Grill Ignition: Test Igniter Module Before Replacing BBQ Parts. Video Instructions Testing Ignitor.

Clients contact us about the Ignition Assembly more than any other part of any barbecue grill.

Even though some BBQ grill manufacturers put a lot of thought and technology into the barbecue ignition process the nature of the appliance is that the sparking electrodes have to be inside the barbecue in order to ignite the burners which places the electrodes inside the firebox with flames, fumes, marinades, sauces, grease dripping, etc.  Even very strong and very technologically advanced ignitors can be interrupted by One Well Placed Drop Of Grease.

The other side of that dramatic statement is that if One Well Placed Drop Of Grease has stopped your electrode from sparking to ignite your barbecue burner then one quick spray and wipe with a good degreaser will get the ignition firing again!

We created this video because it is common for clients to contact Grill-Repair.com to request more ignitor replacement parts than is usually needed.  While it is very common for greases, marinades, sauces and built up carbon fumes to stop ignitor electrodes from firing, in some instances it is common for the battery to fail or for the module to fail or for the wiring to have been damaged or any of a dozen other possible problems that could stop the spark from igniting gas emitting from the grill burners.

DCS Grill Ignitor electrode on smoker burner is too rusty and dirty to spark

DCS BBQ Grill Ignitor electrode on smoker burner is too rusty and dirty to spark and the burner is too rusty for the electrode to spark against even if the electrode was clean.

This video exists to help our clients narrow down the parts of the ignition assembly so we only have to replace the parts that need to be replaced in order to ignite the grill again.  When customers call or email about an ignition the most obvious first response is to look at and probably clean the electrodes.  Electrodes are the steel rods that spark inside the gas grill and they are commonly dirty.  Electrodes are exactly like the spark plug in a car and even look very similar.

The first step to repairing BBQ grill ignitors is to check the sparking electrode for dirt and to check for the distance between the tip of the steel post of the electrode to ensure the tip of the electrode is close enough to a steel surface to spark against.  Most barbecue grill electrodes are installed inside a protective collector box or simple shelf designed to affect the flow of gas but also designed to protect the electrode from drippings.  When a shelf or collector box is installed over the igniter electrode, the cleanliness of the electrode and collector box is the first part to check and the gap between the tip of the electrode and a spot to spark against is the second item to check.

Ignitor electrode inside protective collector box are all too rusty and dirty to ignite this pipe burner.

Ignitor electrode inside protective collector box are all too rusty and dirty to ignite this Ducane bbq grill pipe burner.

This video shows the ignition module which is the electrical Brain sending electricity from a battery or spring-loaded piezo to the electrode where sparking ignites gas.

Very Often we will have to test the module.

Lynx BBQ Grill 9 volt ignitor module sparking to test momentary switch button

Lynx BBQ Grill 9 volt ignitor module sparking to test momentary switch button outside barbecue.

The module is easier to test when the electrode wires are not plugged into the module. The spade outlets will spark against one another and if the sparking is faint we can lay a steel blade or a steel screw driver across the module so the spades will spark against the steel.

As explained in the video, all-in-one modules which have the battery enclosure, button and module box in one part of the grill are easiest to test because we can simple depress the button and the spades will spark against one another or against any piece of steel placed nearby.

All in one ignition module can be tested with a new battery by pressing the button while directing the electrode connections towards anything steel.

All in one ignition module can be tested with a new battery by pressing the button while directing the electrode connections towards anything steel. These modules will spark if they are working properly.

Many modules do not have a button but there will be wires that connect a button.  When the module has a battery but is wired to a button we can simple lay a steel blade across the steel spades designed to connect to the button.  Just as when the button is depressed, crossing the spades closes the circuit so the module will fire as though igniting.  If we have determined that the electrodes are fine then we test the module.  If the module works when we cross the steel spades with a steel blade then we next reattach the momentary button to see if the module continues to fire with the button depressed.   Somewhere we will discover where the ignitor is breaking down and we repair the barbecue grill by replacing this part of the BBQ.

Depending on the type of ignitor design in the barbecue grill we’re repairing we will have to think about how to test the module.  Notice in the Lynx 9 Volt module image  above that the button wires are not next to one another.  With the battery installed the module will spark but only if we can close the circuit by touching the wires together or installing a momentary switch or bending a steel wire so we can simultaneously touch both of the spades designed to plug into the momentary switch.

