Why Is My Grill Tank Hissing?

Propane Safety Tips to Keep You Grilling All Summer

grill tank Bristol, VA Crickets. Whippoorwills. Kids splashing in the pool. Those are the sounds of summer. So when you hear a hissing coming from the grill tank connected to your grill, you will probably notice right away—and know that something isn’t right.

Safety First

Immediately extinguish all flames and turn off the gas—it may be a small leak. The good news, especially if it’s a hot, sunny day, is that the hissing sound you are hearing is because the pressure-relief valve is open.

Propane, which is stored as a liquid, will expand as it heats up. That’s why every propane storage tank—including the small portable cylinders you use with your grill, as well as the bigger tanks for your home—have a pressure-relief valve that opens as soon as the pressure reaches a specific point. The result is some hissing as the pressure is slowly released, preventing your tank from rupturing. (This is why propane storage tanks of any size are filled to 80% capacity, ensuring there is room for expanision.)

If the pressure-relief valve is open, do not try to close it. It will close automatically when the pressure returns to a safe level. You can help cool your tank by spraying it with cool water from a hose.

If the hissing continues, or it’s not a particularly hot or sunny day, you may have a leak. Disconnect the tank, place it in a well-ventilated area and let it empty out. Once it’s empty, you can return it. Never transport a leaking propane cylinder.

Tips to Grill Safely

Make sure you know these important facts about propane safety:

  • Never use your propane BBQ grill indoors or in an enclosed or covered area like a garage. Carbon monoxide can build up, which can be potentially lethal. Because carbon monoxide gas is odorless and colorless, you won’t be able to tell if there’s too much until it’s too late.
  • Place your grill on steady, level ground rather than a grassy, uneven surface.
  • Keep propane-burning equipment like grills, fire pits and patio heaters away from anything combustible like fences, deck railings, siding, and materials that emit combustible fumes, such as paint or other finishing products.
  • Keep your grill, and propane deck or patio heaters, firepit, or fireplace at least three feet away from all doors and windows on your home as well as 10 feet away from any air-intake devices (like central air conditioning units). This reduces the risk of propane vapor entering your home.
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended. Make sure you have everything you need before you start the grill or designate a helper to bring supplies out to you.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher nearby and be sure you know how to use it.
  • If the igniter on your grill is broken, don’t use it. Consider buying a grill with automatic ignition.
  • Make sure the gas grill’s burner controls and the propane’s cylinder valve are turned off when you finish cooking.

And remember, keeping a spare tank on hand means the grilling never has to end due to an empty tank. Admiral has two convenient locations to refill or exchange your portable cylinder. Stop by our Blountville or Greeneville offices for fast, easy service or contact us for more information today.