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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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