How to Replace a Propane Tank on a Gas Grill

by BBQGrillPartsUSA

If your propane tank is empty, follow these steps to replace the tank on your gas grill and check for problems with the grill parts while you're doing it.

Replacing the propane tank on your gas grill is really easy and doesn't take long at all once you're familiar with all of the grill parts. Most tanks are connected to the grill with a line that connects to the burners. You'll know when you need to replace your tank when your grill won't ignite anymore. As you switch out the propane tank, make sure you look for any broken or damaged parts, particularly the gas regulator and fuel hose. If you notice any issues, order replacement grill parts to keep your grill operating safely.

Image credit: Aldo Rado at Flickr

Steps to Replace Your Fuel Tank

Disconnect Old Tank

1.  Make sure you turn off the burner valves, then take off any panel that's covering the gas cylinder. Close the valve on the cylinder.

2. Next, disconnect that connector that's holding the regulator hose to the gas cylinder. You should notice a black ring that goes around the valve nozzle which can be disconnected by turning counterclockwise. You may need a pair of pliers for this step, although you need to be careful that you don't crack the parts. Carefully pull the regulator away from the propane cylinder.

3. Now, look for the clamp on the top of the tank and loosen it. There's probably a wing nut to do this. Remove the empty gas tank by lifting and pulling it away from the grill.

Image credit: Frank Gruber at Flickr

4. Take the time to carefully inspect your propane tank, regulator and hose for any damage. Use soapy water and a sponge to check for leaks, which can be very dangerous and require new gas grill parts for safe operation. If you don't see any bubbles appearing, there is no leak. The regulator and fuel hose are two gas grill parts that require occasional replacement so you'll want to check them for problems if your grill is a few years old.

Image: Gas regulator valve courtesy of John Kasawa/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

5. Take your empty tank to a store that offers propane exchange or have it refilled.

Install New Propane Tank

6. To install the new propane tank, slide it in and make sure the valve nozzle is facing the same direction as before. Tighten the clamp on the top of the tank and reconnect the regulator using that black ring over the valve nozzle. Don't use hand tools for this step; just tighten everything by hand.

Image credit: Wischakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

7. Turn on the valve and check for leaks again by adding a soapy solution to the regulator connection. If there are no bubbles, it's been installed properly. If you notice bubbles, turn off the valve again and undo the regulator. Clean the threads and reattach to check for leaks again.

8. Replace the panels and turn on the burners to test your grill and make sure it's working properly.

Important Safety Tips

  • Don't store extra propane tanks near one that's in use.
  • Tanks should always be stored somewhere well-ventilated, never a garage.
  • You may not smell propane if it's leaking. Always use a gas grill in an open, ventilated area.
  • Check your gas regulator and fuel hose for leaks every time you switch out your propane tank. These grill parts need occasional replacement and a leak can be very dangerous.
  • Don't let propane fuel touch your bare skin because it can lead to vapor burns.
  • Propane tanks produced before 1998 need to be replaced with a new tank. These tanks cannot be legally refilled.
  • Never have an open flame or lit cigarette nearby when you're switching out your propane tank.
Updated: 10/01/2012, BBQGrillPartsUSA
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