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Serious Danger to Cooks : Spiders Can Ruin Outdoor Gas Barbecues

October 08, 1987

Outdoor chefs should beware. Spiders and insects can wreak havoc on gas barbecues and other outdoor gas appliances during autumn months. Their nesting webs can clog burner tubes, causing serious danger to the consumer and damage to the grill.

"Spiders and insects were not concerns when the majority of Americans barbecued over charcoal kettle grills," said Mike Kempster, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Weber-Stephen Products Co., a barbecue grill manufacturer. "However, now that more Americans barbecue over gas, consumers need to be aware of the hazard and what to do about it."

Symptoms to Check

What are the symptoms to watch for? Your gas barbecue heats unevenly, burners make popping noises, the barbecue does not reach temperature and smells of gas.

To avoid such problems, Kempster strongly recommends that the burner tubes be inspected and cleaned at least once a year. He suggests the following procedures:

--Turn off gas at the source--the tank or supply line.

--Remove control panel.

--Remove the manifold attached to the cooking box, set it down gently.

--Look inside each burner with a flashlight.

--Use a pipe cleaner or specially designed cleaning tool to clean the air shutter areas and venturi section.

--Recheck for obstructions with flashlight, then reassemble.

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