Grill DOA?
September 6, 2007 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Gas Grill Filter: The lid slipped and *slammed* as I was putting it down while cooking dinner on my gas grill ( 6-8yo Weber Genesis, if it makes a difference). A bunch of black flaky schmutz landed on my food and a mid to high pitched hum started emanating from the gas tank.

Did I just ruin my dinner and, more importantly, kill my grill? The schmutz seems to be black charred peeley stuff from the inside of the very top of the hood. I have to admit that I'm not very neurotic about keeping the thing sparklingly, Martha-worthy clean, but hey, it's not gross, either. I've just never scrubbed down the interior of the lid. Of course, I thought it might correct the strange hum if I let the top of it slam down again. No dice. At first, it just sounded like a weird vibration. But then it didn't stop. Until I turned off the gas. Help. I SO don't have the cash for a new grill! (Not that a spiffy new one wouldn't be nice ;) )
posted by dancinglamb to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
The schmutz is similar to chimney soot. Think, smoke from every single thing you've ever cooked/burnt in the grill, baked continuously into the metal. Not sure I'd want to eat it. Doubt it'll kill ya.

Double-check all the gas line connections, from your tank all the way to the burners. Probably knocked something a little loose.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:04 PM on September 6, 2007

The high-pitched noise from your tank might actually be coming from the regulator. Regulators work by alternately passing and blocking flow, so they are good candidates for making vibrations & noise.

This noise can become louder if the vent orifice on the regulator is clogged or obstructed, which might have happened when all that black flaky stuff fell down there. (The vent orifice looks like a tiny hole on the surface of the regulator)

If the hole was clogged, clear it, shut off the gas at the tank & grill and then start over.
posted by Crosius at 3:48 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

To check for gas leaks, mix a little liquid dish detergent with water and brush that over all possible leak areas. It'll produce nice bubbles if you hit any leaks.
posted by buggzzee23 at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2007

To be more specific, that should be a 50-50 mix of dish detergent and water and then you turn the gas on to check for bubbles.
posted by winston at 6:25 PM on September 6, 2007

I have had a regulator go out, making the same noise you describe. I've had some success whacking the regulator with a hammer to stop the noise. Only try this when the gas is off. Don't blow yourself up.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 6:30 PM on September 6, 2007

I have 2 Weber Genesis grills and suggest you call Weber. They have some of the best customer service I have encountered (at least as of 2 years ago). I needed a part for a grill and when I spoke to the lady at Weber she already knew exactly what model grill I had (did you register it when you bought it?) and told me apologetically that the part was on back order. I told her it was fine, that there was no rush on my part, how much would it cost when it did come in? "No charge, we can just send you one." and a week later I had my part. Now this was just a rotisserie bracket; I don't know if they will replace a regulator for free, but it is worth a try (they are about 20 bucks if you end up needing a new one). Your questions are also addressed here.
posted by TedW at 6:01 AM on September 7, 2007

The schmutz is just nasty crud that has accumulated over the last 6-8 years. If you can brush it off of your food, do.

As for the buzz, I found the following from here:

Q: There is a hum or noise coming from my grill. What should I do?

A: If the humming noise you hear is coming from your regulator and you do NOT smell gas then this usually is not a hazard or defect. This noise can be caused by outside temperatures and humidity. If you smell gas, immediately close the LP tank valve and burner controls to the OFF position. Disconnect the hose from the tank. Move the tank away from the house and contact the tank manufacturer, or call your local fire department.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:09 AM on September 7, 2007

Response by poster: Yikes. Good to know that little tidbit about the fire department. Stupid question. Does propane smell like regular indoor gas? At the time, I was grilling food, so I don't recall any specific out of the ordinary smell. Now I'm kind of afraid to find out. Hmmm. Yet another quandry...
posted by dancinglamb at 9:55 PM on September 7, 2007

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