The time has come and the epic barbecue dinner you had planned is in play as friends and family arrive. Its time to fire up your grill and preheat it so you can begin cooking. Then you notice the flame is low, and that the grill is only heating up to 250 or 300 degrees Fahrenheit – or maybe it’s not even igniting!!! Don’t panic! There’s no need yet to call your local grill store to come out and fix it yet. This post may just save the day and some of your hard-earned money! …
We’ll get to the solution in a second, but first …
How Regulators Work
Gas grills all have a Propane regulator that does as the name implies – regulate Propane. It’s an essential grill part. Regulators have a safety mechanism inside of them called a bypass. Have a look at the bypass image we have here. This bypass is in the locked position and shows what it looks like if the system has been triggered. This can be caused by a leak, randomly or, and this is usually the case, a user using the improper ignition sequence.
The Proper Ignition Sequence
So then what is the proper ignition sequence? First, let’s identify the improper sequence.
* Side note about the shut down procedure. The following ignition sequences are written assuming you are turning the burners off 1st, then the Propane Tank. Therefore, each sequence starts from the “all off” positions. You can turn the burners off and leave the Propane Tank on; however, we strongly recommend you to go ahead and turn the Tank off also.
Improper Ignition Sequence.
*** Everything starting from off/closed position.
1. Turn on burners.
2. Turn on Propane.
The Proper Ignition Sequence
*** Everything must be off to start – the propane tank and burners.
1. Turn on your propane tank.
2. Now, you can turn the burners on.
To put it simply, the key is to be sure you have your burners off before you turn on the Propane. If you turn the burners on first the gas will not be pressurized in the gas line causing the Bypass to trigger. You see, in this case the system detects there is a gas leak; hence, the bypass triggers.
(Even though there is no leak; because the back pressure is low the system will think there is.)
* When using the improper sequence, the regulator will trip because by turning the burners on 1st, you empty the lines of any propane which causes the low line pressure.
When should the Regulator Reset be performed?
1. The burner will not light with igniter or match.
2. Burner does not get hot enough.
3. Low or incomplete burner flame pattern. “Also, the flame should be blue. If it’s mostly yellow that’s an issue.”
How To Reset a Regulator
So now having a thorough understanding of the problem, let’s get you the solution.
1. Turn off the gas at the propane tank.
2. Disconnect the hose from the propane tank.
3. Open the lid of your BBQ Grill.
4. Turn all the burner valves to high.
5. Wait for 2 minutes.
6. Turn off all the burner valves.
7. Connect the gas line back up to the propane tank.
8. Turn on the propane tank slowly.
9. Light the grill using the proper ignition sequence.
If after having deployed this fix the issue persists, it’s time to call your local BBQ Grill Repair Company. There are numerous other more advanced issues that can occur. For instance, you may have a blockage in the Venturis Tubes. A blockage like this is caused by char/grease build-up. You can decrease the likely hood of this ever happening by being sure to have a BBQ Grill Cleaning done regularly.
More About Gas Grill Propane Systems
What are OPD Cylinder Valves?
In response to this post, one of our Facebook users asked:
Is there a similar device in the tank valve or just in the regulator?
The answer is yes, there is a similar device called an OPD Cylinder Valve, but there are also numerous important differences.
An OPD Cylinder Valve is indeed a part of your propane tanks’ inherent safety design. However, it does not have a “Bypass” as your regulator does, nor is it designed as a safety mechanism during usage. This device is required on all 4 to 40 pound DOT cylinders.
OPD stands for Overfilling Prevention Device and its first function is to do just that, prevent the user from overfilling the device. In addition, the device disallows Propane from flowing out of the cylinder if the triangular handwheel is opened and there is no gas line connected. It does this because there is no connected regulator to push open the valve’s orifice. Moreover, Propane OPD valves operate inside the bottle and are activated as the cylinders liquid propane rises in level pushing the float upward, therefore, stopping the flow of gas into the tank. This action is similar to that of a toilets float valve; once the water in the bowl rises to a certain level, the flow of water stops.
The OPD Valve is one of the main focuses regarding the fact that tanks are to be recertified 12 years after original manufacturer dates and every 5 years thereafter. Inside, there are what you can call “O-Rings” that need to be changed out at those predefined intervals. Also, the mechanism itself can be swapped out for a new one. Tampering with this device is NOT RECOMMENDED. If you suspect there’s an issue call your local propane delivery supplier and they will deal with it properly.
Authored By: Palm Beach Grill Center,
3351 N Federal Hwy Building B,
Delray Beach, FL 33483,