Why Is My Propane Grill Tank Hissing?

Responding to propane cylinder pressure and leak issues.

grill tank Camden County, NJ Imagine that first big barbecue you’re going to host this spring or summer. You probably expect to hear a lot of laughter and chatter — no doubt there will be tunes playing and bottles and glasses clinking. Also, there will be a sizzle of burgers, chicken wings, hot wings and other tasty foods hitting the hot grill.

But what if you suddenly notice a hissing sound coming from your propane grill tank? Is it a cause for concern? How should you respond?

Blue Flame’s team knows propane cylinders inside and out. We can help you determine why your cylinder is hissing and help you understand what to do.

Why Grill Tanks Hiss

The most common reason that you’d hear a hissing from your grill tank is the safety relief valve. This valve is located on the top of the cylinder, opposite the tank connection. It is also called a pop-off valve, pressure-venting valve, or relief valve.

The purpose of this valve is to protect your portable tank from rupturing when excess pressure builds up.

The valve is closed with a spring, but if pressure builds up too much inside the cylinder, the spring is compressed, and the safety valve opens. You will generally hear a pop when a relief valve opens. That pop will be followed by hissing as pressure is released.

Responding to a Hissing Propane Cylinder

First and foremost, you must turn off your grill if the tank starts hissing. There is a potential that propane gas is escaping, and you don’t want an open flame nearby.

If your safety valve has opened, do not attempt to close it. The valve will close on its own when the cylinder’s internal pressure returns to a normal level. Because a standard cause of excessive tank pressure is high outdoor temperatures, you can help speed the process by cooling your cylinder with a hose.

If your tank’s safety valve hasn’t opened, you may have a leak. Close the tank’s service valve and get people away from the affected area.

Testing Propane Cylinders for Leaks

You can do a simple at-home test to determine if your grill tank (or another grill component) leaks. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix a 50/50 solution of water and dish soap in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray this mixture onto your grill tank valve, your grill’s hose and regulator.
  3. Open the cylinder’s service valve and look for bubbles. Bubbles mean the gas could be escaping.
  4. If you see bubbles, close the cylinder service valve and tighten all connections.
  5. Reopen the valve. If there are still bubbles, you likely have a leak. Contact your propane supplier about replacing the cylinder or parts of the grill.

Blue Flame can fuel your cookouts all season!

When grillers in Camden County or elsewhere in Blue Flame’s service area need propane, they always look for our Lil’ Hank’s tank exchanges. Located in community businesses throughout Southern New Jersey, Maryland and Eastern Pennsylvania, these rigorously maintained cylinders are the easiest way to fuel your barbecue.

Contact Blue Flame today to find the Lil’ Hank’s location near you.