Do You Need To Turn Off The Propane Tank After Grilling? Safety Guide

Just as you need to know what to do to stay safe while your propane tank is in use, it’s also crucial to know what to do when you aren’t using it. A propane tank is not something to take lightly, you want to avoid the potential for a gas leak or any other dangerous situation, and turning it off and on are the times where you’re most likely to make a mistake leading to a leak.

In order to prevent a gas leak, you need to shut off the propane tank after grilling. Make sure to turn off the fuel source first, and then the burners, so any gas still in the line burns off. You don’t need to disconnect the tank from the grill.

Once you’ve safely turned off your gas grill tank, you don’t have to worry about any potentially dangerous situations arising. Let’s take a look at how to properly shut off your grill and what to keep in mind as you go about it.

Are You Supposed to Turn Off The Propane Tank After Grilling?

Outdoor cooker on House Patio

It’s common for propane tank owners to leave their propane tank on after they finish grilling. Most people do this because it’s more convenient and seems less stressful.

However, there are two significant issues — and other less critical ones — that might crop up if you don’t shut off your propane tank after grilling.

Most importantly, there might be a gas leak, which is a potential fire hazard.

Aside from posing a potential safety hazard, leaving your propane tank on can cause a phenomenon called bypass. When a bypass occurs, your grill might not reach the proper temperature it needs for cooking when you’re trying to use it, because some of the leaking fuel isn’t making it to the burner where it would burn and get hotter.

At the end of the day, for safety purposes and to avoid other issues, it’s best to turn off your propane tank once you’re done grilling.

How to Safely Turn Off a Gas Grill Tank

Now that you know that you should turn off your propane tank after grilling, here are the ways to safely do so:

  • Begin by inspecting your propane tank. Remove any dirt, dust, or other foreign substances that you might find.
  • Close the valve on top of the propane tank. Turning this off before the burners are off means any propane still in the line will be burned at the burners.
  • Turn the burner control knobs off. The gas flow should have stopped at this point, and you should not see any flames coming from the burners at all.
  • Lastly, close the grill lid and, if necessary store your grill.

Turning off your propane tank is that simple! And be sure that when you turn the tank off, you then follow-up and turn the burners off too. Otherwise, when you turn the grill on it will leak gas immediately through the burners, or heavy rains could flow from the open burners into the propane tank line preventing the grill from turning on the next time you want to use it.

Which Should I Turn Off First, the Burners or the Fuel?

Many grilling forums and enthusiasts are split on the question of turning off the burners or fuel first.

When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter whether you turn your burners or fuel source off first.  There will be a small amount of gas in the line regardless of which comes first. Nonetheless, you should shut them off one right after the other.

We like to recommend tank first, then burners, so there’s not gas anywhere except inside the tank. If you do it in the other order, then when you turn the burners off, and then turn the tank off, there’s some propane in the line connecting the tank to the burners.

This isn’t a big deal, but, the whole point of the propane tank is to keep all the propane in one place, so, that’s why we recommend doing it this way!

What Happens if You Forgot to Turn Off the Propane Grill Tank?

Smoker with fresh smoke coming out of BBQ cooker on outdoor deck

It’s certainly possible that nothing will happen if you don’t turn off your propane grill tank, but some risks are still involved.

As mentioned earlier, there might be the case of a gas leak or a bypass. In the case of the former, the gas in your tank might get exhausted faster, or there might be a fire incident if the gas comes in contact with flammable materials.

With a bypass, gas flow is reduced significantly in your line. It will be hard to maintain a temperature above 250°F if this happens. It will definitely be frustrating if you can’t get the proper cooking temperature.

Is It Okay to Leave the Propane Tank Attached to the Grill?

Yes, it’s okay to leave the propane tank attached to the grill — there’s no negative effect of doing that. Still, if you plan to do this, ensure the burner control valves don’t stay on.

Someone inexperienced might tamper with the burner knobs if you leave them on. There can also be a gas leak if you leave the burner and propane tank valves open. So you should keep them close for safety reasons.


While many can get away with leaving their propane tank turned on, you should always prioritize safety and take precautions to prevent dangerous situations. A propane tank is undoubtedly a much-needed and efficient home tool, but it’s also a fire hazard if not correctly handled.

To avoid this, always ensure to turn off your propane tank after grilling. It doesn’t take more than five seconds to do this, and it will go a long way towards keeping you safe.

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