and press the button. If the module is sending sparks it will be strong enough to arc from one spade-outlet to another. While not connected to the grill it should be able to spark from outlet to outlet and from outlet to a screwdriver within 1/4" space.

If not replace it.

If so put it back and get the electrodes (miniature spark plugs) and clean them well. A little grease at the tip of the electrode will stop it from sparking.

Finally if the module has an extra wire run to a bolt as a ground make sure it is clean. None of the flat spade outlets that the wires plug into can be left "naked". they all have to be attached to an electrode or grounded. Like the electrode tips the ground gets dirty and weakens the ignition assembly so clean it or replace it.


PinQ 3 years ago

And here I was about to buy a new BBQ when the one I have does a great job for me (Q320) or I was even thinking of tinkering with a metal tube brush and also try to get a refund on the propane bottle. THANKS, you saved me money and possibly saved me from harm.

P.


Adrian 3 years ago

Thanks so much for this awesome advice. I always assume the worst, and figured that I would need to replace the lines and possibly the burners. I found this, and within minutes I was grillin' again. Thanks a million!!!


Phil 3 years ago

My 600 dollar grill now works great. You saved me big dollars with the slow turn on of the valve. Thanks


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

I am happy we are able to help. We post a lot of articles like this about repairs and tweaks for the barbecue but also some really interesting (uncommon) cooking techniques on our blog at Grill-Repair.com/blog so you can find lots of information here and also there or contact us if you need more specific assistance with your barbecue.


Hoosier Guy 3 years ago

After moving my Vermont Casting grill to a new home and getting the tank refilled, it will now only heat to 400 degrees & it takes about 20 minutes to reach that level. It use to quickly reach 550 degrees. I've done an extensive inside cleaning of the lower grill/burner area & replaced the regulator with no significant improvement. The burner flames are all blue & even in size across all three burner bars. Any suggestions? Outstanding & quality advice here, thanks in advance for your help!!!


Reese 3 years ago

Thanks. Problem solved.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

Thank you all again.

Hoosier Guy - Obviously reset the check valve and restart because that is the most common issue that affects heat.

The second most common issue we hear about:

Almost every time someone contacts us to say they were grilling and their knobs melted off the grill I ask "did you recently take the grill apart and clean it" and the answer 99.9% of the time is "yes".

What often happens is the burners go in a little crooked or do not line-up onto the orifice at the tip of the valve exactly right and flames flash out through the air-shutter in the front of the burner.

Remove the control panel and light the BBQ. The flash fire will probably not occur because of the air-flow with the control panel removed but you should be able to leak-check the valves on the manifold and be able to see carbon from the flames inside.

This may not be the nest place for an in-depth back-and-forth service so email us at Service@Grill-Repair.com for further assistance.

I do not want to get in trouble with hubpages if a back-and-forth examination violates some of their terms.


Hoosier Guy 3 years ago

Thank you "grillrepair" for your help remarks. I will be in touch.


bergy 3 years ago

I thought I was doing everything right but still the bbq would not heat up to searing tempatures. I found out I was turning the burners off first then the tank.. I started to turn of tank off first then burners as you suggested. That made the difference. Sweet I think my grill has been fixed.


Jay 3 years ago

My kirkland grill will not go over 400 degrees. I rececntly changed it from natural gas to propane. I installed the correct size orifices, per manufacturer specs, and even purchased the manufacturer hose regulator. I also cleaned out the burners and checked for leaks everywhere.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

Reset the check valve as described above or contact us for assistance. if the check valve is not being triggered by mistake (as described) then either the burners are not installed correctly or the orifices are not properly converted.

There is not enough room here to describe how to check each of those 3 possibilities but that is it. Contact us through the site if you need further assistance.


Stephen Poore 3 years ago

A though helpful to know the results did not occur. I followed the instructions with no effect the burners still do not heat. And you can not get the flame to go up or down same level as it has been and still doesn't head above 200 no matter how long the unit is on.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

if you need detailed assistance please contact us at: service@grill-repair.com so we do not have a lot of back-and-forth here on hubpages.


bboy2mil 3 years ago

I tried it 3 times and no luck, I then replaced the regulator and its working fine now Thanks for the info it was good to know so I didn't replace regulator unnecessarily.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

If a regulator is not working you will not get gas flow at all. A regulator will not get partially stuck unless frozen (from sucking liquid) and then the pressure is enormous! The check valve checks pressure differentials for a leak. Removing and replacing the regulator drains the line and resets the check valve just like resetting it as described above.

