How to fix a gas grill that won't ignite
It’s supposed to be simple:
Push the spark igniter on your
gas grill and you’re fired up
and ready for steak. But after
a few years, those piezo-style
igniters stop working. They
bind up and refuse to “click,”
or they click but don’t produce
a spark. Rather than replace
them every few years with the
same trouble-prone style, why
not upgrade to a battery-powered
You can buy a new-style
spark generator and electrode
for about $20 at some
home centers and online (one
online source is grillparts.com). You’ll probably have to
mount it in a different location.
That’ll mean abandoning
the old piezo unit and drilling
a new hole. If you’re OK with
that, grab your drill, bits and a
rotary tool and get to work.
The entire project takes about
one hour from start to fire.
Electronic ignition installation steps
1 of 3
Photo 1: Make a hole
Drill a starter hole and double-check
for fit and clearance. Then
drill the larger hole with a metal-cutting
2 of 3
Photo 2: Grind grooves
Dial your rotary tool up to high
speed and use a cutting wheel to
cut grooves 180 degrees apart.
3 of 3
Photo 3: Connect the electrode wires
Connect the center electrode wire
to the positive (+) terminal on the
spark generator. Then connect the
other wire to the negative (-)
First, connect the wires
from the existing electrode to
the new spark generator and
press the button. If you get a
spark, the old electrode is
good and can stay put. If you
don’t get a spark (and the battery
is installed properly),
you’ll have to replace the old
electrode as well.
Next, find a new location
for the generator that’s within
reach of the electrode wires.
Make sure the new generator
won’t interfere with the gas
valves or supply line. Then
drill the hole (Photo 1).
The spark generator we bought had
side tangs and snap clips to hold it in
place. To accommodate those locking features,
just cut side grooves in the freshly
drilled hole with a rotary tool and a cutoff
wheel (Photo 2). Then insert the new
spark generator, drop in a new battery,
and twist on the push button cap.
Connect the electrode wires (Photo 3).
Test the unit and get ready to grill.