Need some help troubleshooting control valve/regulator

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2010
I went to smoke some wings this weekend and my smoker decided not to work and I'm not quite sure what it is. 

I have a vertical propane smoker.  I opened the valve on top of the tank as usual. When I went to light it, I turned the control knob to start gas flow and all I get is a little squirt of gas and then it stops.  I took the control knob apart as much as possible and things look ok, but I'm not familiar of exactly what it should look like either. 

Just wondering if it is the control knob or if it is the regulator and how I would know.  Any help would be great. 

Check the Venturi valve trace the line from the tank back and you should see it. Check to see if there is a cobweb or something blocking it
Yeah.... spiders love to spin webs in the end of the line just before the burner (in the little aluminum part), that will get you every time... lol.
If it's shutting off the flow of fuel, I would bet on the regulator.  These newer ones have a safety valve in them that could be shutting off the fuel.
I cant tell where you are from, but if it is below zero, it could have some condensation in the line or the regulator that is frozen. 
I have checked all the openings possilbe that I can see and there are no cobwebs visible. 

It could be the cold.  I live in Utah so it definitley freezes but it was not freezing at the time I was checking it. 

Is it possilbe to take the control knob off of the hose that comes from the propane tank and open the tank valve to see if it releases fuel?  That way I could narrow it down to the regulator?

Also, the control knob and valve seem pretty specialized.  Is there any way to get replacements for those things if the control valve is the problem?

Thanks everyone for your help and input.

I think Bassman is on the right track, on the newer tanks there is a safety device in the tank that shuts off the flow if the valve is open on the appliance, when you opened the tank valve was the control knob on the smoker turned off?

I wouldn't try to disassemble the tank valve, that could create more problems, do you have another tank to check it with?

I haven't disassembled the tank valve, just the control knob on the smoker.

I don't think it is the tank because I hooked my tank up to my gas grill and it worked just fine but I have not tried hooking my smoker hose up to a different tank. 

Here is what is happening, just to make sure I've made myself clear.
  1. hook smoker up to LP tank
  2. open LP tank valve
  3. turn smoker control knob on to light burner
  4. releases a small squirt of gas then stops flow.
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