Press the button to make the module spark if it is working as a bbq grill ignition.

Press the button to make the module spark if it is working as a bbq grill ignition. Also unplug the button and lay a steel knife blade across the male wire connections to close the circuit and make the module spark without the button.

In this image which is a bit dark, the momentary switch button wires are very close to one another so it would be simple to touch both spades at the same time using a razor blade, knife blade or screwdriver as shown in the tutorial video.  Once we know the module is working our next action is properly attaching a switch  s0 we can test the wiring and the button connection.

With many of the newer barbecue grills today there is not a simple mechanical module or even a simple all-in-one module connected to the sparking electrodes inside the grill.  It is becoming more common in newer barbecues to have automated ignitors which means there is not a ignition button at all.  The ignitors being used today are like the modules we see in this video and these pictures but instead of a button to press there is a micro-switch attached to the control valve.

micro switch ignition momentary with button being pressed by using the valve in an automated grill ignitor.

micro switch ignition momentary with button being pressed by using the valve in an automated grill ignitor.

When the control valve has a switch attached to the valve stem this microswitch is the momentary button.  As the valve stem is pressed in and turned by the control knob the microswitch closes a circuit which causes the electrode to spark until the knob is released.  In order to test the module we either touch the steel wiring together or we depress the valve stem to trigger the microswitch as seen in the image.

Regardless of how the ignition design is assembled in any barbecue grill it is important for us as the repair person to understand the assembly so we can test the major grill parts.  When a client calls we can show these images and instructional video so the home owner is able to only select, buy and install the grill parts needed to repair the barbecue instead of replacing and entire assembly.

For assistance with any barbecue grill ignitor or other barbecue grill parts please direct all questions to:

Majestic Grill Parts

www.Grill-Repair.com

Service@Grill-Repair.com

954-2-GRILL-2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Replace Solaire BBQ Grill Ignition Assembly. Video Instructions.

Replace Solaire BBQ Grill Ignition Assembly. Video Instructions.

This cut-away schematic drawing of a basic Solaire infrared gas grill assembly shows how simply Solaire grills have integrated impressive workmanship with the best grilling technology available.

Solaire Schematic showing burner, valve, electrode, manifold, orifice side view.

Solaire Schematic showing burner, valve, electrode, manifold, orifice side view.

In this side-cut-away drawing we can see the control knob pressed against the control panel and the control valve clamped over the manifold pipe with the orifice inserted into the burner which has the sparking electrode mounted above.

In the Solaire gas grill there are usually a combination of center-fed U shaped burners and rectangular infrared burners.  Like most barbecue grills designs the U burners have a thick stainless radiant shield above the burner so the electrode sparks just above the burner and just below the radiant tray.  The radiant radiates conducted heat, spreads convectional heat and protects the burner but the design also acts to protect the Solaire ignition electrode from dripping greases, marinades, dirt and weather which are the most common causes of barbeque ignitors not sparking well-enough to ignite fuel emitting from burner ports.

In this image we can see the holes in the firewall allow the ignition electrode to be tightened to the inner firewall in a higher or lower position.

Igniter electrodes can be installed higher or lower to match burner.

The higher mounting hole is for installing the electrode to spark above an infrared burner and the lower hole positions the electrode perfectly to spark at the stainless steel U burner.

This is because the infrared burner installs at a higher position than the center-fed U burner with its radiant so the electrodes can be moved higher or lower to be in position for which ever burner we install in that place.

The double-prong electrodes are great because the spark is not reliant on a collector box or other bracket in the grill, because the gap can be easily set closer or spaced further apart for best performance and because the tips of the electrode can be positioned in the flame to keep the igniters (relatively) clean.

With the electrode positioned in the flame, heat will burn-off greases, marinades and sauces but it will be necessary to periodically wipe the electrode posts because gas flames will leave a black carbon residue which wipes off easily.

Igniter electrode sparks between posts when gap is set correctly for ignition.

Igniter electrode sparks between posts when gap is set correctly for ignition. It is common for us to need to Carefully Adjust the Gap In The Electrode to maximize fuel flow to the area and electrical connectivity.

In this image as in the instructional video playing above we have used a double-prong ignition electrode that is very similar to the Solaire electrode even though this is an igniter from a different grill company.

