How Do You Clean a Clogged Propane Hose? RVs, Grills, and More
Clearing a clogged propane hose is a commonly asked question on homeowner forums. So clearly, this is a problem faced by many who use propane to power BBQ grills, RV stovetops, generators, and other portable appliances.
A clogged line often happens when, for example, a grill sits unused over the winter months. The hose can get clogged with debris build-up or gunk from the propane. It could, of course, also be a problem with other parts of the propane tank or the appliance you’re trying to fuel.
Read on to learn how to troubleshoot the problem with your intermittent propane supply, and clean your propane hose if that is the issue.
What Is the Purpose of a Propane Hose?
Propane hoses connect an appliance (such as an RV stovetop) to a propane tank. They provide a safe conduit for the propane gas as it travels between the tank and the appliance.
They’re typically made from:
- A variety of plastics
- Synthetic rubber
- Steel mesh-covered plastic or rubber
Steel mesh-covered hoses are the most durable of the bunch.
There’s an enormous range of hoses on the market, each designed for use with different tanks, appliances, and fittings. For example, this 10” propane hose assembly with 3/8” M-flare and F-flare fixtures is intended to be used with a BBQ grill.
Using the correct hose for the application is essential. Using the wrong hose can result in serious safety issues. If you’re unsure what type of hose you need, consult a propane professional.
First Up: Troubleshooting
Hoses are usually situated reasonably close to the active area of an appliance. In the case of a BBQ grill, this means they can get clogged with cooking fluids and fats. Hence, the need to clean them.
However, you need to troubleshoot before you pull apart your gas connections and get your hands dirty. This will help you confirm that the problem is a clogged hose rather than another issue.
Answer these questions as you do your inspection:
- Is the propane tank full?
- Is the valve on the tank open?
- Is the valve turned on too high?
The last question is critical. Most propane tanks have an automatic shut-off safety feature. It closes the valve when too much gas tries to flow through the hose.
Check that this isn’t what’s happening with your tank.
Cleaning Your Propane Hose
Once you’ve confirmed the hose is the problem, it’s time to dismantle the connection system and roll up your sleeves. Arm yourself with thin wire, steel scrubbers, gloves, and dish soap or degreaser.
Disconnect the Tank or Connection
Remember, safety comes first! Propane is a highly flammable substance, making it potentially dangerous.
Before you do anything else, disconnect the propane tank from the appliance. This is especially important if you’re doing the maintenance in a home setting with children nearby.
Twist the tank’s valve counterclockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. This ensures there is no more gas traveling down the hose. Next, disconnect the hose. You’ll need to remove it at both ends—where it connects to the grill and the regulator.
The method of disconnect varies across appliances and fixtures. If you’re unsure how to proceed, consult your manual. You might need to use a screwdriver or wrench to remove clamps or other fittings.
While disconnecting the tank from your appliance, carefully review all the connectors, valves, and other fixtures. Look for breakages, dents, cracks, or high levels of debris. Consider this another troubleshooting task.
Clean the Hose
Whether your tank boasts a 1/2" flare female 10" propane hose with a 1/2" flare male connector or any other system, the cleaning process is the same.
First, insert a long, thin piece of wire into the hose. The wire needs to be longer than the hose so you can push it through to the other side. This will dislodge any large pieces of grease and debris.
Next, create a solution of one-quarter of a cup of dish soap to a few cups of water. Use a dish soap designed to remove grease.
Put this solution in a large bowl and add the hose, regulator, connectors, and other fixtures. Leave them to soak for a few hours or overnight. This will soften any debris, which you can scrub off later with a sturdy wire brush.
Allow everything to dry completely.
Reconnect and Test
This is the moment of truth! Now that your parts are sparkling, it’s time to reconnect the tank to the appliance and test the function.
Once all the parts are reconnected, turn on the valve on your tank and hit the start button or dial on your appliance. You’ll know the propane line is clear if you see steady, intense flames.
If you see bubbles forming along any part of the hose or connector system, you need to tighten the connectors until the bubbles disappear.
Purchasing a New Propane Hose
You’ve completed your troubleshooting procedures and cleaned the hose and other fixtures. But the gas is still not reaching your appliance. In this case, it might be time to purchase a new propane hose.
Purchasing a new propane hose is an affordable option.
You can buy various hoses, connectors, and other parts at your local hardware store, any big box retailer for household goods, or online. If in doubt regarding quality, look for a company that specializes in grill fixtures or fixtures for the appliances you need to connect.
Clean Your Propane Hose Regularly to Avoid Clogs
Cleaning your propane hose (and the fittings it connects to) is essential to appliance maintenance. Do this regularly to avoid potentially dangerous or harmful operation errors from occurring. Set up an annual reminder in your digital or wall calendar, so you don’t forget.
If the error seems more complex than a simple cleaning will fix, consult the manual or contact the appliance manufacturer for more information.
If you’re looking for quality propane hoses, gas grill shut-off timers, and connectors to add to your inventory, NO WORRIEZ’s products are sure to fit the bill. Contact our team today to discuss your needs or place an order.