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Ready, Set, Grill! Tips for Grill Maintenance

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Are you sure your grill is ready to fire up?

Whether you use a gas grill year-round or just pull it out for summer cookouts, it’s important to take the time for regular maintenance and a few safety checks. Just like your car, annual service check-ups on your grill are important.

Consumer ratings service Angie’s List www.angieslist.com surveyed highly-rated grill sales and repair experts nationwide to help make sure your barbecue bash doesn’t flame out:

1. Check that you have enough gas for your grill before you fire it up. You can add a gauge to your propane tank to help detect levels.

2. Check all gas supply lines with a mixture of one part water and one part soap detergent. With heat control knobs in the "off" position, turn on the gas supply. Apply the mixture to the connections.

If bubbles appear, the connections aren’t properly sealed. Tighten connections, or replace hoses.

3. Wrap the grid in a layer of aluminum foil. Turn the grill on high for about 10 to 15 minutes. You should then be able to easily brush away baked on food.

4. Spiders are attracted to the smell of propane and they can take up residence in the venturi tubes and valve openings, blocking air and gas flow and leading to uneven cooking and possible safety hazards.

Insects, especially spiders, love this space and given half a chance will move in as quickly as possible. The best solution for this is to wrap the venturi tubes with an aluminum screen that will not block the airflow but will keep the critters out. If it’s already clogged, disconnect the gas supply and run a long pipe cleaning brush back and forth in the venture tubes.

5. Burners typically last about 2-3 years because they can corrode quickly. Inspect and clean your burners regularly. Some burners you can replace fairly reasonably – anywhere from $30 to $40.But others can cost up to hundreds of dollars – in those instances, it may be better to replace the entire grill.

6. Covering your grill when it’s not in use is the easiest and best thing you can do to extend its life by protecting it from the elements.

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