There are a handful of different but similar electrodes because of the evolution of the infrared burners.

Because Solaire infrared grills have multiple burners we have multiple electrode positions

Because Solaire infrared grills have multiple burners we have multiple electrode positions in the firewall for best use of the sparking electrode ignitor. 

Typically in order to replace the electrode in the Solaire gas grill or Lynx, Alfresco, DCS, and many other barbecue grills we will need to remove the control panel.

Removing the control panel allows us access to the electrode mounted in the front firewall as shown in this image  but this will also give us access to the momentary switch, ignition wires and the module.   In this Solaria gas grill the module has a 9 volt battery inside the actual ignition module but there are models by Solaire and by Alfresco, Lynx and many others which have the battery wired to the module so it is essential to replace the electrode from inside the control panel where the wiring to the ignitor button and to the module and possibly to the battery is all accessible.

For Any Assistance Please Contact Majestic Grill Parts:

954-2-GRILL-2

Service@Grill-Repair.com

888-346-6930.

 

 

 

 

 

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Grill Repair Help Installing Oval Burner With Two Venturi Pipes.

Oval Burners in gas barbecue grills were extraordinarily common for a very long time.  Just about every barbecue grill company that existed 15 years ago has had some model with a single or double venturi tube Oval Grill Burner.  This video tutorial is designed to help understand how to install an oval barbecue burner and was shot using a Char-Broil model.

Oval barbecue grill burners have been used in thousands and thousands of different barbecues, broilers,  gas griddles, grills and even fireplaces and fire pits!

Oval burners — like H burners and figure 8 burners — often have a single or a double venturi tube in order to control the burner with one control valve or two control valve.  I have seen ovals split up into three sections with 3 venturi tubes connecting three burners but I do not recall seeing any more than 3 connections.  In short the Oval burners are extraordinarily versatile and very commonly used by grill manufacturers.

Please direct any questions or requests for assistance or repair parts for any kind of barbecue grill please contact

Majestic Grill Parts  at  www.Grill-Repair.com  and 954-2-GRILL-2.

 

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Gas Cylinder Explosion At Company Barbecue.

Once out of idleness and curiosity I looked up LP cylinder explosions.  A propane tank explosion is an incredible and awesome thing to see.  The ones I looked at not only blew approximately 20′ high but then set-off ignition of other propane tanks in the area.  In Colorado this article:

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_26178056/gas-grill-explodes-at-surveygizmo-barbecue-east-boulder?source=rss

reports a company barbecue event exploded only 5 minutes after lighting the barbecues.  According to the fire fighters on the scene:

Investigators said the fire likely began where the grill hose attaches to the gas tank hose.

A propane barbecue using the ever-common LP cylinder will have a soft rubber hose attached to the gas manifold which is where all the control valves are attached so each valve can pull gas from the pipe and spray gas into the burners.  At the end of this rubber hose is the LP regulator and a plastic hand-wheel which threads to the thick threads on the outside of theLP tank valve.  This type of connection with the plastic hand wheel and thick external threads on the propane cylinder are called “type 1 QCC” connection.

A common LP regulator is designed to function for approximately 5 years.  Most regulators will last plenty longer than 5 years but it is always a good idea to swap the hose and regulator every 5 years.  Also always check the LP cylinders which have to be certified every 12 years in order to be safe.

One final thing to check is the threading itself.  Because the threads are so thick it is possible to attach the type-e-1-QCC regulator connection a little crooked.  Usually a crooked connection will have difficulty pressing the release inside the tank valve so we’ll get no gas flow at all but it is possible to tighten the connection tight enough to press the seal and release gas but the gas will leak around the connection in addition to flowing through the low pressure LP regulator.

When in doubt, pour soapy water all over the connections.  just like looking for the leak in a rubber tire, leaking gas will blow bubbles in the soapy water.  Be aware.  Cooking with propane is safe but as with anything be aware of the limitations, certification dates and leaks that could explode!

 

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Grilling Vegetables — On The Grill!

There’s not a lot of “press” about grilling vegetables like there is all kinds of stuff (most of it ridiculously superfluous regurgitation or not at all about actual “grilling”) about grilling meats but grilling vegetables is one of the few ways of cooking vegetables that keeps them full of flavor, crispy and hot.  While most of us dump vegetables into a microwavable bowl to heat or simmer on a cook top it is a lot less common to hear of anyone taking advantage of the intense grilling heat for veggies.

