Gas Grill Troubleshooting 101

Grill season is quickly approaching. If your grill has been sitting or even getting an increased use, parts will eventually fail. We will explore some common issues we come across when servicing grills. 

Grill Replacement Parts

Gas Grills 101 : Troubleshooting Guide

You have that BBQ planned and you went to turn on your grill and it is not working. Do not panic! This guide will go over some of the more common issues that may occur with your gas grill.

1. Low Flame from Burners

A Low flame on grill is one of the top grill service issues we come across. Most 20lb (BBQ) propane tanks are equipped with an OPD (overfill protection device) valve that prevents not only the grill from being overfilled but also from releasing gas if it senses gas trapped in the line or manifold. We find that once the tank is reset, the flame pattern returns to normal. Also, the LP regulator can go bad as well. 

Do you get an even flame pattern if you manually light your burner? If no, Are your burner holes clear of any soot and debris? If yes, clean out the burner or venturi tubes to be sure there are no spider webs.

To troubleshoot the LP Tank gas grill low flame issue follow these steps.

  1. Be sure the LP tank valve is turned off
  2. All of your grill knobs are in the OFF position
  3. Detach the hose and regulator from the gas tank
  4. Open the hood of the grill
  5. Open all of the control knobs to high for about two to three minutes to allow any gas that may be in the manifold to bleed out.
  6. Close your control knobs
  7. Reconnect the hose and regulator to the tank.
  8. Crack the tank knob to where it just opens and then slowly turn the knob (this allows the line to re-pressurize)
  9. Ignite your grill as instructed by your manufacturers instructions
  10. The Grill should heat up as normal if not, try replacing the hose and regulator

2. Gas Grill will not Light

If you are having an issue igniting your grill try to light it manually. If it will ignite manually, there is an issue with the ignition system (and not a gas related issue). If it will not ignite manually, you may have a clogged orifice, a potential manifold failure or regulator may be bad.

There a number of types of ignition styles in a grill. Here are a few popular types:

  1. Piezo - these do not require batteries or electricity. You know these are working when you hear a hard snap
  2. Battery or push button igniters and some are battery powered. Be sure to have a fresh battery in the spark gen when troubleshooting.
  3. Flame Thrower Valve - This ignition is actually built into the valve. The ignition is actually started by gas. Under the electrode is a tiny orifice that shoots gas through the metal tube and throws the flame towards the burner port holes.
  4. Electrically driven ignition - these types of systems do not use a spark generator. They use an electrode, lots of wiring, microswitches and a transformer to power the grill.

You can get to the igniters by pulling off the cooking grates and the barrier and thus exposing the burners. Try to locate the position of the igniters (generally, at the root end of the burner) and push the ignition button. You should see a small spark or hear the sound of a click (Or a stream of clicks in case of electric smokers) if your grill machine has piezo-electric or push button igniters. If your igniter is jammed, clean it very carefully and recheck it. Consider replacing the batteries if deemed necessary.

Check out our Igniter Troubleshooting Guide

3. Hot Spots or Uneven Heating

Uneven heating is a problem that can result from breaks or holes in a burner or a damaged flame dispersing part such as a heat shield or briquette tray. You have to remove your burner and inspect your burner for any holes. Also be sure the burner port holes are free and clear of debris. If any of the burner ports are clogged, take a small drill bit and clear each port. Be sure to shake out any debris that may have fallen inside the burner.

Check your grills flame disbursement system (flame tamers, heat plates, briquette trays, etc) for any metal failure or soft spots.

4. Orange or Yellow Flame

If you have yellow or orange flames, this is a sign where there may not be a good mixture of air and gas. 

The air adjustment can be found by the bottom burner or if your burner uses venturi tubes, at the base of the tubes. If your gas grill is generating yellow or orange flame, you should adjust the air shutter by following these steps:

  • At the end of the burner, there should be a screw located by metal shutter. You will need to loosen the screw to allow the shutter to slide open or closed. (1/2 open for LP Gas and 1/4 open for Piped (Natural) Gas)
  • Ignite the grill to see of your flame pattern is blue with yellow tips
  • Once you have a blue flame, tighten the screw to keep the shutter in place

(If you have a cast iron or cast brass burner (as on Lynx Grills), you may find the air shutter at the bottom of the burner. Follow the same steps above.)

A yellow and orange flame can also be caused by an incorrect gas type on the orifice. If the grill is set for natural gas and you are trying to use propane, this can cause too much gas to come from the orifice nozzle and can create a yellow flame.

5. Grill has flare-ups

If your grill is experiencing an extensive amount of smoke or flare-ups, this is most likely caused by excess grease in the grill. 

Periodically clean all the guts in your grill. This involves removing and cleaning cooking grates, heat shields or briquette trays and burners. Take a shop vac and remove all the debris in the firebox. This can ignite when it comes in contact with drippings. Grill cleaning is a part of grill ownership and maintenance regardless of brand or type. 

6. Flame coming through the Control Panel

NOTE : Be sure to let the grill completely cool before performing any inspections!!

Inspect the burner tube to see if there are any spiderwebs in the venturi. This is the most common cause of flashbacks. Also, be sure that burner seats OVER the orifice. 

These are some of the most frequent grill troubleshooting problems you might face with your grill. 

If you need grill parts, we have the largest stock available as well as experienced staff to assist. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance

by Tracy Hollander on 15th Jan 2021
comments powered by Disqus
payment options
Copyright © 2023 The BBQ Depot, Inc.All Rights Reserved.