How to Unclog a Grill Burner


Kathy asked: How do I clean the burner on a propane grill? The flame on my propane grill suddenly became very weak and went out. I replaced the gas cylinder, thinking that it was out of propane, but the same thing happens with the full one. My father thinks corrosion, a flake of rust or a dead insect has clogged the gas supply line. How do I find out what has happened and how to clean everything out so the grill will work again? The grill is only two years old, and all three of the burners have this problem.

When propane grill burners become clogged, it first takes a bit of detective work to locate the problem so that it can be remedied. Every grill is different, but most have the same basic parts. Here are some key places to look for clogs and start to fix the problem.

You Will Need:

  • Owners manual
  • Basic tool set
  • Toothpicks or thin metal skewers
  • Hot water
  • Mild soap

Steps to Locate and Remove the Clog:

  1. Begin by disconnecting and removing the propane tank.
  2. To locate the clog, it will require basic removal of key components of the grill. If you are unable to locate the particular part, consult your owner’s manual to find out where it is located on your particular grill. There may also be troubleshooting instructions to check for clogs which will be helpful.
  3. Once a clog is located, use the thin wires or toothpicks to remove it. If the problem is a build up of debris, wash the piece with warm water. A mild soap can be used as well if needed.
  4. Check the Tank: Most of us are familiar with the old tanks that are turned on and off with a valve. There are new QCC (Quick, Closing, Coupling) tanks available. If you have a new tank on an old grill, there may not be a steady flow of fuel because the regulator is turning it off. Turn the tank on only half way to fix this.
  5. Check the Connection Hose: The tank is connected to the grill with a flexible hose and O ring. The O-ring has a small vent hole that easily becomes clogged with insects and dirt. Check this and remove any debris that may be present.
  6. Check the Control Valves: Check the control valves to ensure there are no clogs in these areas. Use a thin wire to remove any debris that may have become lodged in the tubing.
  7. Check the Venturi Tubes: Venturi tubes provide the connection between the burner and the control valves. These are commonly the problem when burners will not stay lit. Insects have a tendency to climb in the open gap and block the flow of air and fuel to the burner. Check the tubes and remove any clogs.
  8. Check the Burners: Lastly, remove the burners and ensure all of the burner holders are clear of debris and cooked on food.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Replacement parts may be necessary and can be ordered directly from the manufacturer. Some well known brands will offer replacement parts at hardware and home improvement stores.
  • If no clogs are found in any of the above areas, it may require professional servicing to locate and fix the problem.


  1. I have a Ducane three burner BBQ. When I turn the igniter on, the flame goes on (not all times), but the burner does not go on. What should I do? Will be grateful for your help. Thanks, Joe.

  2. One half of the gas grill lights up, the other does not, so only two burners work. Could it be a connection problem? It has not happened before.

  3. My parry griddle at work has some of the ducts blocked. Do I have to replace it?

  4. George from Cy says:

    Before you try anything else:
    – Remove the gas hose from the cylinder side.
    – Get a manual pump (like the one you use for your bicycle tires for example) and insert it into the gas hose.
    – Turn on all the gas knobs on the grill (this is important).
    – Pump air using the pump (do it for 1-2 minutes).

    This works most of the times if the issue is a clogged part.

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