Steaming, boiling, or “nuke”ing vegetables usually leaves them soggy and wet.  Grilling vegetables is like keeping the crispy-ness of a raw veggie but still hot and full of flavor.  For smaller sized foods there are vegetable pans that have lots to slits or holes in them and larger foods can go right on the grill.  The only other way I know to cook vegetables and keep them food crispy, hot and full-flavored is in extremely hot oil stirred fast while insanely hot.

Vegetables can be cooked on the grates of an infrared gas grill because pressurized infrared burners will put a thousand degrees at the cooking surface.  However, in this article I just read:

http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/how-to-grill-vegetables-and-make-the-most-of-those-hot-1605885852

the author suggests using the charcoal barbecue at high meat-searing temperatures for red meat and then grill vegetables before allowing the red charcoal to cool.   Infrared grilling and wide-open-vent-charcoal grilling are some of the hottest ways of cooking.  Most gas cooking appliances are really broilers that do not get hot enough to be grills and do not add any flavor so cannot be really called barbecues or smokers.  Smoking can be useful but takes only certain types of foods that will not get all wet and soggy.

Whether using an infrared gas grill or a very hot charcoal grill, the heat for grilling vegetables is best very hot, very direct and fast.  We grill fast with intense heat so veggies get hot and stay crispy whereas cooking too long can make the food soggy.  The article above is not bad with descriptions for peans, green beans, corn and asparagus (which can get disgustingly soggy and squishy when boiled or cooked slowly).

 

 

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Change Old BBQ Igniter To Faster Stronger New Ignition

rotary piezo on left being replaced by electric module on right.

rotary piezo on left being replaced by electric module on right.

Change an old manual barbecue grill ignition module to a new, battery powered, and stronger ignitor.  This short video shows to look behind the control panel to determine if we have space for the spark generator box and then drill through the control panel to  install the new module.

Video Direction To Change BBQ Grill Ignition Module

There are a lot if different types of gas appliance ignition modules and switches but this instructional video shows the all-in-one type of spark generator being installed into a very old DCS “A” models, a newer DCS “BGA-27” model and an older “DCS-132” model gas grill.

Need assistance with your barbecue, grill, smoker, fireplace?  Contact us at:

Service@Grill-Repair.com

Grill-Repair.com

954-2-GRILL-2.       (954.247.4552)

 

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DCS Gas BBQ Grill Manifold, Control Valve, Control Designs.

Dynamic Cooking Systems — often referred to as DCS — started revolutionizing the outdoor grill over 30 years ago.  Today there are a lot of grill manufacturers who have adopted the original DCS design ethic using American made materials, 304 outdoor stainless steel with life time warranty coverage and adding new technologies for both better cooking and convenient use of the appliances.  Among “high-end” barbecue grills today it is fairly common for grills to have infrared burners, smokers with dedicated burners, internal and external lighting and ignition systems capable of igniting gas in the wettest hurricane.  All the advancements we see among the super-grills of today started with design innovations started by DCS.

DCS Grill Parts

The original DCS models came to be referred to as the “A” model as new changes came about is shown below.  In retrospect the control panel is a mess.  Each control valve has a aluminum gas line extending from the end of the valve to a hard piped regulator which then extends another aluminum gas line to the venturi tube of the burner.

DCS Model A 48 Inch barbecue grill on a cart

DCS Model A 48 Inch barbecue grill on a cart is over 25 Years old.

The original DCS shown here did not even have a stainless steel cart.  Today a stainless steel cart for a DCS 48 inch model like this one would cost upwards of two thousand dollars — only for the cart.  The carts of today have sliding drawers for LP cylinders with access doors and sealed drawers and some of the stainless carts even have built-in condensers so the stainless steel drawers are refrigerated with outdoor-rated refrigeration.

The first DCS changed what we the residential backyard cook accepted as a barbecue worthy of our love of being with our families in the backyard of our own private castle.  Most barbecues back then were completely manufactured for cast iron or cast aluminum and there were still a lot of models back then that were solely post-mounted grills which is a design left over from the original gas broilers that were the very first outdoor gas appliances.

dcs a model control valve and gas manifold

DCS 48 A Modell control valve gas line regulators and manifold.

