Having troubles with your burners? If you're struggling to get them lit or noticing large discrepancies in heat across your plate, it usually signifies either a blockage somewhere along the burner or the burner itself has gone caput. Although you can generally expect to get at least a decade out of a set of mild steel burners, more from stainless steel, things can happen.
In certain environments, corrosion and pests can become a big problem for any BBQ burner. Not to worry, we're here to help and guide you through troubleshooting common problems with your burner.
Check the Burner
To make sure the burners are still working properly and not blocked or worn out, you need to fire the BBQ up. It should be a healthy blue flame. If the flame is blue and even the full length of the burner, then all is fine.
If the flame is yellow in colour this can mean a couple of things. Firstly, yellow flame means rust. If the burners are too rusty, the flame turns yellow and gives off black smoke (carbon smoke) which will accumulate underneath the hotplate. This eventually can build up and actually insulate the hotplate from the flame, which prevents the hotplate from getting as hot as it should. These burners need to be replaced and the underneath of the hotplate needs to be scraped back to remove the carbon build-up.
If the burner has an uneven flame, high one end, low the other, this can indicate that you have a blockage in the burner. Possibly a spider, wasp or similar has made a home in there. You will need to put high-pressure air down the burner tube to remove this blockage. If left unchecked you will eventually have a completely blocked burner, which can cause a blowback of the flame. This is when the flame tries to get through, but can’t, and shoots back towards the gas taps. It makes a big ‘whoosh’ sound and can often shoot flames back out near the taps.
Please note: Rust is not covered under warranty.
How to Clear Burners
If you've diagnosed that your burners are blocked, you can use the following methods to clear them.
Blow compressed air into the burners
Gently tap the burners to loosen any build up inside
Carefully poke a long probe down into the burner
Island Gourmet Elite Lighting Issues
If you're having trouble lighting your IGE, read on below for some tips to get things fired up again.
1. Slow down the lighting process
Often we see people trying to light these too fast. You need to use a slow and deliberate action to light the burner. When you push down the knob, this opens the gas tap, so the longer you hold down the more time you're giving gas to flow into the burner, where the spark will ignite it. On top of this, the thermocouple (bronzey looking probe next to the electrode) needs to detect the flame to stop the flame failure system from kicking in. If this thermocouple cant get hot, it will shut off the gas. To ensure this, keep holding the knob down after ignition for another 15 or more seconds.
2. Ensure proper installation requirements were met
IGE's have strict installation requirements that need to be met in order for the unit to operate smoothly. This includes having 400cm squared open ventilation into the cabinet so that the burners have oxygen to breath. Also, any natural gas unit needs to be installed by a certified gas fitter, who can check that the pressures between the house and the hose and regulator are all in check.
3. Check for blockages
Same as BBQs - pests and other undesirables can easily make their way into the burner tubes and prohibit gas from flowing. Simply lift up the cooking plate and visually inspect the burners. Especially check for debris blocking the burner slits around the ignition point. This is a common problem for grill plate IGEs as they are susceptible to fat and food debris dripping down onto them.
Replacing Burners in Barbecues
If your burners are past the point of no return and you need new ones, you will need to procure the services of a gas fitter. The process of removing and replacing a burner is complicated and requires knowledge of gas fittings and proper safety procedures. Heatlie strongly discourages trying to do it yourself.
Check out all our other Cleaning and Maintenance guides to get your BBQ in tip-top shape for the summer.
You can purchase new burners from our online store by clicking here!
Avoiding Problems in the Future
Temporary fixes are never the best answer. It's always more beneficial to pre-emptive strike before an issue appears. Here are a few tips to avoid burner lighting problems.
1. Regularly check and clean your burners. Removing carbon build-up, both from the burner and the underside of the plate will avoid large problems down the track.
2. Keep a cover on your BBQ. Protecting your BBQ and all its internals such as the gas taps, knobs and burners helps to shield them from damaging elements like wind, rain, cold and hot sun. All can have negative impacts over time. A heavy-duty vinyl cover does the job perfectly.
3. Get your BBQ checked and inspected by a gas fitter. When in doubt, consult the professionals. If your BBQ takes some heavy usage, getting a gas fitter out to check over the internals every couple of years could be very beneficial.
4. Plug the holes. If you live in an area, such as in the country, where pests like rodents and insects are a common problem, you might want to plug up the accessible areas of your BBQ. Don't make it easy for mice, rats, wasps, spiders etc. to get inside and build their webs and nests. Use whatever materials necessary to clog up the open gaps, but just don't forget to remove them before lighting up the BBQ again!