Replace The Entire BBQ Grill Ignition: Module, Electrode, Button, Wires, Collector Box, Everything.

by grillrepair on May 18, 2013

Replace the igniter on any barbecue easily.

See The Video.

BBQ Grill H shaped burner with flames

After the ignition is replaced the H burner in this Thermos BBQ lights in seconds every time.

Because we sell parts to repair any make or model of barbecue grill a lot of customers contact us about the ignition on their barbecue.  Usually the electrode or the collector box bracket needs to be cleaned or the battery in the module needs to be replaced.  However,sometimes the entire ignition does need to be replaced.  What a lot of clients do not understand is that the barbecue grill igniter is not one item be an assembly of parts working together.

Most barbecue ignitors have a module and a battery holder and a button and those 3 items make up the spark generator part of an ignition system.    Where the actual spark ignites the gas emitting from the grill burner is the electrode wire, electrode and the collector box.  Because the electrodes have to be where the gas is coming from the burner the electrodes are subject to all the dirt and grease that also affects the burners and the briquette grates and vaporizer shields.  The electrodes and collector box around the electrodes usually need to be cleaned with a powerful degreaser and s small wire wheel or sand paper.  This is the usual reason an igniter fails — it is dirty where the spark is trying to arc from the tip of the electrode to the burner or the stainless collector box.

All in One gas grill ignition spark generators.

These are two of the most common universal igniter modules because the battery holder, button and module controls are all unified in one piece that can be easily replaced in the control panel.

BBQ Igniter Modules

Many barbecue models have one item that is the switch or several switched on the grill.  Another item is the battery holder or the electronic transformer.  Then there are separate electrodes and collector boxes; one for each burner.  It is easier to work with All In One modules because the all in one module is all one item and includes the battery holder, switch and the module.  Some models will need to use separate pieces because there is not enough room  within the control panel of the barbecue with all the control valves attached to the manifold inside.

When an all-in-one module is able to be used in a barbecue it usually means they will not be difficult to get to or to work on.

 

 

This is the old module we will be removing and replacing.

This is the old spark generator igniter in the Thermos. We will remove this module and replace it with a new igniter.

This is the old module inside the control panel.  Please notice there are four outlets on the module.  Only one electrode lights the burner in this grill so the 1 wire mounts to the electrode.  The other three outlets have to have someplace to go.  Leaving the outlet spades empty will cause them to arc against the other outlets or against some random piece of metal in the barbecue.   This can be dangerous but can also cause the module to arc against itself which means the volts are not being sent to the electrode and the burner will not light.

This module came from the factory with one electrode wire attached the the electrode.  Two other outlets are wired to one another with what it called a “jumper” wire.  The fourth outlet was attached to a ground.  With barbecues like this one the fire box is fabricated with cast aluminum so the electrode bracket does not have an attachment to metal so there is no ground for the system.  The ground must be attached to a steel bolt, but or bracket inside the control panel.  Having an extra ground wire is not necessary if the barbecue is steel or stainless steel because the electrode will bolt to the steel and become its own ground.  However, with the electrode in the path of dripping greases and marinades an extra ground wire in the control panel will make the igniter stronger for longer.

We unplugged the wires on this old module and kept them to use the ground and the jumper wire.  We unscrewed the button on the front of the control panel and then slid

control panel has ignition module through with mounting nut

Place the mounting nut on the threading to hold the igniter module to the grill control panel.

out the AAA battery.  Around the module threading under the button is a plastic nut that holds the module to the control panel when the button has been removed to change the battery so we have to unscrew that nut and then the module will fall inside the control panel.

To install the new module we do the opposite.  We remove the button from the new igniter module and also remove the mounting nut.  We place the module on the inside — or the back — of the control panle so we can slide the “throat” through the hole in the control panel and then we thread the mounting nut on to hold the module tightly in place.  I usually stop at this point because if I put the battery and the button on I will have the ability to lean on the button or touch it by mistake and shock myself.  I leave the button off the top until the wiring is all connected.

 

This barbecue had a failed module in it but the electrode and collector box also looked pretty bad.  With working electrodes we could replace the module, plug in the proper wiring and we would be done.  However, here I can see the collector box that mounts the electrode to the H shaped burner looks pretty rust so I am going to replace the electrode and the mounting collector box while I am in here.

H shaped burner and ignitor electrode box

H shaped burners used to be the most common barbecue burner and there are hundreds of varieties that all work nearly the same.

