Nothing can put a damper on a great evening more than getting a few steaks ready to grill and then having a gas grill malfunction. A propane or natural gas grill that won’t get hot enough to cook can be caused by several common issues.
The first piece of troubleshooting to get out of the way is the most obvious: if you are grilling with propane, does your LP tank have gas in it? Some gas grills have built-in tank gauges but there are also 3rd party accessories that can give you an idea of gas levels with a quick glance. You’ll also want to make sure your propane tank valve is open all the way to ensure proper gas supply to your grill.
If you’re cooking with natural gas and don’t see any obvious issues with your gas line, call a plumber to make sure natural gas is flowing to your gas grill.
Once you’ve confirmed you have gas (dad joke!) it’s time to look for other common problems.
By far, the most common issue we see in our retail barbecue store is a grill with a regulator safety valve in bypass mode.
Today’s gas grill regulators are designed to keep you and your property safe by shutting down gas flow in certain situations. This also means that regulators can be sensitive and limit gas flow when no danger is present. To avoid tripping your regulator’s safety mode, use these preventative practices:
USE THESE PREVENTATIVE PRACTICES
After grilling, always turn your burners off before shutting your gas valve off to avoid tank pressure issues.
Always open the grill lid before opening your gas valve and lighting the burners to avoid gas build-up. This is common in all lighting instructions that come with gas grills these days, but it is worth repeating.
If you suspect your grill’s gas valve is in bypass mode, follow these steps to reset it:
Turn all burner knobs to the off position.
Turn your propane tank valve in the clockwise direction until it’s all the way in the off position.
Detach your regulator from the tank. This is done the same way when you put a new tank on...
Wait a couple of minutes and then reattach the regulator hose to the tank.
Open the lid of your gas grill.
Slowly turn your gas valve by turning counterclockwise until it stops in the on position.
Turn the control knob for your center burner and ignite it. Ensure that it ignites before you light the grill fully.
Shut the grill lid and wait to see if your grill begins heating up as expected.
If your grill’s regulator had been in bypass mode, this should get it reset and the grill should be working properly. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to do a bit of cleaning to make sure no dirt, spiderwebs, or other debris are impeding sufficient gas flow.
You’ll find a more comprehensive gas grill cleaning list in our piece on “how to clean a gas grill” but here are a few quick cleaning tips to make sure gas is flowing well: Grill Wire Brush
Use a wire brush to brush grease and food debris from the tops of your burners. When you clean the burner you want to make sure that each burner hole is cleaned so gas can evenly heat your grill. If your burner tubes have holes that have rusted out - it’s time for you to look into replacement burners or a new grill. Venturi Brush
Remove your burners and clean out the venturi (this is the piece that connects your burner to the knob valve). Use a venturi brush to make sure there are no spiderwebs or dirt blocking gas flow. LP Gas Regulator
Remove the regulator from your propane tank and make sure connections are clean, and then reconnect the regulator to see if your grill is now producing the heat you need.
Finally, if all of these steps don’t solve the problem - try a new regulator. Most gas grills use a universal regulator style and this is a relatively inexpensive way to get your grill up and running.
If you try a new regulator and are still having issues, call an expert or start the search for a brand new grill.