Testing an LP tank for a gas leak, continued

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 07:08 AM

Whether you use your BBQ smoker or gas grill all year long or you are just getting¬† your outdoor propane or turkey fryer out of the garage from a long winter’s nap, when you connect a gas tank, you should always check for leaks. Here are some guidelines to follow along with yesterday’s safety tips.

Step 1. Make sure that the gas tank valve is in the OFF position.

Step 2. Make sure the the NUT is securely fastened to the LP tank fitting and that any SAE fittings are tightened to you burners.

Step 3. Make a soapy water solution (one part good dish washing liquid to 3 parts water). Using a clean paint brush, apply a generous amount of the soapy mixture to the regulator, connection nut, all along the hose & the SAE fitting that attaches to your burners and any other connections you may have, needle valves, etc.

Step 4. With everything in the OFF position, open the propane tank valve two full turns, counter clockwise. Now, if you have a needle valve, open it all the way. Check for bubbles at the control valve, along the length of hose, at the needle valve & the SAE fitting. DO NOT LEAVE THE GAS ON FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS! If you see soapy bubbles, you have a gas leak through the connection or the hose. If the bubbles appear on the hose, replace the hose. NEVER USE A LEAKY HOSE! If bubbles appear at the connection, shut down any needle valves and the tank valve. Re tighten your connections. Repeat this step. If it is a leak with the tank fittings themselves, call your local LP gas dealer or the fire department. DO NOT USE A LEAKING TANK!!!

Step 5. Check the gas tank itself, for leaks. Apply  the soapy solution to all seams on the tank. Again, if you see any bubbles, call the LP gas dealer for assistance, or the fire department.

If it was just a matter of your fittings not being properly tightened, once your leaks have been sealed, wait at least 5 minutes for the gas to dissipate before lighting the burner.

NEVER EVER use a flame to check for gas leaks!

Once all safety precautions have been taken, fry, grill, and smoke to your hearts content.

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