What to Know About Propane Bottle and Grill Regulators

what to know about propane bottle and grill regulators

Propane bottles and cylinders attached to portable propane cooking appliances such as barbeque grills use special regulators. They are also known as low BTU regulators, single stage regulators, grill regulators or outdoor cooking regulators. While they are common for outdoor appliances, they should not be confused with appliance regulators. These low BTU regulators are strictly for outdoor appliances and function to regulator pressure between the bottle and the line or hose. Therefore, we will discuss what to know about propane bottle and grill regulators.

What to Know About Propane Bottle and Grill Regulators

Low BTU Regulators

A low BTU regulator is not the same as a low pressure regulator. While bottle regulators do in fact work with lower propane pressures, the design is ideal to work with low BTU appliances such as gas grills and outdoor propane patio heaters.

Generally, low BTU bottle regulators deliver 11″ water column to appliances of less than 100,000 BTU/hr. Although delivery pressure is the same (11″ WC) as that of household appliances in a residential LP Gas system, avoid using bottle regulators. Using low BTU bottle regulators or single stage regulators in a fixed piping system is also illegal and unsafe. Low BTU and bottle regulators are for cylinder applications and the design is not able to withstand the inlet pressures of a bulk propane tank. Also, they are not ideal to deliver appliance pressure in a residential “whole house” piping system.

Propane Grill and Bottle Regulator Safety

Regulators for gas grills incorporate a vent into the unit. Similar to any other LP Gas regulator, the vent requires protection from debris and blockage. This includes making sure that the vent points down. If the grill regulator is improperly positioned, it is susceptible to grease entering the regulator through the vent. This can result in serious internal damage to the regulator, which can cause an extremely unsafe situation.

Therefore, make sure that the vent points down vertically before turning your grill on. Malfunctioning bottle regulators can result in excessively high and orange colored flames, or they can freeze up allowing no gas to enter the burner.


These are just the basics of what to know about propane bottle and grill regulators. Contact us with the link below for more information on propane safety!

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