Common gas grill problems

Here are a few examples of gas grill problems and what to do to fix or repair them.

Most of us love cooking outside on a beautiful summer day. Our gas grills offer us the opportunity to cook easy, exciting, and delicious foods. You've waited all winter long to be able to go outside and grill those thick steaks or juicy hamburgers and hot dogs. You've got everything ready, you start your grill, and something goes wrong. There are many problems that you can experience with a gas grill but don't give up and buy a new one just yet. Most problems with gas grills can easily be taken care of. Below are a few examples of gas grill problems and what to do to remedy them.

Gas grills, especially after sitting unused for an extended period of time, can become the home of spiders and other insects. Spiders and insects tend to build their webs and nests or lay their eggs in the venturi tubes that carry gas to the burners. This not only obstructs the flow of gas to the burners but can also cause the gas to back up. When gas is backed up it creates a flashback, or fire, in the venturi tube behind the control panel. This flashback could cause some serious burns. In most cases, the grill will be hard to light or the flames won't be a strong as they should be. If this should happen simply pull out the burner and venturi tube unit and give it a good cleaning. This unit should be cleaned once a year or after the grill has been sitting idle for long periods of time.

If you're having a hard time getting the grill to light, try lighting the burner that is the farthest away from the fuel source. This will allow the gas to travel across the manifold to prevent air pockets, which can obstruct the gas flow. If this doesn't solve the problem, check all the gas connections and make sure they are all secure. Don't forget to check the connections to the side burner as well. Check the LP tank to be sure it is full. Sometimes the ignition wires loosen up and have to be put back into place. Also check the ignition battery, usually a AA or 9 volt, it may need to be replaced.

After several uses, a gas grill can start to have flakes and peelings fall from the inside cover. Don't worry, this is not paint. This is actually a deposit of grease and smoke. Grease and smoke vapors oxidize into carbon and collect on the cover of the grill in several layers. Eventually this will start to peel and flake off. This buildup can be removed regularly with a brass brush or grill cleaner.

If the glass on your grill cover has been broken you will have to replace it. Some grill companies offer a sheet of glass as a replacement part. If the manufacturer of your grill does not offer a replacement sheet then you can replace it yourself with a piece of sheet metal painted with high temperature paint. This looks great and serves its purpose.

If valves become hard to turn it is easier and safer to replace them than to try to repair them.

If the grill is lit and you notice that there are hot and cold spots throughout the cooking surface, this could mean that the burner is bad and needs replacement. Remove the burner and check for rust. This rust can actually eat holes into the burner or cause the burner to break in half.

The way in which the flames burn can give several clues as to what is going on with the grill. Flames can be erratic, flare up, or blow out. If the flames are erratic, check all the gas connections and fuel level. The grill may also need cleaning. If the flames are flaring up you may need to check the flavor grids or cooking grates for excess food buildup. The drip tray may need cleaning. Flames tend to blow out if it is a windy day or if the gas tank is too low.

Regular cleaning and maintenance can keep most of these problems from occurring in the first place. Check your owner's manual for specific ways of maintaining your gas grill.

© High Speed Ventures 2011