Why Is My Gas Grill Igniter Not Working?

why is my gas grill igniter not working

Why is Your Gas Grill Igniter Not Working? (And How to Fix a Broken Igniter When Your Grill Doesn’t Start)

Picture this… your guests are arriving, your backyard is set for a blowout BBQ and, when you go to press your gas grill igniter, nothing happens. It’s a griller’s worst nightmare!

Read on as we run through the possible reasons for the failure – and potential fixes to get your grill back to working as soon as possible.

What Is A Gas Grill Igniter & How Do They Work?

how does a gas grill igniter work?

Your grill’s electronic igniter gives off a spark when its button is pressed or turned, depending on your grill model. Your gas grill has an ignition rod in the path of the gas flow to your grill’s burners. Be sure your gas is turned on before attempting to press the igniter button, or your grill’s burners won’t ignite.

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What Are The Different Types Of Igniters?

There are only a few popular igniters installed in gas grills. It helps to know which type your gas grill uses, should you ever need to replace it.

Electronic Pulse Igniter vs. Push-to-Turn Igniter

Both the electronic pulse igniter and push-to-turn run on a piezo ignition system. The only difference is, with the former, you push a button to operate, and with the latter, you turn a knob.

Piezo Igniter

Piezo igniters are by far the most popular gas grill igniter due to their longevity and reliability. Reason being, piezo igniters don’t use a flint that eventually needs to be replaced. Instead, they use a small spring-loaded hammer that strikes a quartz crystal. The impact is enough to create an electrical spark that ignites the gas in your grill without fail. You simply push a button or turn a knob to activate the igniter.

Battery Igniter

When pressed, these gas grill igniters use ordinary disposable or rechargeable AAA, AA or 9-volt batteries, creating a continuous spark until released. These igniters are easily replaced, but the battery has a limited lifespan and will often need replacing, depending on how frequently you use your grill.

Why Your Grill’s Igniter Might Not Be Working

If you’re having difficulty lighting your grill with your gas grill’s igniter system, there are a few things you can check before ordering a replacement igniter. Fortunately, most of the time, it’s an easy fix.

How To Light Your Grill When Your Igniter Isn’t Working

Bad spark, dirty or wet igniter, faulty electronic ignition module

First, check if your grill lights manually. Using extreme caution, hold a lit match near a burner. If it ignites, you can safely rule out a gas-flow issue.

The quickest way to check if a piezo igniter is working is by determining whether you hear a loud snap when you press or turn the igniter. The snap is the spring-loaded hammer hitting the quartz crystal. If you hear it, but still, there is no spark igniting your grill, it may need replacing. You can search for a gas grill igniter replacement here.

If you have a battery gas grill igniter, you can tell if it’s still working if you hear continuous clicking. If not, first make sure that the battery is inserted the correct way. Next, try replacing the battery. And finally, clean the battery holder contact points with a cotton swab and cleaning alcohol to ensure no dirt or dust is disrupting the charge. If you see any corrosion, then you will likely need to replace it. You can search for a gas grill igniter replacement here.

You should also check inside your grill where the electrode sparks near the burner tubes. Ensure the burners are clean and free of any grease or grime. Use cleaning alcohol to wipe the electrode in case there is any dirt on it.

You can also readjust and secure the ignition device to ensure there is correct distance between the electrode and the burners. The spark needs to be just close enough to light the gas.

While you’re inspecting the ignition device, double-check the wiring. Are the wires plugged in correctly? Do they show any signs of damage or fraying? If so, your igniter or igniter wires are faulty and will need to be replaced. Find gas grill igniter replacement parts here.

Finally, what has the weather been like lately? If it’s been raining or particularly humid, moisture may have built up in the igniter and could be the reason why it’s failing to ignite the grill. In this case, try manually lighting your grill to dry out the gas grill igniter for a few minutes. That should be all it takes to get your igniter back in working order.

How To Replace Your Gas Grill’s Igniter Battery

Follow the steps below to replace your gas grill’s igniter battery.

Step 1: Turn and remove the battery cap from the electronic/pulse ignition module.

Step 2: Install one AA battery with the positive side facing outward.

Step 3: Replace the battery cap onto the electronic/pulse ignition module.

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Help, My Grill Still Won’t Start!

Is Your Gas Grill Low On Propane Gas?

If you’ve done all of the above and your grill still won’t fire up, you might want to check your propane gas tank level.

How To Check Your Propane Tank’s Gas Level

Step 1: Slowly pour hot water down one side of the tank.

Step 2: Feel along the side of the tank and determine roughly where the temperature changes.

Step 3: Your propane tank will be warm where there is no propane and cool where there is. The level you feel a temperature difference is how much liquid propane you have in your gas tank.

Step 4: If you don’t feel any temperature difference, your tank is empty.

Do You Need to Reset Your Gas Grill’s Regulator?

You may also try “burping” your grill. It sounds strange, but the gas regulator controls gas flow from your propane tank to your grill. It is an essential safety mechanism between the tank and the flame. Occasionally, the valve can get stuck, so not enough gas reaches your grill.

How To Reset A Propane Regulator

Step 1: Turn off the gas on your propane tank.

Step 2: Disconnect the hose from the propane tank.

Step 3: Open the lid of your grill and turn all the burners on HIGH.

Step 4; Wait for 2 minutes to purge the gas line of any residual gas.

Step 5: After 2 minutes, turn all the burners off.

Step 6: Reconnect the gas line to your propane tank.

Step 7: Turn on your propane tank slowly until fully open.

Step 8. Light your grill normally.

If these tips and step-by-step guides haven’t worked, take a look at some of our other troubleshooting guides to get your gas grill back to firing up like new!

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