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Maintain a gas braai for your safety

If you haven't yet fired up the gas braai, before you do here are some maintenance tips you should perform on a regular basis before lighting that flame. A seasonal maintenance check of your gas grill is essential for ensuring the safety of your family and your home.

 

Gas supply lines

Start by disconnecting the gas lines from the supply tanks.

First, disconect any fuel lines, either a propane tank or a natural gas line.

Most gas grills are fitted with rubber supply lines to deliver gas from the tank to the manifold - and from there to the burners.

Over time, these rubber supply lines become brittle with age and neglect. While small cracks may be hard to spot, with the pipes removed you can give them a close inspection by hand. Any pipes that don't bend easily, or that feel brittle or hard have already started to deteriorate and need replacing.

Any cracked or damaged pipes should be replaced immediately.

Inspect and clean

With the gas lines out of the way you can do a thorough inspection to look around for anything that has come loose or is clogged up with grease and dirt.

Give connectors and pans a good cleaning with a soft brush to removed grime. Old fat can easily ignite and cause a flash fire, which is catastrophic so close to gas lines.

Fuel safety check

Exploding gas tanks are like rockets and just because you can’t smell the gas doesn’t mean it isn’t leaking. Just like gas in the home, a leak can be extremely dangerous.

To test for leaks on gas cylinders fill a spray bottle with water and add a teaspoon of drops of dishwashing liquid. Squirt around the valve of the gas tank and then turn the gas on low.

If any bubbles form around the valve this is an indication that you have a leak. Repeat this procedure around the regulator and at all other connection points.

Put all the gas lines back in position and tighten before testing in exactly the same way.

Your local Builders Warehouse stocks various accessories and replacement parts for a gas grill.