TEC is Thermal Engineering Corporation and is the inventor and original manufacturer of the infrared grill burner. Although today TEC makes different types of gas grills the ceramic topped infrared burner system was the original TEC design and has been copied by other grill manufacturers all over the world.
There are a lot of annoying features to the older TEC models because TEC was not a grill manufacturer when the company invented the burner that would change the world of grilling — and eating. As one example the TEC Sterling 2 and 3 models install the burner venturi tube to the control valve before placing the hood orifice onto the valve. This makes the burner impossible to remove from the grill without going into the controls and removing the orifice. No one else in grill
manufacturing does this. Typically the orifice is installed onto the valve and then the burner venturi tube fits onto the orifice so the gas flows through the opening in the orifice and into the burner tube. TEC is different with the orifice acting as additional support that holds the burner inside the grill.
The other odd feature of the older grills is the pilot flame. Instead of mounting a piezo ignition so the spark ignites the gas at the top of the burner TEC igniters spark at the pilot to light the pilot flame. When the grill control valve are turned on so gas emits from the burner the pilot flame lights the burners which means we turn the pilot flame on and then access the grill ignition to light the pilot so the pilot can light the burners.
The TEC Sterling 28 was the first version of the infrared gas grill and the infrared burner was as wide as the entire grill but the burner was divided inside the casing so the left valve controls the left side and the right valve controls the right side. The pilot is installed so the pilot flame hood sits in-between the two halves of the burner and the pilot flame will light both sides of the infrared burner.
This is the gas line that extends from the manifold. The manifold attaches on one side to the gas line and then continues across the front of the grill inside the control panel. The control valves attach to the manifold and draw gas from the manifold to spray gas into the burner sides. This extension from the manifold is what the pilot flame attaches to inside the control panel.
The pilot flame has an aluminum gas line attached to it and a compression fitting with a flare nut or with a flared fitting so the gas line attaches to the manifold without using putty or teflon tape to seal the gas line.