Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-13-2013, 05:44 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 18,811
Why does my gas grill stop working in coldish weather?

Here in the Northeast, we've been bouncing around between really nice warm weather and crappy cold weather, and I've noticed that my grill mostly stops working when it's cold. Not freezing cold - more like jacket weather or colder. It's still got gas, and there's still a flame, but it's a very weak flame, and won't get above about 250 degrees no matter how long it sits.

It's got to be something with my grill specifically, because I've grilled in the middle of snowstorms with no problems plenty of times in the past. I've even done it with this grill, though not this past winter. This year, for some reason, the grill sat unused for several months.

Any ideas?
  #2  
Old 05-13-2013, 06:24 PM
Kyrie Eleison's Avatar
Kyrie Eleison Kyrie Eleison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,172
The vapor pressure of propane drops with temperature. If your grill doesn't perform as well in colder temperatures as it used to, its plumbing may have become partially clogged or blocked, making it more sensitive to that drop in pressure.

One solution is to heat the propane tank to room temperature-ish prior to using it. Another is to clean your grill.
  #3  
Old 05-14-2013, 09:54 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,893
It is also possible you have some water in a low spot in a gas line. If it is cold enough, this can freeze and restrict flow. It may not need to be below freezing, because the gas comes off the bottle below ambient temperature.
  #4  
Old 05-14-2013, 10:00 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 7,695
Another possibility is that your regulator is not regulating properly. If this is the case a new regulator should fix it if you are not familar with how to service them. My sons beer brewer had a similar problem recently and I found a dead pincher bug in the jet going into the burner, easy fix. They crawl down the burner holes into your jet and plug it up.
  #5  
Old 05-14-2013, 10:05 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 11,128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrie Eleison View Post
One solution is to heat the propane tank to room temperature-ish prior to using it. Another is to clean your grill.
If you know way ahead of time that you'll be grilling, bring the propane tank indoors for several hours. It's massive enough (and with a favorable surface-area-to-volume ratio) so that it ought to stay reasonable warm and provide good supply pressure for the length if time that you'll be grilling.
  #6  
Old 05-14-2013, 10:14 AM
dauerbach dauerbach is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,351
I have been plagued by the same problem for years, although I had not noticed it occurring during colder weather, perhaps I was just not alert enough to notice.

It has to do with federal safety regulations, and the fix can be found here:

http://barbequelovers.com/grills/car...barbeque-grill
  #7  
Old 05-14-2013, 10:36 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
If you know way ahead of time that you'll be grilling, bring the propane tank indoors for several hours. It's massive enough (and with a favorable surface-area-to-volume ratio) so that it ought to stay reasonable warm and provide good supply pressure for the length if time that you'll be grilling.
The low surfaced area is usually hurtful rather than helpful. To supply gas, the liquid in the tank boils which chills the tank. This is a serious problem with small tanks and big burners.

One excellent way to keep the tank warm enough to keep pressure is to place it in a tub of water. This will keep the tank at at least 0C/32F until a thick coating of ice has formed on the tank. You are using latent heat of crystallization (of water) to supply latent heat of vaporization (of propane).
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:56 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017