How to Replace a Broken Gas BBQ Igniter.

Replacing a BBQ igniter is two of my favourite things – cheap and easy. Plus of course, there’s nothing more satisfying than a push button so when it’s broken, life gets a little big sadder.


A few years ago reader Katherine asked me how to fix her gas grill igniter.  She had taken to lighting it with a regular lighter but was sick of having to search for the lighter every time she light the gas grill.  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. 

 Sorry if the video is a bit long, but I wanted to show everyone from start to finish that this could be done in about 5 minutes. No fancy editing tricks here. It’s the real deal, tip to tail.

BBQ- Hot Dogs Frenchs Mustard

How to Replace a Broken Gas BBQ Igniter.

Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

How to replace a push button BBQ igniter will cost around $10 and take just 5 minutes.


  • A Universal BBQ Igniter
  • AA battery


  • wrench


  1. Unscrew the ignition button of the starter. (the thing you push to start the bbq) Inside there will be a battery. Remove it and replace it with a new one. THIS little thing might just fix your igniter. If after installing a new battery the igniter still doesn't work, move on to Step 2.
  2. Unscrew the ignition button again and pull the entire starter out from the back of the front BBQ panel.
  3. Make note of how the grill wires enter the starter.
  4. Remove the wires by pulling them out of the old igniter.
  5. Install new igniter by plugging the wires into the same holes.
  6. Reattach new ignitor to the BBQ by pushing it through the back, slipping in the battery and then screwing on the push button.
  7. Test the igniter.
  8. Grill up a hot dog. Or whatever you like.


Before you buy your new igniter you'll need to check to see which kind to buy. There are 2 types of igniters, 2 wire and 4 wire. Just count how many wires there are running into your igniter. 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.

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How to install a BBQ igniter


How to install a BBQ igniter when the one that came with your $1,500 BBQ craps out.

At this point I would like to ask you all to kindly send me pictures of YOUR filthy BBQ grates so I don’t feel quite so alarmed about mine.  I do clean them before I cook on them.  That disgusting crud you saw was the LAST dinner I made on them.  Steak if I remember correctly, with baked potatoes, corn in the husks and red peppers with goats cheese and a balsamic/honey dressing.  You’d think something so good would make for a better looking mess.

Materials you need to fix broken BBQ igniter:

New AA Battery

Some type of wrench for gripping nut (hee … I said nut)

Universal BBQ igniter kit

Possibly a drill and bit for drilling out metal on front of BBQ to house new, larger igniter.  Strong snips could also be used to do this. (if you do use a drill MAKE SURE YOU WEAR SAFETY GLASSES.  Men don’t dig girls in eye patches.)

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.


  1. Alan says:

    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.

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  3. Christine says:

    Thank you. This is my favorite DIY because it was just a battery change to fix mine!

  4. janet says:

    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

  5. deborahinPS says:

    Hello Karen,
    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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Itty Bitty Bag Company says:

    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…

    • Karen says:

      :) 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.!

  8. A says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      A. That is one of the nicest comment I’ve ever received. Plus the most clever! Thanks. Hope you keep visiting! – karen

  9. Langela says:

    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! ;)

    • Karen says:

      Amnesia. Claim amnesia.

      • Langela says:

        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.”

  10. earthpuppy says:

    You should have your own tv show!

    • Karen says:

      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 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! :)

      • earthpuppy says:

        Oops! Sorry-I’m not in Canada so I wasn’t aware. Glad you do. Just wish I could watch it!

        • Karen says:

          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.

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