Make sure all the valves are off and leak check them with gas pressure in the manifold. Also leak check the regulator and the regulator connections. If you have to change the regulator it is a leak.

A regulator is only a small area with a rubber diaphragm that forces a smaller size so only so much pressure can pass through it. Over time the rubber disc can become curled or torn from movement and humidity but this usually clogs the pass-through entirely.


Steve M 3 years ago

Thanks very much - solved my low gas flow problem!!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 3 years ago from florida Author

Thank you Steve M for letting us know. I am happy we could help. Many times clients call to order valves, burners, regulators, etc and describe the low-heat barbecue problem. I tell them I will repair their gas grill through the telephone as though performing a magic trick.

...and it works!


Dan 2 years ago

THANKS! Advice was right on!


joe 2 years ago

Very helpful!! Works perfect now!!


Brad 2 years ago

This absolutely worked. And the first time too! Thank you so much.


todd 2 years ago

thanks for your help the information was great it was right to the point


Gio Migliaccio 22 months ago

Hi!! The burner on my BBQ has not been working properly for about 3 months now and I don't know what to do. All of a sudden the flame is different. It's almost like one big flame, and there is a black powder residue on the bottom side of the pan after cooking on the burner. And if I use the grill, it looks like the black residue develops around the edges of the food. I've changed out the propane tank. I've cleaned the whole BBQ but I still have the problem. Do I need to buy a new BBQ? Can you please let me know what I need to do?? Please help!!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 22 months ago from florida Author

Usually if a barbecue burner has a lot more flame it is because of the carburetor allowing too little air to mix as the gas flows into the burner. Unfortunately this does not mean we can simply adjust the air-shutter at the tip of the burner because high gas pressure can create the same problem if the gas pressure adjusts up or the control valve adjusts up while the burner air shutter remains at the same setting, the effect is a rich mixture just as if the air shutter were closed.

The burner can be in bad shape (you did not mention the state of the burner) which could also have the same effect if the individual ports have rusted into one long opening for the gas to emit. Generally carbon and fumes are the result of burning rich: too much gas or not enough air. The easy fix is to adjust the shutter in the tip of the burner. If the problem is not something physically broken or rusted-through that will get the flames back to 1-1.5" and blue with a yellow tip so there is no carbon coming off the flames.


Gio Migliaccio 22 months ago

Ok..... the burner is in good shape. No rust whatsoever. Where do I adjust the air intake?


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 22 months ago from florida Author

I am not sure if hubpages is OK with this getting so specific and I'd encourage you to email us at service@grill-repair.com which is also good because we can send images and schematics showing exactly what you are looking for.

The air-adjustment shutter is at the front tip of the burner where the control valve orifice slides into the burner. Gas flows from the valve orifice into the burner and the flow from the orifice pulls-in oxygen through the air shutter opening.


Brad Lee 19 months ago

Hi....I have a 3 burner propane grill and I had to replace the original burners because they were all rusted and corroded to the point of being unusable. Well I ended up buying universal tube burners for it to replace them which was the only affordable option for me at the time. Now it does light up and work but it does not get hot enough like it should and I noticed the flames on the burners don't get high enough and also the flames do not burn or come out all the way across the burners. ....some of the holes do not even have any flames coming out of them at all and it's causing cold spots in certain areas of the grill. My question is this: my neighbor told me I can remove the regulator (bypass it) from the line and just control the flow and how high or low I want the flame just by adjusting the valve on the tank. Is it ok to do it like that or no? I haven't tried your fix yet but I was planning on trying it next time I go to grill something. Please let me know....any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 19 months ago from florida Author

One day we'll all read about your neighbor in the newspaper and hopefully when he immolates his entire family the wind will be blowing away from your house. It is idiotic things like that which cause manufacturers to disallow certain kinds of repairs.

If you have not adjusted the carburetors and have not adjusted the ball valves this is the problem -- your description sounds exactly like the adjustments have not been done correctly.

The air-shutters on the burners have to be adjusted for LP or NG and for the oxygen quality of your location so the flames are 1-1.5 inches and blue with yellow or white tips.

