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Weber grill meltdown
Old 08-04-2009, 04:29 PM   #1
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Weber grill meltdown

Went to Mom's house for cookout on sunday. The weber grill (lpg, lots of experience) was a bit dirty so we lit it up and went inside. A while later I went outside to check - lots of heat, lots of yellow flame. I went to turn it down and saw the gas control melting. Underneath was on fire - not the iron cookpot side but the gas control side - so I looked underneath and saw flames everywhere, with melting plastic falling on the gas canister. Got expired fire extinguisher from inside, exthinguished the flame (whew...).

Probably not a bad idea to look over the grill once in a while...
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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I've had 2 Weber grills in the last 25 years. The one thing I learned is that you have to take it apart once a year and clean it up. Real easy to do but a bit messy.

The one I have now turned 5 years old last month. I called Weber and told them about a few problems that I was having. Such as the flavor bars and the ignitors not working that well. They sent me new flavor bars and 2 new ignitors no questions asked.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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That grill looks familiar, Weber Genesis?

Might have to clean mine.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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Yup, and that old trick about pouring soapy water over all the LPG/gas fittings to look for bubbles when all the valves are open is not a bad idea either. I have found several leaks over the years, along with 1 that wasn't screwed in right.

Think I'll go check the pressure in the fire extinguisher.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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Thanks MichaelB for the reminder.

Ugh...I guess I need to check my grill as well. But it might be a while as it's 100 degrees in the shade. I just can't cook outside (on purpose) when it's this hot.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:33 PM   #6
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I guess it's a good thing after all that Blue Rhino has been underfilling the propane containers "for our protection".

I have a Weber too and I've never had any problems with it.

It's a $25 charcoal kettle from the early 1990s. A couple times a year I scrape the ashes into a paper bag...
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:39 PM   #7
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Yup, ya gotta clean those gassers every once in a while. The grease from the steaks can collect in the drip pan and catch fire (been there, done that). Wifey decided to grill some steaks a few years ago, she's seen me do it a million times, but had never done it herself. Upper part of grill caught fire, flames everywhere. She was able to turn it off, but by the time the fire extinguished itself, there were no steaks, just a little bit of ash where the steaks should have been.

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Old 08-04-2009, 11:40 PM   #8
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A little OT but once had a creosote fire in a (poorly maintained -- i.e. infrequently cleaned) charcoal grill. It sounded like a jet engine...
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:12 AM   #9
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Wow ... think I'll move mine further away from the house.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:53 AM   #10
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I could imagine one of those propane tanks taking out a substatial portion of one side of your house if it ever blew up.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:31 PM   #11
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Wow ... think I'll move mine further away from the house.
Good idea. A neighbor in Kirkland, WA, burned his house down that way.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:27 AM   #12
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When this happened sunday it was too dark to see exactly what had burned, so I went back yesterday to see if anything looked unusual. I expected to find lots of corrosion but didn't. In fact, nothing stood out that I would have seen had I inspected before using. I don't know if this was a gas leak, a grease induced fire, a combination of both - or something completely different.

I'll send a note and a pic to Weber, not expecting anything but perhaps their view on likely causes. One thing for sure - keep the fire extinguisher handy when grilling.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:42 AM   #13
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I've found Weber tech support to be top notch.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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I've never cleaned my gas grill (except the grate). Right now I don't have any propane in the tank and I don't know how to change the tank. Maybe I should just get rid of it. It's not too old and it was an expensive one about 5 year ago. How do you clean a grill (other than the grate)? You guy have me scared now.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:42 AM   #15
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I have the same gas grill, Weber Genesis, and have not had any problems with it. It's got to be at least 6-7 years old. I am sure you had a gas leak from the hose that connects the tank to the grill. I have heard of this happening a few times. Need to check the hose every year.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #16
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Good idea. A neighbor in Kirkland, WA, burned his house down that way.
Years ago my sister's neighbors made the mistake of using a Brinkman charcoal smoker on a wood deck. That particular model had a pan for charcoal at the very bottom. There was a hole in the center of the pan to allow air in; it also let hot ashes out. The unfortunate couple put their brisket on for what would have been a few hours, then went shopping. It was a very bad day for them. . . At least they didn't suffer any personal injury.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:51 PM   #17
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I've never cleaned my gas grill (except the grate). Right now I don't have any propane in the tank and I don't know how to change the tank. Maybe I should just get rid of it. It's not too old and it was an expensive one about 5 year ago. How do you clean a grill (other than the grate)? You guy have me scared now.
All that grease that drips when cooking food has to go somewhere and after a time builds up on the bottom of the BBQ ,thats what has to be cleaned out on a regular basis to prevent a grease fire,i suppose the higher end models have some kind of removable and washable grease tray but even then the splatter can accumulate outside that tray.Check the manual that came with the unit for specific cleaning instructions.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:04 PM   #18
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So for the burner catching fire, what am I supposed to do? (I have Weber Genesis). Am I supposed to use Windex or something and clean the grease off from the panel or I need to do something else?
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:09 PM   #19
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I just KNEW when I gave away my gas grill years ago that I was on to something. I have a cast iron grill pan, with a press, that I use on my gas stove. I turn on the exhaust and....presto, a great steak or chicken breast or in tonight's case, a veal chop. No fuss. No bother. No special equipment and no propane tanks or lighter fluid. I steamed some brown rice, opened the jar of kimchee, poured a glass of fume blanc...perfect and easy. All the while I soaked up the A/C and listened to Bloomberg.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:15 PM   #20
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All that grease that drips when cooking food has to go somewhere and after a time builds up on the bottom of the BBQ ,thats what has to be cleaned out on a regular basis to prevent a grease fire,i suppose the higher end models have some kind of removable and washable grease tray but even then the splatter can accumulate outside that tray.Check the manual that came with the unit for specific cleaning instructions.
Thanks...now I need to find that manual.
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