7 Tips for Troubleshooting Low Flame Output on your BBQ Grill

 

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Several questions have been asked on my Weber Technical Support Experience blog post regarding low flame output or yellow flame output on your BBQ Grill or burner, so I thought I would post some ideas to resolve the problem. Obviously you have checked the propane tank to make sure that there is fuel in it before resorting to other troubleshooting techniques.

This post is for the detective in each of us to figure out why the family barbecue is being delayed because the dang hot dogs won't cook. The neighbors are getting impatient, the kids are getting restless and your wife keeps giving you the look like she should have just cooked everything in the kitchen.

So here it is, a list of 7 tips to help you troubleshoot low flame output on your Barbecue grill:


  1. Regulator problems

The most common factor is your regulator is stuck. That is the assembly on the hose before it screws into the propane tank. This might need to be reset.

To reset the regulator, follow these steps (or check with your manufacturer)

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 (just time enough for a soda)
6. Turn off all the burner valves
7. Connect the gas line back up to the propane tank
8. Turn the gas on slowly on the propane tank
9. Light the grill using your normal lighting procedures

If the regulator was stuck, it should have been reset using these steps.

If you always turn off your burner valves first before turning off the gas at the tank, you will keep the regulator from sticking again.

If you still have low flame or yellow flame, give it a second try, although you might have a faulty regulator that is causing the low flame or yellow flame. That will need to be replaced if it is bad.

  1. Leak in the Fuel Supply

Another common problem that impacts low or yellow flame output is a leak between the tank and the grill. To troubleshoot, apply soapy water to the propane tank valve, connector, hose, all the way up to where the hose connects to the burner assembly on your grill. Look for bubbles to indicate small leaks of the gas source. If you have any leaks, for safety reasons, get them repaired or replaced immediately.

  1. OPD Safety Valve shutting down due to a leak in the gas supply

This can be caused by the OPD safety valve in the Propane tank being tripped. A reason why the safety valve might have tripped could be that it detected a leak somewhere between the propane tank and the burner (including a burner not being turned off all the way).

The leak would cause a small amount of propane to leak from the tank which would trip the safety valve much like a circuit breaker in a breaker box. After the safety valve is tripped, only a small amount of propane is allowed out of the tank, causing a small flame.

Steps to reset the OPD safety valve:

1. Use soapy water (not a match) to check the hose and the connections within the grill for leaks
2. Turn the propane tank valve off
3. Open and shut a grill burner valve on the Barbeque grill
4. Make sure all the grill burners and the propane tank valve is off.
5. Disconnect the hose from the propane tank
6. Reconnect the hose back to the propane tank

Those steps should reset the OPD Safety valve on the propane tank.

Now it is time to test the tank. Open the valve on the propane tank 2 turns slowly (not all the way on).

Light the grill as normal.

  1. Blockage in the Venturis

Unhook the hose from the tank and check the grill burner assembly and venturis for obstructions. I have had spiders crawl into the pipes and build a spider web which restricted the amount of gas that could flow from the tank to the grill burners. Follow your manufacturers instructions for doing this check.

The Venturi shutters also might need to be adjusted. Find the venturi tube adjustment screw. This screw releases the shutters. Light the grill and set to low heat. Loosen the venturi screw and open the shutters until the flame is mostly blue. Turn off gas and tighten the adjustment screw. Let the grill cool.

  1. Propane tank might be bad

Try hooking up a different tank to the grill to see if the problem goes away. I wasted a whole 5 gallons of propane with a tank that went bad. A new tank fixed my problem.

  1. Blockage in the Regulator Hose

I had a reader submit the following via email. He was having problems with his Uniflame 5 burner Grill. Everything worked fine when lighting the burners until he lit the 5th burner. When the fifth burner was turned on, the other four either go out or the flame turns really low and then goes out.

He talked to Uniflame Customer Care Center and they reported that sometimes the regulator hose gets a gas blockage.

They advised him to correct it by turning off the tank, disconnecting the hose, open the grill and side burner and any other systems, open the controls to full open and leave for 45 sec to 1 minute.

Re-connect the hose, turn on the tank and attempt a re-light on the grill. If it still doesn't work, it could be the regulator hose. His fired right up with no problems.

  1. One other hint:

Always open your propane tank valve slowly to keep the pressure in the tank from overwhelming your OPD valve or the regulator. Wait a few moments after turning the gas on before lighting the grill. This will allow time for the pressure to even out before lighting the grill.


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Comments

  1. Add another win to your list! My daughter said "You're the man!" I said, "No, Dave's the man!" Haha.

  2. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    really well written article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I'll
    definitely return.

  3. Patrick says:

    The proceedure to unstick valve woked like a
    charm,thanks,saved our party.

  4. Thanks a million! I had no idea what was keeping my beloved genesis gold from getting past 200°. The fix for the OPD safety did it! Thanks so much!

  5. Bill Brown says:

    Thanks for all your help, the problem is fixed and we can resume our cookouts

    Bill, San Diego

  6. Actually I'm reading now that you should open the tank valve while keeping the burner valve closed for at least a minute. This gives the pressure time to equalize. Then open the burner valve. Should be working good as new now.

  7. Jeff Loughridge says:

    One other thing to consider, that I just found on mine, was to make sure that if you have a side burner (in my case, a searing unit) that the valve is turned off. Last time I used the grill successfully was when I seared a piece of meat that was going into the crockpot. I always turn off the valve at the tank first, but forgot to close the burner valve. When I went to use it the next time (not searing, but just grilling) the low flame caused me to basically rebuild my grill with new burners since I thought that was the cause. I tried every other method mentioned here (different tanks, regulators, super cleaning, etc) But that side burner valve was still open and caused the regulator to limit the flow since it sensed a rapid flow. DOHHH!

  8. I thought my regulator was done. I just followed your reset instruction above and now my Weber is grilling like it was new. Thanks!!!!!!

  9. Yep, I kept trying to fire up the grill, but it would only stay lit and on low for about three to five minutes. I turned everything off as you stated tap on the regulator, unhooked it reconnected everything, and fired the grill back up. Now I'm cookin with gas!! Wonderful!! What a blog. Thank you for your help. Oklahoma

  10. Thank you!!! It worked first time!! Disconnected the propane tank, followed the steps....and tada!

  11. Followed directions. WORKED PERFECTLY.

  12. Same here. Tried all the steps. tapped the regulator and boom! Fired right up. thanks!!

  13. Works like a charm. Many people just think their grill is broke an buy a new one. thanks for sharing.

  14. my bbq works on 2 burners then when i light the third on they shut off except one on low any help?

  15. Tom's reply about the side burner that helped me. The last time I used it I left it on!! (Hangd head in shame) Works as good as new now. Thanks everyone!

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