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6 Reasons Why Your Gas Grill Won't Stay Lit

If you’re reading this, chances are your gas grill won’t stay lit, and it’s giving you a bit of a hard time.

It may ignite successfully but then leave you with low or flickering flames that make cooking a challenge. The flames might even go out entirely before you can get any grilling done.

If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place!

The flames on a gas grill can go out for various reasons, most of which you can fix on your own with a little troubleshooting and maintenance.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through each potential culprit and the steps you can take to fix them.

Whether it’s as simple as refilling your propane tank or as hands-on as replacing your regulator and checking for leaks, we’ll arm you with the know-how to fix your flames and get back to grilling ASAP.

Key Takeaways

  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your grill in top condition by regularly checking fuel levels, cleaning burners, and ensuring all components are properly aligned and functioning.

  • Troubleshoot Common Issues: Most issues with your gas grill not staying lit can be resolved by addressing insufficient fuel, clogged burners, and malfunctioning regulators.

  • Weather Awareness: Be mindful of weather conditions, especially wind, which can affect your grill’s performance. Adjust your setup or use a windscreen to ensure consistent flames.

6 Reasons Why Your Gas Grill Won’t Stay Lit

If you’re having issues with your gas grill not staying lit, there’s no need to panic. It’s very likely that one of these common and easy-to-fix problems is the culprit.

In the following sections, we’ll dive into six potential reasons your grill is acting up and provide simple, actionable solutions for each one.

From checking your fuel levels to inspecting your grill for clogs and leaks, you’ll find the troubleshooting tips to get back to grilling with confidence.

Read on to discover how you can resolve these issues and ensure your grill is ready for your next barbecue.

1. Insufficient Fuel Levels

This seems like it should go without saying, but just in case: if your grill is out of or low on fuel, it’s not going to be able to stay lit. You’ll likely see low or sputtering flames that eventually blow out entirely.

To check your fuel level, disconnect the tank and weigh it on a scale. A full propane tank weighs around 38 pounds, while an empty tank weighs about 18 pounds.

Another method is the “hot water, cool hand” technique. Fill a cup with hot water and pour it down the side of your propane tank. Run your hand along the tank, feeling for where it starts to cool down.

This temperature difference will help you determine if insufficient fuel is to blame for your sputtering flames.

For more details, check out our guide on how to check propane tank levels for gas grills.

2. Clogged Burners

If you have plenty of fuel but your grill’s flames are still sputtering out after initially lighting, your burner tubes may be clogged or out of alignment. Take a look at the tubes and realign any components that are out of place.

Use a venturi tube cleaning brush to clear away any spider webs, grease, or other obstructions. Try lighting your grill again. If your flames ignite and stay lit, you’ve solved the issue!

For detailed cleaning instructions, see our article on how to clean gas grill burners.

3. Your Regulator Is in Bypass Mode

Gas grills include a feature called an Overfill Prevention Device (OPD) that detects an overfill of gas and reduces the amount of gas flowing into your grill. The result? Low flames and a grill that can’t get hotter than 250-300°F.

The OPD can be tripped accidentally in a few different ways. These include opening the gas valve too quickly or turning off the propane before shutting the knobs off.

To reset your OPD from bypass mode, open your grill’s lid to clear out any lingering gas. Then, turn off the gas at the propane tank and disconnect the gas line.

Turn all control knobs to high, including side burners, and wait one full minute. After the minute is up, turn off all control knobs, reconnect the gas line, and slowly turn the tank back on. Light your grill and see if that fixed your low or sputtering flames.

4. A Malfunctioning Regulator

Your grill’s regulator controls the flow of gas from the propane tank or natural gas line to your grill and can also be the culprit behind your grill not staying lit. First, try resetting your grill from bypass mode and check for gas leaks.

If neither of these is the issue, it’s likely that your grill’s regulator is malfunctioning. Regulators are easy to replace. Purchase a new regulator that fits your grill (check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website).

Turn off the gas, remove the malfunctioning regulator by twisting it off, and install the new one the same way. Check for leaks around the regulator by spraying or brushing on a mix of dish soap and water and looking for small bubbles. If no bubbles appear, you’re good to go!

