Can my gas BBQ explode is a question we get asked every summer as we all love a barbecue its part of our lifestyle. But every year far too many people suffer severe burns and injuries.

Most barbecues have been lying around, unused over the winter months and as soon as the warm weather returns we all fire up the barbecue without a second thought as to whether its safe to use.

Gas bottles with their regulator and hose connections are the most common potential for leaking LPG gas to literally explode when you are using it.

Before using your barbecue this summer we recommend that you spend 5 minutes to carry out the following:

  • check all your connections are tight
  • check the gas hose from the bottle to the barbecue to make sure it has not perished
  • a soapy water spray leak test on the gas bottle, gas regulator, rubber hose and hose connections

Above is a short video that will run you through seven simple checks before using your barbecue that shows all of the tests listed above including a soapy water test.

Once you have checked your connections are tight and checked the rubber gas hose for any signs of being perished please ensure you carry out a soapy water leak of all the connections.

parts of a gas bottle

You can create soapy water in a bowl with soap and brush it on, or preferably use a spray bottle where you put some gel soap into a spray bottle with water and spray all of the connections.

If a leak is present, the soapy water will produce bubbles indicating the location of the leak. If a leak is detected, you may need to disconnect the joint and clean the mating surfaces. Then re-connect and re-check for leaks again. If you continue to see leaks then it is likely that fitting needs replacing before using the barbecue.

A gas leak on a barbecue can spread very quickly as you can see in the photo above which is why you should follow these basic rules:

  • never use a gas barbecue indoors or in a confined space
  • do not connect or disconnect a LPG cylinder in the vicinity of a naked flame and always shut off the cylinder valve before disconnecting from the barbecue
  • do not use a gas barbecue in windy conditions as if the flames are blown out the LPG can accumulate and create a potential explosion

LPG gas cylinders seldom explode because they all come with a pressure relief valve so if there is a problem with heating up, the relief valve automatically allows the LPG to vent. Consequently rather than exploding the venting LPG in the worst possible scenario can ignite if there is an ignition source and you have a spectacular plume of flame going upwards. The cylinder will in a short time run out of gas and the flame will extinguish and this is why you always use a barbecue outside and away from the house in a well-ventilated area separated from ignition sources.

Remember if you smell gas always turn off the valve at the gas bottle. All gas installation work must be undertaken by a licensed gasfitter so if you have any questions contact Whywait Plumbing Services now.

By Gary Mays

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