Some of us only use our barbeque grills in the summer, when the weather is warmer and we’re spending more time outside. Food cooked over charcoal or a gas flame is so delicious, and you may enjoy using your grill throughout the year. If it only gets a few months of use though, you’re going to want to check different parts of the barbecue to ensure it’s in good condition and ready to be fired up when you need it.

Here are some tips to help you determine the health of your grill:


Check the firebox, which is usually located at the bottom or underneath the grill. Look for any rust or cracks. If the rust is minimal, clean it with a stainless steel brush but if it’s covered in rust or cracked, it’s a sign your barbecue’s days are numbered.

Grill Grates

Inspect the grill grates for any flakes or cracks. The last thing you want are flakes or metal pieces in your food.

Gas Hoses and Connectors

Check to ensure that there aren’t any cracks or leaks in the hoses leading to the gas tank. Checking is easy — just spray a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water on the hoses and connectors, and if there are any bubbles, you can be sure that there is a leak, and that something needs to be replaced.


When you go to ignite the grill, if it takes several tries before lighting, this could be a sign that it’s time to replace the igniter. This is a relatively inexpensive item and makes for a quick fix.

Gas Tubes

Once the barbecue is lit, check for uneven flames or yellow flames. This highlights that the jets need cleaning, which can be done with a toothpick. If the flames are then blue and even, you’re good. Otherwise, it’s time to replace a tube.


If the firebox is fully intact, the grates, hoses, igniter, and gas tubes are sound and the structure isn’t shaky, your grill might be worth saving. Depending on the cause or severity of the damage, most grill parts like grates, gas tubes, igniters, and gas hoses can be replaced. If you aren’t sure whether it’s time to replace your BBQ grill or repair it, you may want to ask one of our service professionals.

Tri-County Hearth & Patio is a family-owned and operated business located on Old Washington Road in Waldorf, Maryland, and has been serving the area for over 30 years. We offer our customers the largest selection of patio furniture, fireplaces, inserts, stoves, BBQ grills, and outdoor accessories in all of Southern Maryland. Plus, all of our sales and service professionals are proficient in all things patio and hearth. Visit our website or contact us now for more information, or if you’re ready to optimize the enjoyment of your home, give us a call at 301-843-1771.