6 Common Grill Tank Issues and How to Solve Them

Written on: June 24, 2024

Easy Fixes to Keep You Grilling This Season

grill tank Miami, FL It’s happened to everyone: You’ve got a crowd of hungry mouths and a pile of chicken, burgers or bbq ready to go to discover your grill won’t light, the flames are low, or there’s an unexpected hissing sound coming from your grill tank. We’ve got solutions to help you troubleshoot these common grill tank problems. But it’s better to make sure your propane grill is ready to go ahead of time, so make sure you test and clean your grill ahead of any major gatherings.

6 Grill Tank Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Is it an empty tank? Doh! The easiest way to check is to weigh your tank—your bathroom scale will work. A 20-pound tank usually weighs about 17 pounds when empty (the “tare weight”). To calculate how much propane is in the tank, place the cylinder on a scale (a basic bathroom scale will work) and subtract the tare weight from the amount shown on the scale. So, if your 20-pound cylinder weighs 27 pounds, you have 10 pounds of propane or about half a tank. Or, pick up a digital propane tank scale at your local hardware store. Most come with a digital app to let you know when it’s time for a fill-up. Have a different size tank? Check the cylinder for markings that let you know the “tare weight” or TW. We suggest always having a spare grill tank that’s full, as well.
  2. Is it properly connected to the grill? Some propane tanks are designed to prevent gas from releasing unless it is connected properly and securely.
  3. Is the valve opened? Similarly, if the valve is opened all the way, safety features will stop the flow of gas. Frost on the outside of the tank is an indication that the valve is open all the way. Close the valve, disconnect it from the grill, and wait 15 minutes. Then reconnect the tank, and turn the valve only once. If the flame is too low, you can slowly open the valve more until the flame is the right size.
  4. Wheel won’t turn? Be sure you’re turning it clockwise to open: Remember, left to loosen, right to tighten. Never use a tool to open a stuck valve. Try a little bit of oil, or exchange your tank. (Another great reason to have a spare!)
  5. Is gas flowing properly? Low or sparse flames are usually a sign of regulator problems, and eventually will result in no gas flow. The solution here is to get a new hose and regulator.
  6. Is your tank hissing? If you hear a hissing coming from the propane cylinder connected to your grill, immediately extinguish all flames and turn off the gas—it may be a small leak. The good news, especially if it’s a hot, sunny day, is that the hissing sound you are hearing is because the pressure-relief valve is open. Do not try to close it. It will close automatically when the pressure returns to a safe level. You can help cool your tank by spraying it with cool water from a hose.

    If the hissing continues, or it’s not a particularly hot or sunny day, you may have a leak. Disconnect the tank, place it in a well-ventilated area and let it empty out. Once it’s empty, you can return it. Never transport a leaking propane cylinder.

Are You Sure It’s Your Grill Tank?

If the grill won’t light, it could be a problem with the igniter on your grill. The two most common types of propane grill igniters are piezo, which do not require batteries or electricity, and battery-powered or push-button igniters.

If you have a battery-powered igniter, replace the batteries.

If you have a piezo igniter, see if the burners can be lit with match or lighter. Inspect the grill for cracks in the ceramic tube and breaks in the metal tip. Make sure wires are plugged into the spark generator. If these steps do not work, contact a professional to properly diagnose and correct the problem.

Time for a New Grill?

Pico has a great selection of top-quality grills, that can take your grilling to the next level. Consider a built-in option that connects to your home’s main propane supply, and you won’t have to worry about empty grill tanks or many of these other problems.

Contact us today for more information!