The 9 volt module used by Alfresco, Viking, Solaire and other high-end gas grill manufacturers does not often fail. When most customers call us for gas grill replacement parts they will claim “I need to replace my ignitor.” However, an igniter is an assembly of parts that all work together. Depending on the type of process the assembly of grill parts that make up the ignition system can be as few as 2 pieces and as many as 15 pieces to make up the ignitor.
Usually if there is a fail it is because the electrodes inside the barbecue get dirty. The electrodes have to be inside the grill in order to spark where the gas is emitted from the barbecue burner. Being inside the barbeque also means the electrodes (which are miniature spark plugs) are able to get grease, marinades, spices, sauces, rain, dirt and carbon from burning gas flames that can all interrupt the clean surfaces necessary for the spark to occur.
When our client calls to say “I need to replace my barbecue’s ignitor” we usually answer with: “which part of the ignitor” because it is extraordinarily rare for All the parts of the ignitor to fail. The first thing to do is to replace the battery and try again. Then clean or replace the electrodes and the collector box around the electrodes. If the electrode will not spark, I remove it from the grill and lay it near enough the lid, hood, control panel or anything stainless steel to see if it arcs against that metal.
In order to check the module we usually remove the module from the grill. Unplug all the wires and remove the module and then plug the button back in. Sometimes the button has the battery in the unit and sometimes the battery is installed in the module and sometime the battery is separate all together but it wired to the module and/or the button.
With a new 9 volt battery in the module we press the button to generate the sparks. If the module and the button/switch are functional the naked male outlet spades will arc against one another. If they do not work we will disconnect the button and lay a screw driver or something metal, not coated across the 2 spades that would be wired to the button. Watch the module spark test video by clicking here.
As you can see in the video the module circuit is completed by laying the screwdriver across the switch connection spades. At that point the nine-volt battery is powerful enough that the electrode connection spoades will arc against themselves. We can see the purple arc and we can hear the electricity popping as the connection is made.
Inside your barbecue the connection is more powerful because the electrode attaches to the stainless steel of the fire box and provides a ground for the electrical current. Outside the grill without the ground the module is still powerful enough to generate a spark.
Because we have a client who is having this problem right now, today we decided to post this video as you see it here:
However, the production is not great so we will be re-posting the video in a couple of days. We would like this instructional video to be as useful as all the other instructional videos we have been posting on the site and at youtube as the user name “bbqparts” but we had to get this up in a hurry to help a customer — and we’re here to help customers. We will re-edit the other parts of the testing with better explanations and get our british voice guy to work it out so the video will be replaced in a bit and will be more explanatory then. For now the video shows the module arcing so anyone can see exactly how their module should behave if it is functioning properly.
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