First I can slide the burner out of the grill since I have alreadt unattached the wires that connect to the ground and the electrode.  The venturi tubes that are attached to the bottom of an H burner slide over the tip of the control valve under the grill.  The ends of the venturi tubes are perforated to allow air to be sucked into the venturi tubes while gas is being pushed in to the tubes.  Gas needs a mixture with air to burn just like any other kind of gas.  To remove the burner tilt the H so we can see or feel the venturi tubes sliding off the tip of the control valves and orifices and then lift it out and place the burner on a table upside down so we can see the bracket and electrode.

 

 

 

Electrode collector box for ignitor on H burner

The collector box over the ignition electrode allows the single spark to ignite gas on the left side and the right side of the H burner.

 

The electrode has a collector box over it to allow the electrode to be attached to the H shaped grill burner.  However, the electrode collector box also covers the electrode to protect the miniature spark plug from marinades, dripping, dirt, etc.  The collector box also allows gas — the burner ports are bigger near the igniter — to be collected right where the spark needs the gas to be in order to ignite.  This design allows the gas emitting from the burner to be collected at the center.  The H burner is divided into two different burners inside the structure.  The left control valve only controls the left side of the H burner and the right control valve controls the gas flow to the right side of the burner.  However the igniter is in the center and the collector box is designed so gas collects in the front center of the burner so the electrode is capable of igniting the gas regardless of whether the chef is turning on the right side of the burner, the left side of the burner or both sides of the burner.

 

 

Remove the H burner from the grill keeping gas tubes secure.

Slide the venturi tubes off the valves straight and then rotate the H burner assembly to slide the burner out of the fire box of the BBQ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To remove the old electrode and collector box we have to remove the burner, flip it over and loosen the screws on the panel that holds the venturis to the H burner.  Do not totally remove the panel or loosen a lot because this can damage the gaskets that seal the gas connection.  The gaskets can be replaced but to remove and replace the ignition electrode we only need the plate loose enough to pull out the flat tab and insert a new one.

this is the old electrode on the H burner
Note the damage to the wire that caused the failure. Also the rust on the collector box stops the electrode from sparking.

 

There are a few electrodes that come with a bracket collector box and can be used on H burners.  Several electrodes mount the same as the originals with longer or shortes brackets and thinner or wider collector boxes.

new electrode and collector box and wire on old bbq burner

The new electrode collector box bracket has a long tab that slides under the venturi mounting plate. Tighten the plate back down and the electrode is locked in place.

 

This is the electrode we went with.  The electrode was originally designed for an old Charmglow barbecue from way back when the Charmglow had an H burner and were made in America.  The parts for these old models are still available (which is funny because new ones almost never have factory parts) and the electrode were designed to fit any H shaped burner so we can use this bracket here or on any H shaped burner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The universal electrode and bracket will also mount to H burners

Universal electrode with bracket can mount to any H burner, oval burner or butterfly burner because of the long slotted bracket and the angled collector box design.

 

This is a universal electrode and has never been used as a OEM factory part by any company.  However, the long bracket, long slotted end and the angle of the electrode and the collector box make this electrode kit capable of replacing hundreds of factory electrode assemblies.  In this instance we could loosen the bracket a little more and then slide the collector box bracket under the venturi mounting plate.  Once the electrode wire is plugged into the module the electrode will stay right in between the right side and left side of the H burner or any oval replacement burner.

 

 

 

New electrode installed in grill

from the top of the burner we only see the top stainless of the collector box but the electrode is sparking inside because the electrode and collector are clean.

 

 

 

With the new collector box in place we only see the clean stainless steel from the top of the old H burner.  Like the top the electrode tip inside the collector box and the inner walls are all clean stainless steel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

module button attaches from outside control panel over battery

Finally insert the battery and screw on the module button that covers the battery to ignite the grill.

 

 

 

Once we replaced the battery and the module button we tested the grill.  We turned on the gas and then pushed the button and the barbecue started immediately.   The new igniters light the grill as soon as the gas begins coming through.

 

 

 

The only pointer to take other than how to replace the modules and electrodes and properly run the wires so they do not short one another out is the use of a grill igniter.  Many times we have had customer contact us because they complain their barbecue takes too long to light.  When the grill has not been used there is no gas in the burners, valves, manifold, gas hose, etc.  The gas only begins to move when it is turned on and both NG and LP move at very low pressure  — they do not move fast through the gas lines.  I usually tell people to either light the lighter before turning the gas on or to allow the control valve to be On for about 5 seconds before pushing the igniter module but this is only a good idea when we are absolutely certain the igniters are working effectively.  If the electrode is not firing well the gas will form a cloud which cn be scary.

 

Majestic Grill Parts can be reached at

http://www.Grill-Repair.com

954.247.4552 —  also 954-2-GRILL-2

Service@Grill-Repair.com

Contact us for any assistance, anytime.

The fast video of this repair can be seen at:

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