For step-by-step guidance, read our article on how to replace a gas grill control valve.

5. There’s a Gas Leak

If your grill won’t stay lit, it could be due to a gas leak channeling away fuel before it even gets to your burners. Gas leaks are often caused by damaged hoses or loose connections.

To check for a gas leak, mix up a solution of half water and half dish soap. Apply it to your gas hose and connection points.

Open your gas tank or line, and look for small bubbles. If you see bubbles, you have a leak — turn off your gas immediately.

If the bubbles are coming from a connection point, disconnect and reconnect your hose and run the leak test again. If the bubbles are coming from the hose, you’ll need to buy a replacement.

For a detailed guide on this, visit our article on how to test your grill for gas leaks.

6. Weather Conditions

Sometimes the reason your grill won’t stay lit isn’t an issue with the grill itself — it’s Mother Nature’s fault! Windy days can spell trouble for gas grills, causing the flames to flicker, become erratic, or blow out entirely.

Wind can also increase the risk of a grease fire or flare-up. To combat this, angle your grill so the wind hits it from the side, or move it to a sheltered space like next to a wall, fence, or building. If that’s not an option, consider purchasing a windscreen or guard.

For more tips, check out our article on how wind affects gas grills.

Gas Grill Won’t Stay Lit – FAQs

Having trouble with your gas grill not staying lit? You’re not alone. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you troubleshoot and resolve common issues. Read on to find quick solutions and get back to grilling with confidence.

Why Does My Gas Grill Ignite but Then Go Out?

Your gas grill ignites but then goes out because of insufficient fuel levels, clogged burners, or a malfunctioning regulator. Check your propane tank, clean the burner tubes, and ensure the regulator is functioning properly to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

How Do I Know if My Propane Tank Is Low?

You can know if your propane tank is low by weighing it or using the “hot water, cool hand” technique. A full propane tank weighs around 38 pounds, while an empty one weighs about 18 pounds. Pour hot water down the side and feel for the temperature difference.

What Should I Do if My Regulator Is in Bypass Mode?

If your regulator is in bypass mode, reset it by opening your grill’s lid, turning off the gas, and disconnecting the gas line. Turn all control knobs to high, wait one minute, turn them off, reconnect the gas line, and slowly turn the tank back on.

How Can I Tell if There's a Gas Leak in My Grill?

You can tell if there’s a gas leak in your grill by mixing a solution of half water and half dish soap and applying it to the gas hose and connection points. Open the gas line and look for bubbles. If you see bubbles, it indicates a gas leak that needs immediate attention.

Can Weather Conditions Affect My Gas Grill's Performance?

Yes, weather conditions can affect your gas grill’s performance. Windy days can cause the flames to flicker or blow out. To combat this, angle your grill so the wind hits it from the side or move it to a sheltered space like next to a wall or building.

Gas Grill Won’t Stay Lit Troubleshooting Guide – Final Thoughts

If you’re having issues with your gas grill staying lit, we hope the troubleshooting tips in this guide prove useful! Remember, a grill that’s not staying lit doesn’t mean you have to buy a new one. By testing out a few different solutions, you should be able to fix the problem on your own and get back to grilling in no time.

In this article, we covered six common reasons why your gas grill might not stay lit: insufficient fuel levels, clogged burners, your regulator being in bypass mode, a malfunctioning regulator, gas leaks, and weather conditions. Each section provided detailed steps to identify and resolve these issues.

If you found this guide helpful, be sure to share it with your fellow grilling friends. For more tips and tricks on maintaining your grill, visit our website regularly and subscribe to our newsletter. Happy grilling!

Cheers,

Emily

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DisclosureAt The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs.  If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission.  This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue.  Your support is truly appreciated.

Emily Lord

I’m a Wisconsin-based freelance writer and home cook who loves hosting parties and expressing my love for my family and friends through homemade meals and baked goods.

I blame Iron Chef and Chopped for my competitiveness in the kitchen.

In my free time, I occasionally run marathons as an excuse to eat more good food.