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Grill Igniters 101 - Piezo, Battery Operated, Glo-Plug or Electric?


There are various types of ignition modules manufactures will use when designing their grills. Here we will show the different types.

Piezo (Push Button) - The piezo ignition is one of the original ignition systems made to automatically light a gas grill. You would either push a button or turn a knob in a rotary style igniter and hear a hard click. Charbroil made the push button piezo ignition popular in many of their grill designs. Many high end brands opted for the rotary style piezo igniters including TEC and Lynx.

DCS Rotary Piezo Igniter

Battery-operated – These igniters create clicking continuous sparks until the burners ignite. Battery systems will use either AAA, AA or 9 volt batteries to generate the power. There are some igniters that do not have the battery directly placed in the module. For example, in the picture below, The spark ignition does not take a battery directly, rather the 9 volt gets places in a battery holder that gets plugged into the spark generator. 

Lynx 9 volt battery spark generator

Electrically Powered Igniters - This is the latest innovation found mostly in high end grills (including Alfresco, Artisan, Lynx, Fire Magic and more). This means no more batteries. But you will need electricity to power the ignition. The ignition module is powered by a transformer and the electrodes get plugged into the module. 

Troubleshooting Tips: What to check when your ignition is not working

  1. In a piezo igniter, if you no longer hear a hard snap, the module needs to be replaced. 
  2. In a battery operated spark generator, check your battery. Simply unscrew your igniter cap and replace the battery. If you do not hear a series of clicks, the module may be bad.
  3. Check to be sure that all igniter wires are secure in the back of the ignition module. These wires do sometimes come loose.
  4. Make sure that the metal tip of the electrode and the ceramic body are in tact, if so then be sure that it is aligned properly by the burner holes. If the electrode corroded, cracked or broken it may be time to replace it. Tip : wipe any grease build up off the metal tip with alcohol.
  5. What is the condition of your collector box? Has it corroded or cracked? The collector box is often first to corrode (before the electrode) If so, it will need replacing.

Video on Troubleshooting a Battery Operated Spark Generator

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