After several years of broiler evolution a couple of oven and stove manufacturers designed the DCS barbecue as a gas barbecue grill capable of broiling, of smoking, of grilling and containing a range-top for saute and boiling water.  The grill alone was practically an outdoor kitchen all by itself.

The design, materials used in fabrication and the features were revolutionary for the time and the reverberations are still felt in the grill designs of today, several decades later and long after DCS has been a real competitive grill company.  The internal design was less important so long as the grill worked reliably since the warranty would never really run out.  As time went on the internal controls became simpler and more efficient but these original “A” models were convoluted regarding the controls.  The main gas line attaches to a manifold pipe and all the control valves are attached to this main gas pipe.  The valves pull gas from the manifold to deliver gas to the burners but this original DCS has several steps between the valve and the burner.

DCS 27 D model barbecue grill

The early version of the D models by DCS were identical to the B models except for the burners and radiants.

The DCS model that came after the “A” model was the “B” model.  The way the model number would be listed is:  DCS48B-BQARSL with the “R” meaning this model has a rotisserie, the “S” that there is a smoker and the “L” standing for Propane.

The image here is not a “B” model which had cast iron burners and lava rock radiant shields but is a “D” model.  The “D” model changed mid-course but the controls inside the control panel exposed here were the same in the B model and the early D model.    We can see DCS cleaned up the internal controls considerably in this next iteration.

Instead of the control valve leading into other types of regulation and various connections for the gas line the “B” model put a gas orifice on the tip of the B model control valve and the placement of the gas manifold allowed the valve to slide directly into the end of the burner.  The gas manifold in this image is being repaired so it is drooping a bit but if we look closely we can see the control valves attached to the manifold and we can see the venturi tube front of the gas burners where the valves will mount when ready to be put back together.

The B model was a huge advancement because of the changes in the controls.  However, all we would notice as a backyard chef is that the push-button piezo module was replaced with a rotary module installed for each burner.  By the end of the “D” model production DCS will have started using battery controlled modules but in the early D models the main difference was the porcelain rod radiants and stainless steel U shaped burners as seen in this image.

The “D” model was really where DCS became very famous and popular worldwide, breaking free of the famous reputation only within the grill manufacturer industry.  The D models had all the main features of the later BGB models which persist today.    After the “D” model was a short lived model called the “E” model.  The letter not only fell in line with the alphabetical order of the models but the “E” model plugged into a 110v electrical outlet and was the first gas grill to use and to need this kind of power.  The reason for the power was that the rotisserie motor had a mounted plug to plug-into and the rotisserie had a small halogen light that could be used to illuminate the grilling grates regardless of whether we used the rotisserie as a motor.

dcs e model controls

DCS E model control panels are back to being convoluted again.

The real reason for the 110v power was the new DCS ignition system.  The new igniters were called glow-plugs because the tip of the electrode inside the grill glowed like a light bulb as it quickly became hot enough to ignite gas emitting from the burner any time — no matter the weather a glowing hot electrode would ignite the gas.

The “E” electronic models have a small black ignition button next to each control knob so each of the DCS burners had a control switch to activate its own glow-plug electrode.  The original glow plugs worked off a transformer plugged into the wall outlet and the transformer box mounted in the bottom of the grill.  As we see in this image this led to a lot — a lot! — of wiring inside the control panel.

Every once in awhile a breeze blows from behind the grill.  With the hood down and heating food inside the barbecue there is a vent at the top back of the grill hood where hot air is able to escape as the grill heats and heat circulates inside the closed lid.  When wind blows from behind the grill the heat is able to roll forward to the control panel and damage electrical wires and sometimes can get hot enough to even damage modules, valves and melt control knobs.  With so many controls in the grill a simple problem will have a very expensive solution.

What I guess is interesting is that the very first DCS had a very busy control system but was followed up quickly by a model with a very simple control system.  This efficient control design lasted over a decade before the E series models again became very confusing inside the control panel.  After the “E” models which only lasted a year or two the nest grill was the BG model followed by the BGA and then the BGB models by DCS.

dcs BGB model control panel valves and manifold

DCS BGB model control panel manifold, valves and ignition assembly is much cleaner.