If the valves have small flat head screws inside the valve stem (not all do - i do not know what bbq you have), that will allow the gas flow to be adjusted by changing the range between high and low. This is rarely needed and is a very slight adjustment. We have instructional posts with video examples on our blog site for the burner carburetor adjustment and the valve-stem adjustment.


Carol Bendo 17 months ago

Thank you. Your advice worked and the grill is perfect.


Larry B. 17 months ago

After filling but not using my barbecue's propane tank, I smelled a heavy propane odor (Mercaptan?). My first thought is that the gas had expanded in the outdoor heat, and the safety valve was releasing propane.

To try to address the issue, I disconnected the tank from the barbecue, and tried to open the valve to release some propane. I found that even when I turned the valve to open, no gas was released. Is this a fault in the tank's valve (and I should dispose of the tank at a hazmat disposal site), or is there some safety device where the tank needs to be connected to a hose?

Thanks in advance,

Larry B.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 17 months ago from florida Author

The LP cylinder Check-Valve is described above and reading that should have answered your question if I were a better writer.

The check-valve reads pressure leaving the tank and then reads stabilized pressure as gas stabilizes in the closed manifold pipe -- valves Must Be Off When Tank Turned On.

The check-valve must read same pressure leaving and returning or it stops gas flow which is what happens if you turn tank on with hose unattached as described in your question. If tank is turned On while one of the valves is turned on or is leaking then the tank check-valve reads a higher pressure leaving the cylinder and a lower pressure returning. This is what the check-valve sees as a leak so the check-valve clicks into place to stop gas from flowing.

If the tank is overfilled and the OPD displacement is causing the higher reading as described above then gas will emit but far too low for cooking. That is the point of this article -- to explain what has happened and how to reset it if gas pressure is too low.

To release pressure in over-filled cylinder take the tank to the fill station b/c the area is designed for safety. There is a small flat-head screw on the side that is there to release vaporized fuel as the screw loosens. Do not remove the screw b/c extremely difficult to reinsert with freezing fuel being expelled. Loosening the release screw is more than sufficient.


Larry B. 16 months ago

Thanks so much for your helpful reply.

As it turned out, I was able to release pressure by attaching the tank to the barbecue and actually cooking with it - guess the temp had gone down so the tank wasn't overflowing anymore.

It is good to know the correct way to release gas (loosening the screw a bit); the local police has suggested opening the tank, and when that didn't work I posted my question.

This site does a great service - please keep it up. Sometimes people really, really, REALLY need an expert who can provide quick and clear answers.

Thanks again,

Larry B.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 16 months ago from florida Author

Thank You Very Much!


Marc0 16 months ago

I have been grilling for 30 years and never new this about propane tanks. I was getting ready to take my grill apart (and have labored with previous grills) but readjusting the pressure in the lines and turning the tank on valve SLOWLY did the trick. Awesome!


Dempsey 7 months ago

So many of our problems we encounter with a lot of the equipment we use today has to do with " Safety" we should be thankful for that, for it saves our bacon, and we sometimes forget that.

I forgot that when I was working on my grill, it wouldn't ignite, then when it did the flame was very weak, and it had to be one of the components gone awry right, .... WRONG ... you have simply told us to purge the gas system completely, then turn the gas valve on slowly,

SLOOOOOWLY. Oh yes, it did the trick,you have shown us how important it is to know how the components work, and what they are for. ...........Thanks you so much: ........You've helped a lot of people


steph 5 weeks ago

pefect....thanks for the info..!!


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 5 weeks ago from florida Author

Thank You Steph and Dempsey!!

FYI: in addition to the OPD and the Check Valve the third mandatory safety feature in LP cylinders Is A Purge Feature!

This is why the enclosure Must Be Well Vented.

LP is Liquid Propane -- the liquid vaporizes (essentially it boils) and we use the vaporized fuel.

However, on a very hot day it is possible for the liquid to be so hot the cylinder pressure cannot stop vaporization which causes dangerous pressure.

The Purge feature allows vaporized fuel to be released from the LP cylinder if the liquid gets so hot the propane is vaporizing when not in use.

This means vaporized fuel -- flammable fuel -- can be released from the cylinder when the cylinder heats-up from outside.

Always make sure the cylinder is in a Very Well Vented Area.

Any Questions, please comment here or contact us anytime with any related questions.

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