Elgas LPG Gas Blog

BBQ Gas Regulator & Hose

What a BBQ gas regulator does and how to operate and maintain it for safe use.

The following article will get you up to speed on what you need to know about gas regulators...

BBQ Grill Gas Regulator - Propane Pressure Regulator for BBQ Gas Grill Tank

BBQ Gas Regulator - Barbecue Gas Regulator - LPG (Propane)

A propane BBQ gas regulator works by controlling the regulator gas pressure at which the LPG is delivered from the gas bottle to the BBQ grill. BBQ gas regulators typically come equipped with POL fittings and an attached gas hose, which requires periodic inspection for cracks and damage.

The barbecue gas regulator screws directly into the gas bottle valve POL fitting whilst the gas hose is attached to the BBQ grill. The image shows a gas regulator being inserted into the POL fitting of the propane BBQ grill gas bottle-tank valve.

The standard BBQ (barbecue) grill gas regulator type in Australia is a POL fitting gas regulator which has a male connector (reverse or left-handed thread) that fits a POL fitting valve on the gas bottle.

The barbecue gas regulator and hose assembly will deteriorate with age. Replacing the gas regulator and hose assembly every 5 years, or should it becomes damaged, is good safety practice.

Always do a soapy water leak test every time you disconnect and reconnect the barbecue gas regulator. Also inspect the rubber O-ring, if so equipped.

How Does a Gas Pressure Regulator Work - What Does a Gas Regulator Do?

How Does a Gas Pressure Regulator Work - Propane RegulatorA gas pressure regulator works by reducing the regulator gas pressure delivered from the gas bottles to the gas appliances. The gas regulator works to do this by automatically reducing high LPG gas cylinder-bottle pressure, from the gas bottles, to the required 2.75 kPa regulator gas pressure for LPG appliances. Gas pressure regulator is required to do the LPG gas regulator gas pressure reduction for any LPG installation.

The pressure within a gas bottle can be 800-900 kPa vs the 2.75 kPa regulator gas pressure typically required by LPG gas appliances. A gas regulator works to reduce the gas cylinder pressure to the required 2.75 kPa appliance regulator gas pressure.

Propane gas pressure regulators work with a diaphragm, which is a flexible rubber disc that responds to pressure changes and functions to regulate the flow of gas at the proper regulator gas pressure. The gas regulator diaphragm works in combination with springs and other parts within an LPG - propane gas regulator.

Please note that a propane pressure regulator is the same as an LPG gas regulator.

A gas pressure regulator works with factory pre-set standard regulator gas pressure for gas appliances.

Gas pressure regulator are sometimes referred to as cooking gas regulators, when working with cooking gas appliances.

Propane Regulator for Gas Logs

You would need a much larger gas regulator for gas logs, gas heaters or gas hot water systems. A BBQ gas regulator does not have the capacity for larger gas appliances with higher MJ ratings.

Gas Regulator Problems - Propane Tank Regulator Problems

Propane tank gas regulator problems can occur as a gas regulator gets older. The gas hose can crack and perish from old age.  The same is true of the rubber diaphragm.

Propane tank gas regulator problems also include a blocked vent, as the diaphragm works in conjunction with the gas regulator vent, which allows the diaphragm to move freely to provide the 2.75 kPa regulator gas pressure .

If the vent is obstructed, the diaphragm will not operate properly and you will have gas regulator problems. You should use care to make sure it remains free of dirt and debris, to help avoid gas regulator problems.

Gas Hoses

regulator and hose

Attached to the gas regulator on one end, with a POL fitting, and the BBQ or heater on the other end. 
These can become damaged or deteriorate with age.  
You should visually inspect the hose for cracking, splitting or other damage.  
It’s the gas coming from faulty hoses and connections that ignites and causes the vast majority of gas BBQ grill fires.
You should replace the hose if it shows any signs of damage or degradation.  
It is good practice to replace the entire gas regulator and hose assembly, if it is old enough for the hose to have deteriorated, as gas regulators also wear with age. 

O-Ring Seal

Male POL connector with rubber O-ring

The standard BBQ gas regulator in Australia is a gas regulator with a POL fitting.
The male connector of the gas regulator, which screws into the POL fitting 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 gas regulator for damage, paying special attention to the connector, which screws into the gas bottle.  
It should be clean and undamaged.  
If it has a rubber O-ring, it also needs to be undamaged.

Regulator Gas Pressure

The LPG (Propane) is stored under pressure as a liquid in your BBQ gas bottle.  It turns back into a gas when you release some of the LPG gas cylinder-bottle pressure in the gas bottle by turning on your BBQ burners.  

The LPG gas cylinder-bottle pressure within a gas bottle can be 800-900kPa.  

This varies based on the ambient temperature, exposure to the radiant heat of the sun and the amount of gas remaining in the gas bottle.  

However, the required appliance inlet pressure for your BBQ is typically a 2.75kPa regulator gas pressure. 

