Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Grill is Dead, Long Live the Grill!

The flame on my grill faded a week ago today, and wouldn't light at all on Sunday. I took part of the grill apart and confirmed that no propane was coming through - at all.

Later, I had an informative talk with a young man named Marcus at Fleet Supply here in Sauk Centre. I learned a few things about grills, LP tanks, and troubleshooting. And, that quite a lot of air had gotten into the tank I had brought in to be filled.

Returning home, I attached the tank - and still had no gas coming through the system. I'd demonstrated, though, that the tank itself was okay. The problem was somewhere in the two feet of tubing and equipment between the tank and the grill's manifold.

Given time, I'd probably have isolated the problem and corrected it. Quite likely by replacing the regulator.

But I don't bend as well as I'd like to, and I still don't have a completely adequate sense of touch in the thumb and first two fingers of my right hand - a legacy of carpal tunnel syndrome several years back.

More to the point, I run several blogs and have been doing a bit of work for a production company this week. Troubleshooting that grill would have been an interesting set of tasks - but it would also have taken me quite a bit of time. Which is something I didn't have a lot of.

Besides, this was a great excuse to buy a new grill.

The new one is a Char Broil, like its predecessor. Eventually I may get a higher-end unit: but this is fine for now.

My new grill has four flame areas in the fire box - double the number of the old one - and a side burner. There are lots more things to break down on this one.

Including an "electronic ignition." Right now, it works fine: producing sparks at a great rate. I've no idea how long it'll stay functional. I've found a few things I can try in a troubleshooting guide on the Char Broil website, though: which I'll try to remember.

Today I used the new grill for the first time - and over-did the burgers by a bit. Which I often do, anyway. This grill definitely burns hotter than the old one did.

About the old grill? I'm keeping it around. If I don't find out what kept it from working, I'm pretty sure that my son-in-law can. In which case, I'll have two working grills - for those rare occasions when I get ambitious and try something besides burgers. Or, in case I want to grill lots of burgers at once.