The BG  models by DCS became the pinnacle of the achievement.  This is the control panel of a BGB48-BQASRL model gas barbecue grill.  The manifold pipe is not encumbered by a dozen wires.  In the foreground at the far left of this image is a 9 volt module which is controlled by one single ignition button.  All the igniter electrodes in the DCS are controlled from this one 9v module so every electrode in the grill sparks when the one, single button is pressed.  The controls are very simple and effective in this model and the BGB model by DCS has out lasted all the other DCS models and all other barbecue models because it has not changed now in over 10 years.

Today grill manufacturers that are getting a lot more of the sales than DCS have caught up and surpassed DCS in terms of customer service, manufacturing material quality, cooking technology and grill design.  Mostly this is because just after revealing the BGB model, the original owners of DCS sold the company.  A few owners have had DCS since then with the most recent being a Chinese fabrication company.

The BGB models are still the best grill DCS makes although they have attempted some new ideas like the Liberty series which is a series of appliances meant to be bolted together in a long row of cooking equipment in an attempt to supplant the growing custom outdoor kitchen industry.  This did not work.

When the original owners of DCS sold the company the new grill that was revolutionizing outdoor cooking was Thermal Engineering Corporation, or TEC.  TEC did not begin life as barbecue grill fabricators but they invented a burner that pressurized gas to create over one-thousand degrees of direct heat within 60 seconds of ignition.  No one could compete with this and the high-end grill companies who have prospered have done so by not fighting the improvement but by integrating the infrared technology in their own grills.  Today Firemagic, Solaire, Alfresco, AOG, OCI and even a handful of chinese imported models have all integrated infrared burners in their barbecue grill models.

TEC Infrared Burner.

DCS never did integrate this technology.  DCS has sold a few barbecues here and there mostly because of their incredible reputation but as customers become more savvy to what is working and reliable DCS falls further and further from the number one spot they held for so long.

Fortunately from the original “A” model to the final BGB models DCS gas grills were always made to last a very, very long time in even the worst climate.  We, alone have thousands of customers with DCS grills here in south Florida and we provide service and repairs as necessary.  Although I would not sell a new DCS to a customer today the customers who have DCS grill models in their backyard should never have to buy another high-end barbecue because as long as the DCS barbecue is nominally taken care of, it will continue to function well and keep on grilling forever.

DCS BGB36 built in bbq grill island

DCS BGB36 built in bbq grill island in Miami, Florida right on the ocean.

 

Need Help with A DCS gas grill or any other barbecue grill repair?

Contact Majestic Grill Parts at:

954-2-GRILL-2 (954.247.4552)

Service@Grill-Repair.com

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Custom Outdoor Kitchen for School Kids To Learn To Cook

The city spent two million dollars to build this custom outdoor kitchen and a small green house for children to use in school.  We build a lot of custom outdoor kitchens — I would seriously argue we build more custom outdoor kitchens than anyone else in south Florida and use the best products with the best warranties.  However, even the largest outdoor kitchen, even the outdoor kitchen with the most appliances and accessories, even the outdoor kitchen with the most expensive materials has not cost anywhere neat one million dollars and Brooklyn spent two million dollars?!

http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/outdoor-kitchen-unveiled-at-p-s-216-1.6572334

What’s even more strange the link above will take you to a video from a local news station in Brooklyn with shots of the custom outdoor kitchen.  The whole outdoor kitchen was built as if it were indoors with appliances used indoors.  Even with 2 million dollars this is not a long term solution.

custom outdoor kitchen is the largest island

largest custom outdoor kitchen with built in DCS grill and accessories

I think the largest custom outdoor kitchen we have ever built was fourteen feet on each of four sides of the counter top.  The island has counter height sections and bar height sections with overhang seating.  The island has a 48 inch DCS grill with a life time warranty plus an outdoor UL rated refrigerator, access doors, cubby holes, sealed ice cooler, hot and cold running water and electricity.

However, I can assure you this island did not cost more than $50K never mind two million!

 

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Convert BBQ Grill Gas Type, Natural Gas or Propane With Orifice Plugs.

Convert a gas barbecue grill from natural gas to propane or propane to natural gas with orifice plugs.  Generally if we have to convert an orifice fabricated for LP use into an orifice that will burn NG all we need to do is determine the correct size and drill the orifice.  This is because LP as a vaporized gas has a much smaller mass than NG and this means the LP orifice will have a much smaller hole than the same BTU’s for NG which needs a much larger hole in the orifice.  Using the regulated pressure, BTU’s per burner and an orifice drill bit we simply check the chart to determine the right size and drill the orifice to make the smaller LP opening into a bigger NG opening.