So, the gas regulator is required to reduce the LPG gas cylinder-bottle pressure and ensure a consistent 2.75kPa regulator gas pressure is safely delivered from the gas bottle to your BBQ.

Ice on BBQ Grill Propane Gas Regulators

Under the right circumstances, condensation or ice can form on BBQ grill propane gas regulators. 

The faster the gas is used, the colder the gas regulator will get. 
Depending on the humidity of the surrounding air and the rate at which the gas is being used, condensation or even ice will form on the gas regulator. 
For the full story, please see Why Ice Forms on BBQ Gas Regulators.

Leak Testing

Leak test for BBQ gas bottles

The BBQ grill propane gas regulator & hose assembly should be checked for leaks, using the soapy water leak test, every time you disconnect and reconnect the gas regulator.  

Put some soapy water in a spray bottle, turn on the gas bottle without turning on the BBQ, then spray the entire valve, gas regulator and hose assembly with the soapy water.  
You would see bubbles or smell gas if there is a leak.
When done, rinse with clean water to remove the soap solution.
For more detailed instructions, please see BBQ Gas Leak Test

Keep POL Fitting Clean

When the BBQ grill propane gas regulator is disconnected, it is important that you keep the POL fitting connector clean. If you are going to leave the BBQ gas regulator disconnected for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to cover the end of the POL fitting connector with a small plastic bag to keep out dirt and insects. 

This can prevent blockage problems later and may save you the expense of buying a new gas regulator.

Connecting & Disconnecting the Gas Regulator

The male connector of a POL gas regulator has a reverse or left-handed thread. 
So, to detach the gas regulator, you turn it clockwise and then anti-clockwise to re-attach. 
For full step-by-step instructions, please see:

How to Prevent BBQ Gas Fires

There has been a bit of news recently regarding BBQ gas fires. 

So, it’s worth taking the time to review BBQ safety.

The media is fond of reporting “exploding gas cylinders”.  

The reality is that gas cylinders rarely explode. 

In fact, it would be quite difficult to make one explode.

Pressure Relief Valve Protects You

Why is this?  Well, gas cylinder valves are equipped with pressure relief valves. If the cylinder is exposed to excessive heat, the pressure relief valve allows the gas to vent and keep the LPG gas cylinder-bottle pressure within safe limits.  

The worst thing that can happen is the venting gas ignites and you have a plume of flame. 

This will self-extinguish when the cylinder runs out of gas. 

This is why you always want to use your BBQ outdoors and away from your home or other flammable materials.

Hoses & Gas Regulators -- The Usual Suspects

BBQ gas fire

Hoses and BBQ grill propane gas regulators deteriorate with age and can start leaking. It’s the gas coming from these leaks that ignites and causes the vast majority of BBQ fires.

Some experts recommend replacement of the hose and gas regulator assembly as often as every 5 years.

It should cost no more than $50 at your local BBQ store.

So what is all the media hype about? 

Typically it’s about gas fires, not explosions, which result from poorly maintained BBQs. 

The real culprit is typically the hose or gas regulator. 

Check Your BBQ

How can you be sure your equipment is in good shape

You should visually inspect the hose for cracking, splitting or other damage. 

You should inspect the gas regulator for damage, paying special attention to the part that screws into the gas cylinder.

It should be clean, undamaged and if it has rubber O-rings, they also need to be undamaged.

BBQ Gas Leak Test

It is important to regularly leak test your BBQ gas bottle, BBQ gas regulator and hose. Leaks from these items are frequently the cause of BBQ gas fires. 

Common Problem Areas Chart

Common Problem Areas Chart

Image Copyright © Elgas Ltd.

Main Connection: POL Fitting

Main Connection

The standard BBQ gas regulator in Australia is a gas regulator with a POL fitting. 

The male connector of the gas regulator, which screws into the POL fitting on your gas bottle valve, may have a rubber O-ring seal or it may rely on a metal to metal contact seal.  

You should always inspect the gas regulator for damage, paying special attention to the POL fitting connector, which screws into the gas bottle.  

If it has a rubber O-ring, it also needs to be undamaged.

The connector and the female valve opening should both be clean and undamaged. 
Pieces of dirt, nicks and scratches can prevent the two components from sealing, resulting in a leak.  

Gas Hose

BBQ hose & regulatorThe gas hose is attached to the gas regulator on one end and the BBQ on the other end. 
It can become damaged or deteriorate with age.  
Dogs and other animals can also cause damage by chewing on the dangling hose.  
Visually inspect the hose for cracking, splitting or other damage.  
You should replace the hose if it shows any signs of damage or degradation.  
It is good practice to replace the entire gas regulator and hose assembly, if it is old enough for the hose to have deteriorated, as gas regulators also wear with age. 

Valve Stem

Valve Stem

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.  

Please see Gas Bottle-Cylinder Testing Facts for more information on the ten year testing process.

Bleed Screw

Bleed Screw

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.

BBQ e-book

Click for the Free BBQ E-Book Download

 

 

View More LPG Gas Blogs

Comments, questions or feedback?

Please Email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.