How to clean and repair a gas grill burner and venturi to ensure safe and efficient operation of your gas grill.
Grilling is a popular way to cook, especially in during the hot summer months. Proper care and occasional cleaning are necessary to make sure that the grill operates safely and efficiently.
The burner is the main component of the gas grill and it is exposed to various harsh conditions such as extreme heat, water from cooking or weather, oils and food solids dripping on it and insects using the burner for shelter. Over time the burner will wear out with normal use, but before that happens you can extend the life of your gas grill burner with regular inspection and cleaning.
Tools and Supplies
Newspaper or drop cloth
Thin wire or toothpick
Needle nose pliers
Caution: Only work on the grill when it is completely cooled. It is best not to spray water onto the burners or grates are you have used the grill as you may crack the burner or damage the ignitors.
Removing the Gas Grill Burner
1. Shut off the propane tank and unscrew the regular from the top of the tank.
Disconnecting the propane tank
2. Spread out some newspaper or an old drop cloth and remove the cooking grates, ceramic briquettes and tray or baffle plates.
3. Remove the burner assembly. It should lift out easily by lifting up the end near the back of the grill and sliding it off the venture tubes on the manifold.
4. Screws are not usually used to hold the burners in place, instead look for a clip or a small cotter on the underside of the burner where it sits on the frame of the grill. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the pins.
5. Some grills with electronic ignition have the ignitor box attached to the side of the burner, but this is not common. If the ignitor is attached to the burner, remove it before lifting out the gas burner.
Cleaning the Venturi
It is extremely important to clean the venturi tubes of any obstructions which usually take the form of spider webs or cocoons. Even a partial blocked venturi will reduce the gas flow to cause poor burner performance and a flash fire from gas that has accumulated inside the grill.
Cleaning the Venturi Tubes
1. Use a venturi brush or long pipe cleaner to clean the venturi tubes. Make sure the brush can pass through the curve in the venturi tube.
2. If the venturi tube is screwed onto the bottom of the burner, you may want to remove it so you can flush any debris out with water from a garden hose.
3. If the venturi tubes are rusted or show signs of cracking they should be replaced if they can be removed. If not then the entire burner assembly should be replaced.
Cleaning and Troubleshooting the Gas Burner
The holes on the side of the burner can become clogged easily from rust, food residue, and remnants from insect nests. To eliminate cold spots on the grill burner you should clean the ports of the burner.
1. Check out the burner outlet ports around the perimeter for splitting or separation between the top and bottom. If splitting or separation is present it should be replaced.
2. Brush the outer parts of the burner with a wire brush.
3. Use a small pick or thin wire to clean each gas port. A toothpick may also be used but be careful not to get the toothpick stuck in the burner ports.
4. Gently tap the burner onto a hard surface to release any dirt inside the gas ports.
5. If you have cast iron burners you should clean them more frequently as they will rust under normal conditions and the gas ports can become clogged more often.
Cleaning the burner ports with a toothpick
Caution: Never use any tool larger than the diameter that the port or it will cause damage to the burner.
Once the burner ports and venturi tubes are cleaned, install the burner and connect the ignitor. Hook up the propane tank regulator and hose and light the grill with the baffle plates or ceramic briquettes removed. Look for a steady blue flame with pale yellow tips. Adjust the burner controls from high to low and make sure that the burner stays lit. If the flames are too large or discolored you may be able to adjust the amount of air entering the burner if you have an adjustable air shutter on the gas manifold. Consult your manual on the proper adjustment procedures for your grill burner, but if air shutters are present, they are usually just behind the control knobs for the burner. The shutters may be adjusted with a screwdriver or by rotating them by hand.
Blue flame on grill burner
Replacing your burner
If you need to replace your burner you should keep it until you are sure that the new burner is an exact replacement. It may be from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or a universal replacement. Either way, follow the instructions below to make sure you order the correct burner replacement.
1. Look for the label that is required by the American Gas Association that will list the model number, manufacturer, and the type of gas specified for use. This label should be near the controls, or on the cart.
2. Measure the burner width and length.
3. The venturi tubes should also be measured if you cannot find the label information.
4. If the venturi tube has a bent mixer or a slope in it, then measure from the top to the center line of the tube, after the bend, and from the end to the center line of the tube. If dealing with a straight tube, just measure from top to bottom.
Measuring the burner for replacement
Always use caution when working with gas-fired appliances. If you do not feel comfortable working on your gas grill, you may want to take the grill back to the point of purchase for service or contact the manufacturer for recommendations.