If we are converting a BBQ grill from natural gas to propane we will normally have to remove the NG orifices and replace them with LP orifices because the larger hole cannot be made smaller.  Unfortunately a new orifice drilled for LP gas is not always available for every barbecue grill on the planet.  Necessity is the mother of invention — if we are converting a barbecue and cannot locate new orifices we have to figure out how to make that larger NG hole into a smaller LP hole.

spud orifice drilled for use in a NG gas grill

A Spud orifice has male threads and this one is drilled for NG

This Spud style orifice is from a NG barbecue grill and it is not a brass fitting of a size that we have new orifices that can be drilled to whatever size we want them to be.  In order to convert this barbecue to use liquid vaporized propane we need to make the hole in the orifice smaller.

If we are able to buy a replacement orifice that can be drilled to the size we need that should always be the right move.  Often finding a replacement orifice is not possible and because the valve and orifice can be fragile we need the size and threading to be exact.  Using the original orifice is about as exact as we can get.  When a replacement is not available we will ruin and then repair the original orifices to make the larger natural gas hole into a smaller propane hole for our low pressure appliances: barbecues, grills, fireplaces, fire pits, side burner ranges and smokers.

spud orifice to be drilled.

Spud orifice to be drilled for plug.

In order to seal the hole the first step is to get a brass orifice plug and match the cylinder tube of the plug with a drill bit.  I use a “21” orifice bit which is Huge and only needs to be reamed back and forth a little bit.

Drill the Huge hole in the orifice.  At this point the orifice is totally ruined if we do not plug it correctly because Nothing needs this big of an orifice opening.  Drill the orifice taking care of the size based on the plug and being careful not to damage the threaded inner walls of the back of the orifice when working with small spud style orifices like this one in the picture.

 

 

 

drilled spud orifice matched to plug

spud drilled to match brass plug

Once we have drilled the large hole in the orifice we need to check it with the plug.  Sometimes we’ll need a bigger drill bit or only need to ream the drill bit back and forth a little to open the hole.  The plug should start into the hole but not go in easily.

Use a hammer to lightly farce the plug into the hole.  Be careful not to hit the soft brass so hard we ruin the original orifice.  I usually start with slight taps and work up watching the plug.  Use a strong solid base; nothing ruins the strike more than a moving table or soft floor that will move when hit.

match drilled orifice hole to plug and punch

Match the cylinder of the plug to the hole in the orifice.

We also have to match the back end of the orifice with the large part of the punch.  The small tip will be small enough for the back-end of the plug but as it increases in diameter note that larger diameter will be hit into the back of the orifice and will tear the brass threads if it is too bog to fit into the back opening.  This punch shown in the image is a part of the kit and there are bigger punches but not smaller ones.  When I need a smaller punch I use a small phillips-head screwdriver as a punch and spreader so I do not tear the orifice.

Remember the whole reason we’re going through this process is because replacement orifices are not available and we have to use our original orifices.  Check twice so you do not rip the orifice and have to replace an entire valve simple to change the orifice.

plug the hole in the orifice

plug the hole in the orifice by hand and then with a hammer.

Once we have chosen a good punch we need to get the plug into the large hole we drilled into this spud orifice.

Use a hammer to force it through.  If you over-drilled, deal with it by testing at the end and using a plumbers putty when you replace the leaking plug.  Optimally we want the plug too tight to be able to be placed by hand.  We want it to be forced with a hammer so it is as tight as possible.

 

 

plug the orifice hole with brass plug

plugged orifice seems tight but is not completely filled, yet.

Makes sure to sink the plug into the orifice completely so the head is tight against the head of the orifice.  We want the enlarged part of the plug to completely hide the hole we drilled so no gas can escape sideways later.

 

 

 

punch backend to spread the plug in the orifice

punch backend to spread the plug in the orifice

Once the plug is tightly inserted from the front of the orifice it feels tight but years of use can change that.  The next step is to solidify the plug by using the spreader punch.  Insert the punch you chose from the back of the orifice inserting it into the hole of the plug.  Smack it with the hammer, hard enough to spread and possibly tear the brass.  Place the orifice upside-down so the rounded plug head is on a solid floor.  This way when we smack the back side of the plug hard we are not risking dislodging the plug from the orifice.  The tubular back-end of the plug that is inside the orifice will be forced to spread and pull the head tighter against the outer front of the orifice.

