Yesterday 'bout 5 PM, I had a few minutes of excitement after installing
full, 20 # tank of propane on my Weber grille.
'Had the tank filled 2 or 3 months ago at local hardware store. 'Thought
I heard it leaking at the fill/dispensing valve while the clerk lady was
filling it, and asked her, "Is that bottle leaking at the valve shaft?"
She replied, "Nah, I probably didn't have the fill/charging connection
quite tight enough."
Coupla months ago, SWMBO had problem with the grille not getting hot
enough. I read owner's manual, and realized that she was turning it on
such a manner (too quickly) as to cause a safety feature to keep it from
providing high heat. During my tests, I temporarily installed the full
tank and found it leaking at the fill/dispensing valve when I opened the
valve on top of the tank. I changed the bottles back to the "old" tank.
Coupla days later I took the "newly-filled" tank back to the hardware
and tried to tell 'em that, indeed, it does leak and asked if they could
change the valve. 'Lady who had filled it nearly went "ballistic" when I
tried to ask her if she remembered my concern about it while she was
filling it. Another clerk (male) took the bottle to the charging
plugged it in and declared, "Not leaking; ya may not have had the
connection tight enough." I replied, "Well, I had it as tight as I could
get it with a wrench (big pliers)."
'Brought the tank back home and sat it on patio/terrace by the grille
until I installed it yesterday.
When I first opened the valve on top of the tank to start the grille, I
heard a slight hiss/leak at the valve; after closing the valve, "got on"
the connection nut again with the big pliers while trying to wiggle the
hose. When I opened the valve on top of the tank again, I heard no hiss
and proceeded with the grille starting procedure and leaving the doors to
the tank compartment open. When I pushed the ignition button, not only
it ignite the grille burners, It ignited a significant flame around the
valve on top of the tank in such a manner that I could not reach the
handle/knob to turn it off!
'Grabbed my cell phone and told Siri to call 911. 'Clearly identified
myself, location and situation to the dispatcher, "Propane leak with
flame that keeps me from reaching the valve, 'needing help NOW!"
Dispatcher started asking his questions, and I went through all of it
and finished with, "While we're talking, I hope you have a truck
I need it now!"
Fire station is only about 10 to 12 blocks away, so I quickly began to
hear the sirens headed my way, and noticed that the flame pattern around
the valve and top of the tank had changed slightly so that I may be able
use the pliers to turn the valve bit by bit to turn the gas off.
the pliers and began to get a grip on the hard-to-hold triangular-shaped
knob while trying to dodge the flames. After several tries, I began to
find a way to grip the knob and turn it off a bit each time. I finally
it off as the fire truck pulled up in front of the house.
'Was literally bar-b-q ing my hand - 'got coupla small first degree burn
(very minor) places on inner, top of thumb. Singed hairs on back of
fingers, hand and wrist.
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