This is a Hammer

Gas Grill Loses Its Oomph!

Q:  My propane grill doesn’t seem to have the same oomph anymore. It takes a long time to heat up, and the flame seems low even on the high setting. Is there anything I can do, or should I just go invest in a new grill? – Lucas G., Pittsburgh

A: If the burner (or burners) looks clean and in good condition, the issue may be that the flow of gas from the propane tank to the grill is restricted. There are a couple of common reasons for this.

One problem is a poor connection between the grill and the supply tank. Or, the overpressure device – located on the propane tank’s regulator – might have been activated.

The overpressure device was implemented on all LP (liquid propane) tanks in 1995. Its purpose is to keep you safe in the event of a gas leak – due to a damaged line, tank or other issue — by restricting gas flow. However, the device inadvertently can be activated. For example, turning the grill’s control knobs to the “on” position before opening up the control knob on the propane tank can sometimes trigger the device.

Fortunately, the fix for this (and for the connection) is pretty simple. Open the grill lid and turn off all the control knobs on both the grill and the propane tank. Disconnect the regulator from the propane tank, being careful not to damage or strip the connecting nut. (Wrap a soft rag around the nut if you need to use pliers to loosen it.) Wait 30 seconds, then reconnect the regulator, being careful not to overtighten or damage the connection. Test the gas flow by opening the tank’s valve all the way – if you smell gas at this point, close the valve and re-tighten the regulator connection. If all seems fine, then light the grill according to manufacturer instructions.

Home Tip: Keep propane cylinders from being damaged by placing them out of the way of foot traffic and near to the ground. If they’re dented or the regulator is damaged, take the cylinder to a dealer for exchange or repair.

Send your questions or home tips to ask@thisisahammer.com. My new e-book, “101 Best Home Tips,” is available to download on Amazon Kindle! Pick it up it today for just 99 cents.

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