You might love action movies that feature explosions and giant, raging fires but we can guarantee that you will not love them when they’re in your backyard. Summer brings the comfort of delicious grilled food served at neighborhood barbecues, but that doesn’t mean that you can forgo safety. A leak in your grill’s gas tank or hose can be devastating and potentially deadly. It only takes a few minutes to test your grill for a gas leak before you start slapping burgers down, and we’re here to show you how.
First, inspect your grill and its various hoses for any kind of damage. Any cracking or peeling of the rubber on a hose could indicate a leak, and twisted hoses can also accelerate damage. Ensure that there are no kinks in the hose, and that it’s properly fitted on all connections. Also check your gas tank for visible damage. Dents, rust, or corrosion can indicate that there’s a leak causing damage to the tank. A propane tank should be smooth and in good condition – if you see rust or corrosion, return to the gas supplier and ask to have it switched out or have it inspected.
There’s a simple method that’s tried and true for testing your grill for gas leaks. All you need is a paint brush, some dish soap, and a bit of water. Mix a 50/50 solution in a small bucket or glass of liquid dish soap and water and bring it outside to a well-ventilated area where your grill is. Turn your gas on but don’t light the grill in any way (and make sure not to have anything flammable near you, including cigarettes or lighters). Once it’s been going for a minute or two and you’re certain that there’s a flow, brush on soapy water to all areas where the tank connects to the grill. This includes the hose, flow handle on the tank, and the receptor on your grill. If there’s a leak anywhere on the grill, soap bubbles will form within seconds and you need to shut the gas off immediately. There won’t be any James Cameron-style explosions, but your propane tank needs to go back to the store and you should consult your grill manual for how to handle broken parts.
Safety should always come first when there’s fun involved. Grilling can be fun and bring the family together, but you should check your grill thoroughly prior to every single use. Leaks can pop up in the smallest ways, and being more safe than sorry will protect yourself, your home, and your family. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.