Grilling season is drawing to a close in many parts of the country, but if you own a Saber gas grill, don’t put it away until you check whether it’s one of the more than 20,000 grills the company has recalled.

The problem is faulty propane regulators, some of which came with new grills and some of which were installed as replacement parts. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 35 reports of malfunctioning regulators on Saber grills, including three reports of singed arms and two reports of burned or singed hair.

A propane regulator, also called an LP regulator, is one of the most important parts of the grill because it controls the flow of gas from the tank to the burners. Its main job is to step down the high pressure of the gas in the tank before it flows to the grill. When it doesn't work, you end up with gas leaks and fires and burn hazards, and that's exactly what happened with the recalled grills. 

Of the recalled grills, Consumer Reports tested three:

• the two-burner Saber R33CC0312, $800
• the three-burner Saber R50CC0312, $1,200
• the four-burner Saber R67SC0012, $1,900

Our test engineers did not experience problems with the Saber regulators, but the grills weren’t particually good performers either.

“All of the Sabers scored in the bottom tier of the ratings,” says CR test engineer Cindy Fisher, who oversees our gas grill tests.

What You Can Do

First, stop using your Saber grill. Then check to see if you own one of the recalled grills or the replacement regulators by checking the model number of your grill and regulator.

To find the model number of the grill, look on the underside of the grease tray below the burners, which may be gunked up from a summer of use. Then compare it to the full list of model numbers on the CPSC’s recall notice (there are too many to list here).

As for the regulator, you’re looking for Model RA329 with a date code between 1120 to 1344. The model number is located at the center of the regulator and the date code is stamped on the regulator next to where it connects to the gas tank (see photo below).

The grills were made in China and sold from September 2011 to May 2017 at such specialty outdoor living stores as Family Leisure, Fortunoff Backyard Store, and Watson’s, as well as through authorized websites and catalogs including Bed, Bath & Beyond and Frontgate. The grills cost between $800 and $2,000 and the LP conversion kits (which include a regulator) cost from $90 to $105.

Photo: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Saber is offering owners a free repair kit that you can order on its website or by calling 866-671-7988. But it’s not quite so simple. There are two types of replacement kits, so before you contact Saber, you should conduct a test on your grill to see if you need a hose, valve and regulator kit, or just a hose and regulator kit.

The instruction's on Sabers website walk you through the process, and for safety’s sake you should follow them to the letter.

In short, you’ll need to remove the battery from the grill’s igniter before starting the test. Make sure all the connections are secure and then turn the starter knob to the ignite position. If you hear a popping noise or feel a vibration, you need the three-part kit; if you don’t hear or feel anything, you need the two-part kit. Saber also posted a video on YouTube in which you can see the test and hear the popping noise.