Replacing a grill igniter is two of my favourite things - cheap and easy. Plus of course, there's nothing more satisfying than a push button to start ANYTHING. So when it's broken, life gets a little bit sadder.
My 85 year old mother Betty diagnosed, ordered the part for and fixed her own propane BBQ last week. It involved a screwdriver, swearing and cocktails. If that doesn't sound like FUN then don't worry. Because in this case, where your ignitor isn't working, I've done the diagnosing and figuring out for you; all you have to do is follow the instructions and mix up a Mai Tai.
Betty's problem was a bit more involved than an ignitor that doesn't work.
How do you know if your igniter isn't working? You don't hear the click, click, click sound it normally makes when sparking. No click, click, click means no spark means no way for the propane to ignite.
The Two Reasons Your Grill Igniter Isn't Working
If you don't get the "click, click, click" when you press the button on your BBQ igniter there are two possible reasons:
- The batteries inside it are dead and need to be replaced, or
- The igniter itself is worn out and the whole unit needs to be replaced.
A new igniter (or ignitor as some people spell it) can be bought online or at your local big box store for less than $10 in the U.S. and around $15 in Canada. It only takes 5 minutes to replace.
I understand. You're alarmed. You had NO idea it could just be the batteries and you feel like an idiot. Don't worry about it. We all feel like an idiot at least 25 times a day.
You're also intrigued by the possibility that this is an easy fix with a $10 part that you can quickly do in secret and then reveal on grilling night to accolades, applause and maybe even someone fainting.
I don't blame you.
To replace the igniter button you have to remove the old one by unscrewing it from the BBQ housing and unplugging the wires that lead to the burner tubes.
You install the replacement part in reverse by attaching the burner tube wires and then screwing it all into the front of the BBQ again. That's it!
This video is the real deal, a live walk along with me as I install a BBQ ignitor in real time.
If your new universal igniter doesn't fit into the hole in the front of your grill, don't worry about it, you can resolve that with a drill. Just drill the hole bigger with a metal drill bit so it can accommodate the new, larger igniter. Strong snips could also be used to do this. If you do use a drill MAKE SURE YOU WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. Very few people can pull off an eye patch.
If you like grilling you HAVE to try this Indian Street Corn. It's basically as life changing as being able to start your BBQ with the push of a button.
Make this one of those little start of summer jobs like washing the patio furniture or building up a flip flop toe callous. Fix it now and u can click start your way through grilling season.
Link to Amazon US Universal Igniter
Link to Amazon Canada Universal Igniter
You should have your own tv show!
Kay, um ... I feel a bit silly here ... 'cause I don't know if you're joking or not. But I kindda do have my own show. :) Currently on W Network in Canada! That one's done, tho ... so if you have another show for me to host, let me know! :) Go to http://experts.wnetwork.com/Entries.aspx to have a look at a quick little webisode from the last show. Or maybe you were joking. Uf. Feel like a dolt either way! :)
Oops! Sorry-I'm not in Canada so I wasn't aware. Glad you do. Just wish I could watch it!
Hah! That's O.K. I have a single line in my "About" section so I didn't know if you had seen it and were joking.
Looks easy enough. I actually made the mistake this week in helping to fix our hay baler. Now I can no longer fake ignorance. In that anyway. I still have no idea how to fill my car's gas tank! ;)
Amnesia. Claim amnesia.
What I usually try in a situation like this is to say, " I just don't (fill in the blank) enough to remember how to do it. Sorry, Honey. I wish I could help. I'll just sit here and hand you your tools." Funny enough, though, my oldest daughter (9) now says, "Dad, your poor wife can't do that, she's just a woman. Here, let me help."
I only 3 hours ago found this blog, and I have a general comment, not specific to this post (although I did recently inherit a grill with a broken igniter).
This site is the Eames-chair-side-of-the-road-find of my internet life. You are every thing I want to be in life. Except Canadian.
A. That is one of the nicest comment I've ever received. Plus the most clever! Thanks. Hope you keep visiting! - karen
You are fantastic! I think I became empowered after watching my mom feel so powerless with most jobs around the house. My dad of course would never fix a thing. Recently, I repaired my front brick steps, we had a few fallen bricks. I love setting a great example for my girls that women can do anything! Thanks for reinforcing that belief. I look forward to following you. Now to fix that damn ignitor. Arggg...
:) The ignitor is easy! You may have a bit of figuring out to do but you'll do it. LOVE your ittybitty bags by the way. The burlap ones are my fav.!
I JUST got your exact same grill on craigslist yesterday and the ignitor did not work, replaced the bat and still did not work. There was a spring on the inside that the bat went inside, i pulled that up and stretched it out a bit and it worked like new. Funny I stumbled on this one day later.
Hey Jason - I'll keep the spring-thing in mind! - karen Good luck with your new grill.
Today was the day I found your blog site and have perused it for the best part of the day. Good thing Sundays are mine to do as I please! I have to say I'm more than impressed :)
I have a terrific tip for food encrusted BBQ grates...Always keep a piece of tin foil pressed down on the grates after each use. Keep it on while preheating the next time you BBQ, or leave the BBQ on for an additional 10 minutes after cooking (not my recommended way, as I forget to return to turn the BBQ off!)Viola! The tin foil and heat combination reduce the stuck food bits to dusty ashes :)
p.s. The foil piece can be re-used time and again.
hi karen i have a large wooden mirror that i would like to spray paint silver i think i know how to do that... what i am looking for is some ideas on how to dress the mirror os it not just plain silver. i like butterflies
Thank you. This is my favorite DIY because it was just a battery change to fix mine!
LOL. Well then. That's perfect! ~ karen
With havin so much content and articles do you
ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
My website has a lot of unique content I've either created myself or outsourced but
it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any
techniques to help protect against content from being ripped off?
I'd certainly appreciate it.
Feel free to surf to my weblog ... g Pen vapor Ecig Reviews
If one or more ignitors are working, but one or more are not, the problem could be broken porcelain insulators on the ignitors. On my BBQ half the insulator is in the flame area and half is not, so thermal stress (an apparently unknown phenomena to the designer) cracked the insulators right at the metal bracket.
OK, did the guy naming these parts not know how to count OR WHAT? "If it has 3 wires running into it you need a 2 wire igniter, if it has 5 wires running out of it, you'll need the 4 wire igniter."