Gas Grill Troubleshooting - Tips for Common Issues

Gas Grills 101 : Troubleshooting Guide

Gas Grill Burner Adjustment

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

Here are some expert troubleshooting tips when your gas grill just won't work right.

1. Low Flame from Burners

A low flame on grill is one of the top grill service issues we come across. Most 20 lb (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 (liquid propane) 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. Have you checked for Spiders and Insects in Burners?

It's relatively common to find spiders and insects your burners. These pesky critters cause the gas to flow from the front of the burner. This is a very dangerous situation as it can cause a fire behind the valve panel as well as damaging the grill thus making it unsafe to operate. You should inspect and clean the burners at least once a year or immediately if any of the following conditions occur:

  1. The smell of gas in conjunction with the burner flames appearing yellow.
  2. The grill does not reach desired temperature.
  3. The grill heats unevenly.
  4. The burners make popping noises.
  5. The knobs are getting very hot.

3. My Grill Will Not Light 

There are many reasons why a grill will not light, but the most common reason is the spark generator. If you're having an issue igniting your grill, try to light it manually. If it will ignite manually, there is an issue with the ignition system.

There a 3 common types of spark generators in a grill

  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 generator when troubleshooting.
  3. Electrical - These ignitions systems require electricity. Check the outlet to be sure there is power. Also test the grill transformer to be sure it is working properly

See if burner can be manually lit with match or lighter. Are the other burners in the grill igniting? Check for any cracks in the ceramic tube or breaks in metal tip as well as be sure to look at the alignment of the metal tip on the electrode to the burner.

Access the grills electrode igniters by removing the cooking grates and heat shields. The electrode may be housed in a collector box.

When you press your ignition switch you should hear a rapid clicking (in a battery spark generator) or hard snap (in a piezo style igniter) as well as you should see a spark at the end of the electrode tip. You may need to get a flat head screw driver and place it under the metal tip.

Check out our Igniter Troubleshooting Guide

4. Why is my Flame Yellow /Orange?

In a gas grill you want your flame to be blue with yellow tips. If you have yellow or orange flames, this is a sign where there may not be a good mixture of air and gas or there may be insects or an obstruction in the burner.

1. Check the burner inlet for obstruction…ex. Spiders, insects, etc.

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. My Burners make popping noise

Check for spiders or other insects, Debris inside burner or Air mixture. If you have an infrared burner, check for cracks in the ceramic.

6. I smell Gas by my Grill 

If you smell gas, you would want to turn off the gas supply and find the source.

  1. Check any source of gas leak. Spray soapy water around the regulator and look for any bubbles

7. Low heat generated when the knob is in High Position 

  1. Check if the problem is isolated to only one burner. If so, clean the burner orifice and burner, clearing ports for any obstruction.
  2. Check for any bent or kinked fuel hose.
  3. Check if the air shutter is properly adjusted.
  4. Check for proper gas supply and pressure.
  5. Pre-heat grill for 15 minutes.
  6. If using LP gas, check for empty tank.

8. Too Much Heat 

Make sure that the orifice on the grill is for the correct gas type

  1. Check for damaged orifice or no orifice.
  2. Check burner for any holes
  3. Check for proper gas supply and pressure

9. Excessive Flare-ups

Flare ups can be caused by a variety of reasons. If your grill is experiencing an extensive amount of smoke or flare-ups, this is most likely caused by excess grease in the grill. Check your grills burner and flame disbursement system (flame tamers, heat plates, briquette trays, etc) for any metal failure or soft spots.

Periodically clean all the guts in your grill.

  1. Check the cooking grids or heat plates for excess grease. Clean or replace if necessary.
  2. Check for large holes in the burner or heat plates
  3. Too much sauce or fatty meats

10. Burner blows out 

  1. Check for any burner defect. (Clogged holes)
  2. Make sure the burner is installed correctly (over the orifice)
  3. Air to gas ratio needs to be adjusted
  4. Check gas supply (Is there plenty of gas in the LP tank)
  5. Check if the grill location is by a windy area
  6. Check for proper gas supply and pressure.

If you find you are in need of replacement parts, The BBQ Depot has hundreds of repair parts. These are some frequent gas grill troubleshooting issues you may be faced with.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance

by Tracy Hollander on 6th Nov 2017
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