Flame Color: There are a couple of reasons gas flames turn from their normal blue with yellow tips to completely yellow. The most common is inadequate gas pressure from the tank. Since propane expands at freezing temperatures, the pressure bladder in the regulator (a round disk attached to the gas line) can freeze into place and limit the flow of gas to the burner. If you have a yellow flame, try this remedy: First, turn the tank off and turn off the grill's control valves. Next, disconnect the tank, then open and close the control valves. Finally, reconnect the tank and slowly turn the gas back on to check the flame's color. Another cause of yellow flame is pressurized propane that, over time, can force the burner ports to widen. As a result, too much gas escapes. Riches recommends inspecting the burners and replacing them if they are misshapen or cracked. Once the burners are cleaned, light the grill to ensure that all flames are blue and similar in height.

Grease traps: Grill grease traps are typically trays or disposable aluminum cups beneath the firebox that collect fat. Keep these traps clean and drained because large pools of grease can ignite. Burners combined with a grease fire will exceed the maximum amount of heat the grill can handle.

Hoses: Replacing a worn or damaged fuel line is an easy task once you locate the problem. Manufacturers suggest coating everything—from the tank, to the venturi tubes, which connect the control valve to the burner—with soapy water. For a neat job, Riches uses a basting brush to apply the soap solution. Then, turn the grill on. Any bubbles that appear on coated areas indicate escaping gas, which can be fixed by replacing the hose or O-ring. The gap in the venturi tubes mixes gas with air enroute to the burner and can easily clog with debris or insects. Riches recommends wrapping the tubes with aluminum screen to let air in and keep bugs out.

Between the Burner and Grate: Sometimes called the radiant or flavorizer bar, this part of the grill evenly distributes heat to the grate above and produces smoke when food drippings seep down. "Most of the wear is in the flavorizer bars, because they see the most heat and grease," says Brooke Jones of Weber Grills. Brush off grease and debris from the metal plates because they can trap moisture and cause rusting. Replace lava rocks or ceramic briquettes if they give off a rancid flavor.

Grill Covers: Keeping a grill protected from the elements is the easiest way to preserve it. Covers should have a cloth inner lining to draw moisture away from the metal. A simple plastic sheet holds moisture in, creating a humid environment around the grill, which can lead to rusting. Use a canvas, cloth, or vinyl cover that fits the grill appropriately. Keep in mind that UV rays beak down cheaper, generic covers.
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