Orifice plug punch spreads backend to seal the hole

Orifice plug punch spreads backend to seal the hole

I can only barely tell with the small orifice because it is so tight inside the back end of this spud.   The left image is the plug simply pressed into the orifice.  The right image is the plug spread to tighten the plug into the orifice tight enough to keep it there forever (or until we have to change it again and remove it by drilling through the plug).

redrill NG or LP opening in grill orifice

Drill Newly Sealed Orifice For Correct BTU’s and Fuel Type.

Once the plug is forced tight into the orifice the result is a orifice with the threading we require to attach to our barbecue grill control valve but without a much-too-large hole drilled in an orifice designed for use burning natural gas.  Now our orifice is sealed and we can drill the orifice with what ever size orifice drill bit we need.

Determining the orifice hole size means knowing the gas type, amount of regulated gas pressure and BTU’s for each burner.   For instance LP standard regulators will regulate vaporized liquid propane at 11″.  Like any plumbing gas pressure is generally measured in pounds per square inch.  Gas fireplaces, barbecues, grills and smokers use a very low-pressure setting well below one pound per square inch so we measure the pressure in terms of water-column displacement.  In a manometer the gas pressure is attached to a tube of water and the pressure is only strong enough to push the water so far in the tube.  Natural gas has more mass but is usually regulated between 2 inches and 9 inches whereas LP is always regulated at 10-11 inches for low-pressure appliances.

Orifice sizing charts will be in columns of Inches starting with 2 and moving up to 11 inches for LP gas.  The rows of the chart will show BTU’s.  We find the BTU for the burner and match the proper BTU in the column of regulated gas pressure we’re

valve orifice burner assembly

Manifold feeds gas to control valve, through gas orifice into burner venturi air shutter and into the BBQ grill burner.

using and that tells us the size of the orifice we will need.

As Always if we need assistance, contact Majestic Grill Parts.

954-2-GRILL-2 (954.247.4552)

Service@Grill-Repair.com

http://www.Grill-Repair.com

http://facebook.com/GrillRepair

 

 

 

 

 

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Weber BBQ Grill History of Top Quality?

I just read this article from a guy who was discussing his first Weber charcoal barbecue and how the design changed what we would accept in a charcoal cooker.  He goes on the go through the other barbecues he has owned and what he thought was great or not about other models.

http://www.chicagonow.com/vociferous-envoy/2013/08/weber-grill-a-chicago-original/

I have to say this is poorly timed.  Until about 5 years ago I would say Weber is the Only barbecue to buy of you are going to spend less than a thousand dollars.  Nothing else is worth the money.  The old Spirit and Genesis models would cook reliably well past their 10 year warranty.  Today when our customers ask us to deliver a new barbecue grill and haul away their old Weber we actually rebuild them and give them away because these old Weber models that were made in America will keep on cooking.  Even when they are in really bad shape a couple hundred dollars  will replace the grates, flavorizers, burners, ignition assembly and warming racks.  Within a couple of hours the model will be as useful as the day it was brand new.

In 2007 Weber’s purchase of Ducane was being brought in from China and started selling in the giant box-stores and they decided to test the Spirit and Genesis models as imports.  By 2010 when the Weber-Stephens family sold off managing control of the company most of the manufacturing was being done overseas.

The Spirit and Genesis barbecues today are nowhere near the quality they were in 2006 and earlier.  I would not take one for free.  My opinion.

Fortunately there are not a lot of ways to cheapen the charcoal kettle grills other than reducing the quality of the fabrication materials and workmanship.  I do still like the charcoal kettles and I even like the portable Q grills they make today.  I do not like the gas barbecues Weber makes at all.  Assembling the barbecues out of the box is as scary as assembling much cheaper barbecues.  The shelves often break as they are being assembled, bolts snap while being threaded, thin steel pings and dents from being adjusted or moved.

The unfortunate truth is that Weber is selling the equity of the long term respect built around the brand name.  They are no longer proving to be a force of quality among low-end barbecues but are simply one of many inexpensive, short-term appliances; they just cost more because the name used to mean something.

 

 

 

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