Why won’t my side burner ignite? Reason Explained

The most common reason why a side burner won’t ignite is because of a clogged or dirty burner orifice. This is the small hole that allows gas to flow from the hose to the burner. If the orifice is blocked by dirt, grease, or insects, the gas flow will be reduced or stopped, and the burner won’t light up. To fix this problem, you need to clean the orifice and the burner with a wire brush or a needle.

How to clean the burner orifice

Before you start cleaning the burner orifice, make sure you turn off the gas supply and disconnect the hose from the grill. You also need to remove the burner from the side shelf by unscrewing the mounting screws. Then, follow these steps:

  • Locate the orifice at the end of the hose that connects to the burner. It is usually a small brass fitting with a hexagonal shape.
  • Use a wrench to loosen the orifice and remove it from the hose. Be careful not to damage the orifice or the hose.
  • Use a wire brush or a needle to gently scrape off any dirt, grease, or debris from the orifice. You can also use compressed air to blow out any particles.
  • Inspect the orifice for any damage or corrosion. If the orifice is damaged, you need to replace it with a new one that matches the size and type of your grill.
  • Reattach the orifice to the hose and tighten it with a wrench. Make sure the orifice is aligned with the burner tube.
  • Reinstall the burner to the side shelf and secure it with the screws.
  • Reconnect the hose to the grill and turn on the gas supply.
  • Test the side burner by turning the knob to the high position and pressing the igniter button. If the burner ignites, you have successfully fixed the problem. If not, you may need to check other possible causes.
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Other possible causes of side burner ignition failure

If cleaning the burner orifice does not solve the problem, there may be other reasons why your side burner won’t ignite. Some of them are:

  • Faulty igniter: The igniter is the device that creates a spark to light the gas. If the igniter is broken, worn out, or wet, it won’t produce a spark and the burner won’t ignite. To check the igniter, you can use a multimeter to test the continuity of the wires and the battery. If the igniter is faulty, you need to replace it with a new one that is compatible with your grill.
  • Low gas pressure: The gas pressure is the force that pushes the gas through the hose and the orifice to the burner. If the gas pressure is too low, the gas flow will be insufficient and the burner won’t ignite. Low gas pressure can be caused by a low or empty propane tank, a kinked or leaking hose, a faulty regulator, or a clogged venturi tube. To check the gas pressure, you can use a pressure gauge to measure the pressure at the tank and the grill. If the gas pressure is low, you need to refill or replace the tank, straighten or replace the hose, adjust or replace the regulator, or clean the venturi tube.
  • Windy conditions: Wind can affect the ignition of the side burner by blowing out the flame or preventing the gas from reaching the burner. Wind can also cause the gas to mix with too much air, resulting in a weak or yellow flame. To prevent wind from interfering with the ignition, you can use a windscreen or a shield to block the wind from the side burner. You can also adjust the air shutter on the burner to regulate the air-gas mixture.
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A side burner is a useful feature that allows you to cook side dishes or sauces while grilling. However, if your side burner won’t ignite, you may miss out on this convenience. Fortunately, most of the time, the problem can be fixed by cleaning the burner orifice, which is the main cause of ignition failure. If that does not work, you can also check the igniter, the gas pressure, and the wind conditions, and take the appropriate actions to resolve the issue. By following these tips, you can ensure that your side burner works properly and safely.