View Full Version : Scary situation with BB-Q tonight any help??
06-27-2001, 08:55 PM
I started my BB-Q tonight and it seemed to me that I could hear gas leaking from the tank but stupidly pushed the start button anyway and it lit but also the top of the tank lit and was burning.
I quickly poured water over it but it did nothing of course and then used gloves to turn off the valve and everything was safe, thank goodness.
Is this a common occurance or does anyone know of this happening to them?
Also what's the best thing for me to do just replace the tank to be safe?
Any help would be appreciated and I guess God was watching over me tonight.....thank you.
06-27-2001, 09:04 PM
Toss the propane and use charcoal. And use a chimney, not starter fluid, to start the coals. That gas is dangerous. Problems such as your's are not all that rare. I saw a program on tv about it and have also read some articles too. The convience ain't worth the risk to friends and family, IMO. I 'll see if I can find a link.
06-27-2001, 09:35 PM
Get far, far, far away from ever using that BBQ grill ever again. When I was growing up some neighbors down the street had the exact same thing happen, only they'd gone inside the house, so unlike you they weren't lucky enough to be right there when it happened to do something about it.
Result: after a couple minutes the propane tank exploded, and the resulting fire burned down a good portion of their house.
It could be a leak in the tank, or it could be a leak in the lines leading to the burner, but c'mon, are you so attached to this grill that you really want to take that kind of chance again?
06-27-2001, 09:48 PM
Every time i go to light my gas I stand waaaaay back, and use one of thise foot-long barbeque lighters. I know when I light it, it'll go "WHOOMP!!". When I remember, I close the lid before lighting, which will contain the "WHOOMP!!!", and light through the small hole on the side.
I have no idea what caused your lid to burn. Maybe it was greasy residue, but it is surely not consistant with the physical properties of ignited propane to stick to something like a lid.
Maybe there was a stream of gas that worked it's way up to the lid to make it appear that the lid was on fire. Hit the whole BBQ with a hose and some soap. Don't do anything cheesy like use an engine degreaser.
If you still have problems it might be the burner. In mine they pull right out, so get 'em out of there. Srape any corrosive buildup, ash or grease off the burner(s) and shake all the crap out of the little holes. Then spray the hose lightly in the holes there to clean it out. Let it dry a day.
Make sore the burner fits back snugly. Check the other connections. make sure they are a 1/4 turn past hand tight, you know what I mean.
If you do all I have told you and it still flips out, you have a poltergeist and need to pack up the fam and GO!
Seriously, I have a Thermos and I told them I had a brand new grill and everything rusted to hell in the first year(sort of). They sent me new burners for free. I don't know why they won't send me all of the other gut parts if I ask. All the paint has chipped off the lid and base, but I don't mind having a bare metal grill. It's galvanized!
06-27-2001, 09:48 PM
From the phantom poster;
also read some articles too
I did not type that.
06-27-2001, 09:48 PM
I would guess that rubber hose attached to the tank had a small crack in it. If this was the case then the hose was probably getting old and just needs to be replaced with an approved hose type.
If the seal on the tank itself was leaking you will definately need to replace the tank!
Either way you would be better off getting a new tank and hoses the new personal propane tanks have advanced safety features that allow quick disconnect and shutdown valves to protect yourself and your family.
Originally posted by mangeorge
The convience ain't worth the risk to friends and family
According to this article (http://www.walpolefire.com/firesafety/grill_safety.htm):
Charcoal- "Each year about 30 people die and 100 are injured as a result of CO fumes from charcoal grills and hibachis used inside."
Propane- "Each year about 30 people are injured as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. "
I like the "used inside" the best... it makes the baby Jesus cry.
Come on now... obviously, propane grills are pretty darn reliable. Consider how many millions are in use this very night.
Like any appliance, grills require occasional maintainence, particularily just after changing out the propane tank. Mix a thick solution of ordinary dish soap and water and pour it around all connections and fittings and turn on the gas. If you see any bubbles anywhere, re-tighten the connections. Check your rubber hose for any nicks or cuts, replace if you find any problems.
Enjoy your BBQ!
06-27-2001, 10:14 PM
Maybe I was not completely clear because I am very scared about the whole incident but first off I just bought the thing brand new 2 weeks ago and it was assembled by the store.
It was not the lid of the BB-Q that burned it was ignited somehow around the top of the propane tank.
I am taking all your comments very seriously and thank you all, and I must agree with BARE but agree that constant cleaning and extra caution must be used at every use.
If anyone has any info on why the top of the propane tank may ignite please let me know but I shall be replacing the tank immediately and using all of my sences in the future.
06-27-2001, 10:31 PM
It has to be a leak. No big deal. Do exactly what bare prescribed. Turn on the gas a a little bit then use the soapy solution. Check the fittings, feel if you can physically feel gas coming out anywhere. Take everything apart and put it back together(the fittings at least). Make sure you get them good and tight.
Sounds as though you diagnosed your own problem Dandmb50. "It was assembled by the store." Lots of folks will tell you that you don't need to use pipe dope on brass fittings, that they'll make up tight on their own.
I do a fair amount of gas work and I flippin' hate call backs, not to mention the danger of a leak. I use teflon tape on the threads and then goober teflon paste on top of that. I've NEVER had a leak after that treatment though I'll admit it's probably a bit of overkill.
In the unlikely event your leak is between the tank and the tank valve, by all means return the tank to the store for replacement. It takes a special tool to tighten that valve.
The soap bubbles will take all the fear out of testing, but as mentioned above, close the lid before trying to ignite it to save yer eyebrows. I take a small piece of newspaper and light it on the lava rock, close the lid and crack the valve on, I don't like to stand there punching the pezio-electic lighter, mine never seems to work very well.
Myron Van Horowitzski
06-28-2001, 09:59 AM
Did the tank come with it, or did you pick one up at an exchange place?
We've never had any trouble with ours, but when we bought it the tank was included. We've always made a point of getting our particular tank refilled, rather than trading it for another full one.
I have to wonder how much wear and tear those trade-in tanks get over the years. After the fifty guys that had it before you bashed, dinged, dirtied and overtightened the fittings.
06-28-2001, 11:53 AM
Good question Myron??
I did not buy the tank with the new BBQ but I had just purchased it new last summer, maybe only using it about 10 times.
I did go back to the store today and they replaced it because I only had it one year and also upgraded it to the new kind that (they say) detects any kind of leaks.
Well I must say this was a very scary event and I can only thank you all for your imput and a word of caution to all that read this thread constantly check your tanks and I'm going to use BARE's suggestion of lightning the grill from the side with the lid closed.
Many thanks to you all and I'm glad that I'm still here to offer those thanks......
06-28-2001, 04:45 PM
Over the years I've had three incounters where the gas came out by the handle stem. The first one a grill, that had a fire with it. The second time a tank on a forklift started a slow hissing leak, at the handle stem. The third time was after the gas company fixed the last mentioned tank. We got about two uses out of it before the next happened. I turned on the gas valve and liquid and vapor propane was shooting out the handle's stem. Turning the handle to off did squat. It was coming out fast enough that ice was forming on the tank. I grabed gloves, got the tank off as fast as possible and ran it out the side door. This all occured for about a minute. The building was full of people and a full tank discharged into that building, would have been a sure explosion. The forklift was in the stockroom of a large retail store.
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