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Grilling and backyard barbecues are hugely popular pastimes in the United States. You can’t quite match the intense flavors found in grilled meats and vegetables, and it’s something that everyone loves to eat in the summertime. However, it can be expensive. So, you might be wanting to learn how to attach a propane tank to your gas grill.
Traditionally, charcoal would be used to light up the barbecue pit and keep it hot. However, that’s an expensive and time consuming way to enjoy a little summer barbecue. Charcoal has to be repurchased nearly every time you light up the grill, and it can take as long as half an hour to get the charcoal properly prepared for grilling.
Today, we have a much better alternative. A bbq grill propane tank is less expensive, faster, and longer lasting than charcoal. A single tank can last an entire summer if you don’t barbecue everyday. Even if you do, you shouldn’t have to replace it more than once or twice, and it only costs a little bit more than a good bag of charcoal.
With propane, all you have to do is ignite the grill, preheat it for a few minutes, slap your meat on the grill, and enjoy a delicious meal. For the best results, we recommend buying a ThermoPro Food Thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature of your grilled meats.
It’s also a more eco-friendly way to grill. Instead of burning through natural resources every time you grill, you can use the propane, tank the tank back to the store when it’s empty, and have it exchanged for a fresh tank. That old tank is then refilled and given to another customer. This cuts down the cost of propane, and it lowers its impact on the environment.
However, it can be a little confusing to actually install or remove a propane tank properly. If you don’t do it right, you can hurt yourself or destroy your grill. So, you shouldn’t take it lightly.
Luckily, we’ve put together a guide that will teach you how to properly and safely install a new propane tank, and we’ve also included the steps you should take to remove one properly.
6 Steps To Hook Up A Propane Tank To Your Grill
If you’re wondering how to attach propane tank to portable grill safely, there are 6 main steps that you have to take, and it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to do it properly.
However, make sure you follow each step very carefully, and don’t try to rush yourself. Propane is efficient, but it can be dangerous if you do it wrong.
1. Prepare The Grill
The most important thing to remember when you’re preparing your grill is open it. Before you ever mess with the propane tanks, open up your grill, and leave it open to prevent gas from building up. A closed grill can easily lead to an explosion when you’re hooking up your propane.
After that, all you have to do is:
- Remove your empty tank by following the instructions towards the bottom of this article.
- Make sure that you’ve turned off the gas knob on your grill. You don’t want to release propane the second you hook up your new tank. The knob should be in the front of your grill.
2. Remove The Tank’s Cap
If you look at the top of your propane tank, you’ll find a blue or red cap that prevents leaks while it’s stored. You’ll have to remove the cap before you can hook up the tank. It shouldn’t be difficult to do, though. They come with small cuts in them to make them easy to tear off.
Once you remove the cap, you’ll want to finish installing the propane tank fairly quickly. Don’t leave it sitting around without a cap on it.
3. How To Connect Propane Tank To Grill Gas Lines
Now, you’ll want to actually connect the grill’s gas line to the propane tank. There is a metal attachment peg on the top of your propane tank. It should be right next to the part you had to remove the cap from. To attach it, you should be able to simply screw it on. Tighten it tightly, but don’t make it impossible to take off. There shouldn’t be any wiggling or gaps in the connection, though.
Your gas line should look like a long black or translucent tube, and it should have a threaded end that you screw onto the propane tank.
4. Tighten The Coupler
There is a disc-shaped coupler attachment on the front of your tank. It controls the flow of gas to your grill. You want to tighten it by turning it to the right. However, you don’t want to over tighten it. You should be able to loosen it with relative ease when the tank is empty.
5. Activate The Gas Valve
There’s a valve on the top of the tank that prevents gas from flowing while it’s stored. To use your propane grill, you’ll have to flip the valve until it’s pointing at the open position. When you go to remove your propane tank, make sure you turn the valve back off. If you don’t, you risk flammable gas escaping from the tank.
6. Double-Check The Gas Lines
Before you turn your grill on, make sure you take the time to ensure that the gas lines are properly connected. You should also ensure that there are no holes in the gas line, or it might cause a fire.
To do this, gently try to tighten the line again. If it doesn’t move, your line is good to go. To test for holes or other forms of damage, you can run your hand down the line or lightly spray it with soapy water.
After you follow those 6 steps, you’re ready to grill.
How To Remove A Propane Tank From A Grill
Now that you know how to hook up propane tank to grill, it’s time to learn how to properly remove a propane tank from a grill. It’s a very simple process, but it’s important to follow safety protocols as you do it, and make sure that you’re very far away from anything flammable or hot.
Turn It Off
You want to turn off the grill and the tank’s valve before you attempt to remove an empty propane tank. The vast majority of propane grills have a gas knob near the front of them. To turn it off, just turn it until it’s in the off position.
After you’ve turned off the gas knob on the grill, you have to close the gas valve on the propane tank itself. If you don’t, you’ll end up carrying around a leaking propane tank, and that’s likely to cause a fire or explosion.
To turn it off, just locate the gas valve near the top of the tank, and turn it until it says off. Some models might require you to screw the valve to the right until it tightens up.
Detach The Gas Line
Now, you can safely remove the gas line from the propane tank. The gas line will be black or translucent, and it should be attached to the top of the propane tank.
To remove it, you simply have to unscrew it from the tank. As you’re unscrewing the gas line, make sure that you don’t damage it. You’ll have to use a little bit of force to remove it properly, and it’s fairly easy to kink the line or damage the threads.
Take It Out
Finally, all you have to do is pull the old tank out. Be careful not to drop it or knock it over. There could still be small amounts of gas inside of it.
Since there can still be gas inside of the tank, you don’t want to store it next to anything that might catch on fire, and you definitely don’t want to keep it next to your grill.
If you participate in propane exchange programs, never try to take the tank into the store or near entrances. There is usually an outdoor return area, and an employee will have to help you exchange it.
If you’re using a propane tank for grill devices, there are several very important steps that you must follow to install and uninstall it properly. If you fail to follow the proper steps, it can result in serious injuries or damage to your grill.
Luckily, you can use this tutorial as a handy reference whenever it comes time for you to replace your propane tank.
We suggest using properly filled and stored propane tanks every time that you hook one up to your grill. They’re safer to use, and they’re not expensive at all.
You should also try to perform each step as gently as possible. Propane tanks are made of eggshells, but they do pose significant risks if you damage them or any of the components that connect them to your grill.