Last Updated On: April 2, 2021

You have just fired up your grill for an afternoon barbeque and you’ve found, to your disappointment, that the grill isn’t working properly. The flame is far too low and the temperature doesn’t get past 250 degrees. You’ve checked the gas tank and it’s full; so no problems there.

But before you go and throw the whole thing away, it’s a good idea to check if you’re having any gas grill regulator problems first!

We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of probable causes and solutions, so you don’t have to go anywhere else!

4 Common Gas Grill Regulator Issues

Listed below are a few common problems you may run into when using gas grills. In our troubleshooting guide, you’ll be able to find the causes and solution, as well as a few extra tips and tricks to keep your gas grill regulator in tip-top shape!

Issue #1: Low Temperature or Low Flame

A low flame on a stove

Probably the most common problem people face with the gas grill regulators, low temperature on your grill is caused by small flames. Regulators tend to get sticky. When they do so, they limit the amount of vapor feeding your burners and won't give you the desired grilling temperature.

To fix this, you’re going to have to release the pressure on the regulator and reset it, aka “burping” your gas tank. Take the following solution steps:

  1. Turn off the gas tank and open the lid of the burner.
  2. Disconnect the gas hose from the gas tank.
  1. Including the side burner, turn all control levels to high and wait for 2 minutes.
  2. Turn off the burners’ bypass valve.
  3. Connect the gas hose back to the tank.
  4. Turn your gas tank on slowly.
  5. Light the grill as you usually would.

 

Tips:

  • Turn off the burners first and then turn off the propane tanks after.
  • Make sure the grill lid is open so you can see your burners. Then, you can check if there is any vapor escaping from anywhere.
  • Don’t put your head under the lid unless you want to inhale some toxic fumes.

If your temperature is still not getting hot after doing so, you may need to replace the regulator.

Issue #2: Grill Isn’t Receiving Gas

A gas tank with 'no' symbol

If you have a full gas tank but you’re not receiving any to your grill, you might have yourself a gas line leak.

Take the following steps to check if you have a natural gas leak:

  1. Close the bypass valve on the tank.
  2. Ensure the valves are closed and all knobs are turned to “off.”
  3. Connect the hose back to the tank and wait a few minutes.
  4. Open the valve on the tank.
  5. With some soapy water, spray into the regulator hose and the connections to both the burners and tank. If the soap begins to bubble, you have a leak.
  6. If there are no leaks, turn the grill on as usual.
  7. If there is a leak, it’s time to buy a new regulator.

Tips:

  • ALWAYS turn off the valve and controls before testing your gas.
  • If you don’t have a leak, chances are you need to release the back pressure built up in your regulator.
  • Check to see if it looks like you have any leaks around the nozzle of your propane tank.

Issue #3: Gas Regulator is Frozen

A common gas regulator freezes and causes issues

Even though your regulator keeps freezing up, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with cold weather. It is usually a sign that it’s humid outside. [1]

The vapors inside a regulator are very cold so it is normal for condensation to build up inside the grill’s regulator. Once you start to heat your BBQ on high, the cold gas line inside the regulator meets with humidity and causes the regulator to freeze.

Freezing inside your regulator is usually common, but these are two things to look out for:

  • The tank isn’t upright
  • The tank is overfilled

Both of these can cause your regulator to freeze up and not work properly. Try swapping out the hose to see if that makes any difference. If the problem doesn’t lie within your gas hose, you could have a faulty regulator.

Issue #4: Orange or Yellow Flame

A close up image of a flame

Check the control valves and hose for obstruction. Make sure that the vapor flow through the said valve is continuous. The tubes may not be aliens and the shutters may need adjusting.

Take the following solution steps:

  1. Find the venturi tube adjustment screw which releases the shutters.
  2. Start the grill and change to small heat.
  3. Loosen the screw, opening the shutters till the flame is mostly blue.
  1. Turn the gas off and tighten up the adjustment screw.
  2. Let the grill cool down.

Tips:

  • Observe how the grill burns to see if there are any clogged gas holes.
  • If you find any spots without a light, try cleaning the burners or letting the burners work for 15 minutes.

Know thy grill. If you are using a gas grill to control your heat, there is no need to have it turned up all the way—you’ll burn that beautiful steak

 

- Peter Vauthy, Chef

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Signs of Gas Grill Regulator Problems

The following signs may indicate you have a problem with the regulator on your propane grill:

  • Lazy orange or yellow flames
  • Flames floating above the burner ports
  • Popping noise when turning the gas burners on and off
  • Flames at the burners air intake
  • Flames escaping the burner
  • Rust or soot on the burner

Remember: Safety First

Before you go ahead and fiddle with your gas grill regulator, first make sure you have turned off your propane tank valve. Always disconnect your gas burner from its fuel source. Ensure the grill top has cooled down completely before handling, and give the grill a few minutes for the vapor to dissipate.

Feel free to check out our guide on how to properly remove a propane tank from your gas grill to learn more.

What Does A Grill Regulator Do?

A gas tank, regulator, and a gas hose

The regulator is set in place to make sure that the flow of fuel stays steady and regulated. If you are without a regulator or your regulator is faulty, you’re at risk of having too much pressure hitting your grill. [2]

So, it’s safe to say regulators are an important part of your equipment and you should always replace the parts if they’re faulty.

Here’s what goes on inside your burners regulator:

  • As the fuel in your tank reaches boiling point, vapors come to the top of the tank.
  • The other liquid stays at the bottom of the tank.
  • The vapor passes through the regulator.
  • The regulator controls the vapor and decreases the pressures to a safe amount.
  • The vapors then expand and cool to subzero temperatures.
  • As soon as you light the ignition of your gas grill, the vapor gets hot and boils.

The Bottom Line

There are a few problems you may run into with your regulator, but thankfully, the solution is usually rather easy! If you suspect there is a problem with the way your regulator bypass works, you must replace it asap. Get a new one to save you and your family from any potential dangers!

References:

  1. https://www.propane101.com/propaneregulatorfreezing.html
  2. https://www.egwutilitysolutions.com/natural-gas-regulators-two-important-features-of-their-operation/

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