Asked on May 11, 2012

I've had my gas grill maybe 4 yrs and have only used it twice, I think. I wanted to use it last week so followed the

CometLouiseKMS Woodworks


instructions for lighting it. It didn't start, so I waited a few minutes like the directions said to do if it didn't start and went thru the steps again. It still didn't start. Having more than a healthy fear of a gas explosion (don't even know if that would happen, but I don't know much at all about these things), I just gave up. But I WOULD like to use the grill again. What should I do to make it start?
5 answers
  • I assume you have a push button spark? Some pizio lighting systems work when you push the button it makes a snap sound of sorts. When this happens it send a small electrical spark down a wire to a little metal rod that is protected by a white glass tube. The tip of the rod is normally bent to one side and is set very close to the metal tube that the gas comes out of. When the spark comes out of end of metal rod and hits the gas tube it causes the gas to ignite. Other style uses a button that when depressed turns on a electrical spark unit which is powered by a small 9 volt battery. But the spark goes down the same type of wire, through the white glass tube and exits out a small metal rod that is placed close to the gas pipe where the flame is located. To check to see what is wrong, you need to do just a few easy steps. 1. Turn off the gas at the tank. 2. Remove the grate and the metal cover and or lava rocks in the area in which this little rod is located. Normally its pretty close to where the button is located so look in that area. 3. Once you have uncovered it push the button to see if you can see a spark or not. If not either your spark generator device, (the one that makes the click when you press it) or the battery is dead if you have one of those. This battery would be located somewhere under the unit near the switch. 4. If you figure if the spark device is working and you still have no spark, check to see that the wires are clean and secure to both the switch and the little metal rod sticking out the white glass tube. 5. If your spark is seen then its the gas supply out of the tube where the spark is going on. 6. you need to check the gas tube. If the first few holes are filled with grease, spider webs, (very common) or rust, you need to clean with a soft wire brush real well. Make sure the metal rod is about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch away from the hole and tube. If you see spark and your gas tube is clean, put everything back again and turn on gas at tank. Then try to relight the grill. It should now work properly. Once its lit, you should check to see if the flame is blue or yellow. If your seeing a lot of yellow and not so much blue, the air adjustment tubes where the gas enters the pipes with all the holes. Its dirty from spiders and rust. Take the grill apart again from the top and remove the tubes and clean real well. then replace the tubes turn on gas and test before you replace the grates and lava rocks. But your doing the correct thing by leaving the gas off for a while before trying again. While you will not explode, you will make a pretty big whoosh when it does light if the gas is on for any length of time. Do not try to light with cover closed ever. Some grills have a small match lighting hole on the side. If your not really wanting to try to fix the spark lighting device, purchase a fireplace lighter the ones with the real long metal tube and the trigger to turn them on. Simply light it, stick it in the little hole on side of grill and turn on gas. The flame should light right up for you. Happy grilling!

  • Walter Reeves
    on May 11, 2012

    What a great detailed answer from Woodbridge!!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 11, 2012

    My gas grill is about 15 years old...the "sparky" thing died ages ago. We use a long tipped lighter to light it now. I turn on the gas from the tank ( I shut this down after each use as I do not trust the flame control to turn off completely, if that has a slow leak in can drain a tank ) I light the lighter when the tip is near the burner head, once I see the lighter lit I turn on the burner like a charm every time.

  • Louise
    on May 11, 2012

    Thanks for both replies. Woodbridge, I'll print out your instructions and try to follow them. I'll post my results.

  • Comet
    on Jun 18, 2015

    This is a REALLY old query but--if it were ME I would have the propane tank swapped out FIRST---over time the gas can slowly leak out --you can get tanks (even the ones you got from the "Cage" at the store--filled at Tractor Supply etc for much less than a tank swap; screw it on; open the valve and it SHOULD light; if NOT then try a BBQ lighter near the bottom of the gas fire area. Also check ALL of the ports on the gas grill plates---where the fire comes out--as spiders etc can build a web in there that can prevent the gas from getting thru. Use a metal wire piece to check for blockages. Shutting the gas OFF after each use is the correct thing to do--some one here did NOT and the next time she used the thing there was gas built up and the thing exploded burning her and her house. Not a good day.

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