Gas Grill Troubleshooting After Winter & How to Fix It

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 12/15/22
Gas Grill Troubleshooting After Winte

It’s been a long, cold winter. Some fine weather finally arrives. You decide to fire up the outdoor grill and enjoy the hint of the approaching summer, but something’s wrong. The grill won’t ignite, and you’re back in the kitchen again.

This scenario is unfortunately quite common. After several months of disuse, gas grills can develop one issue or another that impairs its functionality. But there's no need to run out and buy a new grill just yet. With a few adjustments and maybe a spare part or two, you’ll be cooking in no time.

Liberty Home Guard can help you sort out the problem with your grill. Below is our guide for troubleshooting gas grill issues.

Fired Up: A Troubleshooting Guide for Gas Grills

Before you tinker with your grill, consider a few safety precautions. Ensure your gas tank’s valve is turned off unless it’s necessary to open it for troubleshooting purposes. If you begin to smell gas, allow it to dissipate for several minutes before you spark the igniter or light a match. And, of course, don’t attempt to troubleshoot or repair your grill while it is hot from recent use.

Troubleshoot your grill in a well-lit and properly ventilated space. Outdoors are ideal. Listed below are the most common problems that afflict gas grills—and their solutions.

  •         One or more burners do not ignite.

A grill that won’t spark a flame has either an igniter problem or a fuel problem. Some grills have multiple igniters; others have just one for all burners. If your grill has more than one igniter, test them all to isolate the problem. If at least one burner turns on, then you know that you probably don’t have a fuel problem.

If you have just one gas grill burner not working, the igniter may be clogged. Consult your owner’s manual as needed to identify where the igniter is. You will likely have to remove the grill’s grates and burner shield. Use a damp cloth, cotton swab, toothpick, or other appropriate implement to clear the igniter of grime.

If cleaning the igniter doesn’t resolve your problem, there may be an issue with the wiring. A replacement switch isn’t particularly expensive. Contact your grill’s manufacturer for a new part.

If all the ignition switches fail to ignite, check that there’s sufficient fuel in your tank. You can’t necessarily go by the gauge on the tank or grill itself. The tank’s gauge may be faulty, reading that the tank is full when it’s in fact low on gas. Grill gauges often use a simple spring mechanism that adjusts according to the weight of the tank. This mechanism can become jammed or corroded, leading to incorrect readings.

When your tank is full, you should be able to smell gas while the lines are open. You should also be able to bypass the igniter and carefully light the grill with a match or long lighter. If your grill has only one ignition switch, successfully lighting the grill in this manner would tell you that the switch needs to be cleaned or replaced.

If you’re certain that you have plenty of fuel, but cannot smell gas or light the grill manually, there could be a clog or kink in your fuel line, or the regulator needs to be replaced. Consult with your grill’s manufacturer or a professional repairperson.

  •         The grill does not get hot enough or has a weak flame.

If your grill ignites but doesn’t get hot enough, follow the steps below for gas grill troubleshooting. Low flame issues are common and most often caused by a faulty regulator. You could replace the regulator outright, but you may be able to successfully increase the flame by carefully restarting the grill. Shut everything down and close the fuel valve tightly. Disconnect the fuel line, open the grill, and set all the control knobs to high. Wait several minutes, then turn off the control knobs. Reconnect the fuel line and gradually turn on the fuel valve. Reignite the grill and test the flame.

If the above process doesn’t solve your problem, remove the burner shields and check the gas holes for clogs. You can pick out accumulated grime with a toothpick.

  •         The grill flares up or produces a lot of smoke.

Excessive smoke and flare ups can be due to the kind of food you’re cooking, or they could indicate that your grill needs to be clean. If the problem occurs only occasionally, particularly when you’re grilling something with a high fat content, you can adjust your cooking technique. Fats and oils drip down through the grates. If they hit a hot flame, they combust. Prevent flare ups on gas grill burners by positioning your food so that it is not directly over an intense flame. Use a lower flame setting or set your food between burners.

If the problem persists whenever you use your grill, regardless of the food or grill setting, you likely need to clean your grill. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations and thoroughly scrub the grill interior, grates, and shields. Clean or change the drip pan as well.

  •         There is uneven heating across the grill’s cooking surface.

Virtually all grills have non-uniform surface temperatures. Corners, edges, and spaces between burners will naturally be a bit cooler. If you notice a sudden change in the temperature differential, check your burners. The gas holes beneath the shields may be clogged, inhibiting the flame’s intensity. You also may need to adjust or replace the venturi tubes. Contact your grill’s manufacturer for more specific assistance.

How to Keep Your Appliances in Great Shape

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you clean and maintain your gas grill on a regular schedule, you’ll stave off the corrosion and grime that cause most grill problems.

Of course, staying on top of maintenance is important for the health of all your home systems and appliances. When you need a little help, reach out to Liberty Home Guard. You can use our home warranty policies to service and repair nearly all your critical home equipment. We’ll tailor a policy to your needs to save you time and money.

Use our website for a free quote or call (866)-432-1283.

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