When BBQ Grill Control Valves Go Bad.

by grillrepair on June 25, 2011

Why did my barbecue grill control valve go bad?  This is one question we hear more often than I would have guessed.  The barbeque grill valve is a very simple machine that is like a simple ball valve that slide across an oval shaped opening allowing more flow as the pieces slide across one another.

Within the control valve is a body housing the sliding parts and there is usually a few notches and a spring to cause some tension so it feels right for the user.  The inside of the valve does have – and need – lubrication grease.  When a valve goes bad it is usually because there has been a fire in the barbecue at some point and the lubrication got hot enough to overheat, boil and change form.  This stops the grease from properly lubricating the valve.

Control valve for DCS 48" barbecue grill

Control valve for DCS 48" barbecue grill

Once there is a grease fire the valves will usually get a little less smooth when turning on and off but usually this change is too slight to notice.  If it is noticed we usually assume it is part of leaving high-quality machines outdoors and the tension is assumed to be dirt or grease.

A few weeks after the grease fire the knob will not turn.  The control valve will lock or freexe because there is too much frixtion insode the valve and the pieces of steel or brass will not slide across one another.  Most people will try to turn it anyway.  With a little lubricating or de-freasing spray we will try to force the knob to turn and the control valve for the barbecue will break.

Unfortunately a damaged barbecue grill control valve cannot be repaired.  The valve has to be replaced with a new barbecue control valve.

control valve for new ducane barbeque grill

control valve for new ducane barbeque grill

This control valve for the new Ducane barbecues is attached to the manifold. This valve has a rotary module inside the valve and an electrode bracketed to the control valve.  This allows the knob to create a spark that will ignite the BBQ burner as soon as the control valve allows gas into the burner.

Installing replacement control valves to your barbecue grill manifold.  The control valve attaches to the manifold. The manifold is a pipe that is usually either sprayed with a primer, galvanized or somehow protected.

bbq grill control valve for charbroil and Grand turbo, Turbo Select models

bbq grill control valve for charbroil and Grand turbo, Turbo Select models

The manifold in any barbacue grill is attached to the gas line.  The manifold is fed the natural gas or vaporized liquid propane and the gas fills the pipe.  The control valves mount differently to the manifold depending on the design of the bbq grill.  The drawing here is of a control valve used to repair Charbroil barbecues and Grand Turbo and Turbo Select barbecue grill models.  This valve has a clamp on the bottom to allow the valve to be tightened using the screws on the clamp that fit around the manifold pipe.

barbecue grill control valve replacement for DCS gas bbq grill

barbecue grill control valve replacement for DCS gas bbq grill

The second valve shown here is a control valve replacement among the BBQ grill parts used to repair DCS barbecue grills.  The valve is very similar to the Charbroil valves listed above except the DCS (Dynamic Cooking Systems) replacement control valve has a threaded bolt that attached to the manifold.

Both barbecue control valves have to have an orifice attached to the tip that fits into the grill burner.  The orifice is the same in a lot of different valves because there are not a lot of variation.  Primarily a spud style orifice screws into the tip of the valve and a hood style orifice screws onto the valve.  The orifice is like the jet in a carburetor; it allows a specified amount of gas to flow through a small hole in the tip.

Converting a barbecue grill from natural gas to propane or propane to natural gas is completed by changing the orifice on the valve.  Propane orifices have a much smaller hole in them than natural gas orifices because liquid propane is a tighter gas.  Propane is actually a liquid with a very low boiling temperature.  When liquid propane boils it does the same thing water and other liquids do — it vaporizes and becomes a gaseous form of itself.  Because propane is still very cold when it reaches a vaporisation (boiling) point the gas is very tight and needs a smaller opening than natural gas.

viking gas bbq grill control valve and orifice

viking gas bbq grill control valve and orifice

As seen in the Viking gas grill control valve here the orifice attaches to the tip of the control valve.  The orifice is installed inside the venturi of the barbecue grill burner so gas is sprayed directly into the burner.  This hood style orifice is the same orifice that will go onto gas grill control valves for Charbroil, DCS, OCI, Grand Turbo, Turbo Select and many other valves to repair gas grills.

Turbo STS control valve and igniter.

Turbo STS control valve and igniter.

This is a control valve with rotary module and electrode.  They were standard on the Turbo STS 720-0057 models made in China.  Turbo STS gas bbq grill control valves.They commonly had bad o rings if over heated which was a common problem with the maintenance of that particular model because of the heat shields/briquettes.  Grease would accumulate and eventually a minor grease fire followed.  The heat from the grease fire would be either very hot and damage the o-ring that sealed gas flow through the manifold or less extreme fires would boil the grease inside the valve housing.  The former problem caused a leak at the manifold and the latter caused the valves to “freeze” eventually locking in place and breaking when forced.

Once a control valve has been overheated and it starts to freeze and lock in place there is very little that can be done to repair the grill part.  As normal maintenance spray de-greaser regularily on and around the valve.  Do not ever take the valve apart.  Also, use a lubrucant around the valve stem where the knob stem attachment rotates.

Finally there are a number of bbq grill control valves that are adjustable.  Although the function will probably be missed if not pointed out there is an adjustment screw in the stem.  Remove the control knob from the front panel of the barbecue grill.  The valve stem on some bbq grill valves appears split in half.  Most valve stems will have a flat section called a “D” because of the resultant profile when the round shape has a flat section removed.  When the valve stem is split it is often because the control knobs can be made tighter or looser and weather and environment affect the plastic knob.  Some control valves will have a very (very) small set screw down inside the valve stem.  Put the eye to the valve so the stem is pointing right at the eyeball and look down the valve stem into the body if the valve.  If there is a small set screw inside the valve stem this adjustment will allow the entire range of the valve to be altered.  When altered the amount of gas at “high” will become higher or lower but the “low” function will also raise or lower relative to the motion of the set screw.

When a valve begins to leak at the manifold it can usually be repaired by resealing the connection but if the valve body is leaking it must be replaced.

For further information, to ask questions or to find gas barbecue grill replacement parts contact us at:

Grill-Repair.com

954.2.Grill.2 — 954.247.4552.

service@grill-repair.com

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

grillrepair May 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm

If a clamp-on valve we have the gasket. Threaded should use teflon tape. Call for assistance 954.2.GRILL.2.

JR July 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

“When a valve begins to leak at the manifold it can usually be repaired by resealing the connection”…
Any particular suggestion as to what sealer to use? Apparently the gasket between the valve and the manifold on my Kenmore is not sold by itself, meaning a $0.25 part forces the user to pay $90 or so for the whole manifold.

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