- Written by Eric Hahn
Turn Your BBQ Off at the Gas Bottle First
The Potential Problem
In a perfectly engineered world, everything on your BBQ would seal perfectly.
The reality is that gas burner valves and regulator connections can leak.
This is especially true as they wear with age and there can be quite a few on a single BBQ.
For example, with a six burner BBQ, there are at least 7 gas seals that must be perfectly seated to avoid leaks.
The leaks can be very small and unnoticeable.
However, over time, a substantial amount of gas could leak out of your BBQ if you do not close the gas bottle valve.
Why It Is Safer
How You Save Money
How To Turn Your BBQ Off Safely:
Hot To Safely Attach or Change Your BBQ Gas Bottle
Connecting & Disconnecting:
The male connector of a POL regulator has a reverse or left-handed thread.
So, to detach, you turn it clockwise and then anti-clockwise to re-attach.
For full step-by-step instructions, please see:
BBQ Gas Leak Test
Common Problem Areas
The standard BBQ regulator in Australia is a POL regulator.
The male connector of the regulator, which screws into the POL gas valve on your gas bottle, may have a rubber O-ring seal or it may rely on a metal to metal contact seal.
You should always inspect the regulator for damage, paying special attention to the connector, which screws into the gas bottle.
If it has a rubber O-ring, it also needs to be undamaged.
In Australia, BBQ gas bottles must be tested every ten years.
The gas valve is changed upon inspection and the valves are expected to last for the full ten years.
However, occasionally the valve will fail prematurely and start leaking from around the valve stem. This is rare but it can happen.
The bleed screw is a small slotted screw on the side of the valve that lets gas vapour bleed off during the decanting refill process.
The refill technician opens it during the filling process and closes it, when done.
The screw can develop a slow leak if it becomes loose.
How To Do The Leak Test
When to Test
Soapy Water Solution
You will need a soapy water solution to check for any leaks.
Mixing liquid hand soap with water should work fine. Place the solution in a liquid spray bottle.
It’s a good idea to leave the spray bottle with the BBQ, so it’s always a handy reminder to perform the leak test.
How to do the Soapy Water Test
Put some soapy water in a spray bottle or a dish.
Turn on the gas bottle without turning on the BBQ. This pressurises the system.
Next, spray the entire valve, regulator and hose assembly with the soapy water.
Alternatively, you can apply the soapy water with a paint brush, basting brush or it can even be sponged on.
Bubbles will form if there is a gas leak and you may also smell the gas.
Extra Safety Tip
The best practice gas safety advice is that gas bottles should only be in a vehicle for the minimum required transport time.
When you do transport a gas bottle, you should consider one added precaution.
After making sure that the valve is firmly closed, you should spray the entire valve assembly to check for any possible leaks, prior to transport.
DO NOT leave BBQ bottles in enclose vehicle unnecessarily.
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