Fun with gas.
Some may remember that my Blackstone had a pinhole gas leak near the rubber hose connection. The kind staff at Griddle Guru were quick to send me a replacement thin-wall tube and I finished installing it this morning.
If you have a similar leak, or if you have flashback (aka flaming knob), or if you smell propane, youíll want to read on, but before you do, please turn off the gas to the grill. If what follows seems too complicated, donít attempt the repair.
To replace diagnose and repair most gas leaks, other than a tube leak, youíll need to gain access to gas control valve. I think the easiest way is to just use a ľĒ drill and drill off the heads of the aluminum rivets. Aluminum cuts pretty quickly, and all you need is the outside heads to spin (off), then use a punch or pliers/dikes to pull the backsides of the rivets off.
Once inside, youíll see the control valve. Referring the numbers in the picture below: the yellow #2 shows the where the tube provides gas to the control valve. There is a hole between the black tube and the silver/gray control valve which feeds the gas into the system. To replace the black tube, you only have to remove one 8mm bolt, and the head of that bolt is shown immediately to the right of the yellow #2. Loosening that bolt loosens the clamp, and thus releases the end of the tube. It is a bit of a puzzle at first to snake that tube out of there, but all you need to do, is remove the rubber gas line and remove that bolt.
Moving on to red #2. Look closely and youíll see a brass hex head just under the red #1. That is the gas orifice and it is properly sized to jet propane. Notice that the orifice is pulled away from the proper location (inside the hole just to the right of the red #1). Pulling this away gives easier access to the 8mm bolt Ė and youíll want all the access you can get.
If you want to convert the Blackstone from propane to natural gas, Iím told all you need to do is to drill out that orifice with a 1/16 inch drill. Iíve done this once on another project, and I didn't even need a power drill. Brass is a soft material, so I just held a quick-change (hex head) drill and spun it in by hand. Access to the orifice is easy when you remove the pipe clamp (#2 above) because the entire valve body comes out.
Now is a good time to check for that gas leak. Hook up the tank line and spray soapy water on the area marked by yellow #2 and black #6. If the solution bubbles, thatís the leak. The junction at yellow #2 between the black thinwall and the valve is sealed by a rubber O ring (itís not exactly an O ring, but you get the idea). If bubbles form near black #3, then the control valve shaft is leaking. FWIIW, I did have a few bubbles at #3, but not enough to get excited about.
When it comes time to button up the front, there are lots of options. Harbor freight sells aluminum rivets and a tool for a nominal amount. Alternatively if you are a hoarder like some people, go into the shop and grab eight stubby, fat SS screws scavenged from some other stupid project and use those (or stop by Ace hardware and pick some up).
One other thing, when you reconnect that rubber gas hose from the tank to the grill DO NOT use the provided rubber o-ring. The joint seals better without it, per the tech at Griddle Guru. I tried connecting both ways, and concluded leaving the o-ring off, was the better choice. Iím sure I violated some code somewhere, but I put a little bit of anti-seize (see google images) on the threads and bull nose so the whole thing went together like butter. If you think codes are for military communications, be sure not to get anything inside the bull nose Ė you donít want slop plugging the orifice.
Hope that helps.