Remove And Replace TEC Infrared Burner In Patio And Sterling Model Grills

by grillrepair on March 23, 2015

Remove And Replace TEC Patio 2, Sterling 2 And Sterling 3 Gas Grill Infrared Burners quickly and safely.

Below we have a short instructional video, some descriptions and pictures of TEC infrared burner installations from our own grill technicians to clarify the parts of this burner that generally give clients some trouble.  We’ll begin with the instructional video showing the process to remove the old TEC infrared burner and install the new TEC infrared burner and then we’ll delve deeper into some of the parts of this process that are difficult (replacement infrared TEC burners are available here).

Before watching the video a second time and then working on your own infrared grill, allow us to go a little bit deeper into some of the details that make TEC infrared burner installations a little different from any other  barbecue or grill.

back bracket screw to remove infrared tec burner

Burner back bracket and screw to holding infrared tec burner

Most burners in most barbecues have some kind of a cross-bar that supports the back of the burner so the burner stays level inside the firebox.  The infrared burner in a TEC does have a small “L” bracket that runs the width of the back of the grill so the rear corner of the burner housing fits in the groove to stay level.  However, there is also a small screw in the back bottom of the burner threaded through the “L” bracket in order to lock the burner in place.

Just like that tiny quarter-inch screw-head is not so easy to see in this image the screw is not easy to see in the TEC infrared grill either.  Moreover, the screw is not much easier to remove but we must remove it anyway.  I found the easiest way to get to it is with a quarter-inch socket and ratchet set.  Once the screw has been removed the burner will still sit level inside the grill firebox because the body of the burner is still resting on the long “L” bracket but once the screw holding the burner locked to the cross-bracket has been removed the burner is able to be lifted slightly from the back.

Although most TEC Patio II models and Sterling II and Sterling III models have the exact burner mount design shown here, there are a few Patio II models that do not have the small screw holding the burner locked into the long L bracket in the firebox.   The only way to know for sure is to get into the grill and check.  Once the burner has been removed we can measure the burner from the botto of the burner casing to the tip of the venturi tube.  At the top of the burner the length is longer because of the lip that surrounds the tile top where there are support brackets.  At the bottom there are no supports so the depth at the bottom will be less than the top length measurement.  To know if we have one of the rare TEC Patio II burners without a screw (by the time the burner is removed we should know already but somehow we do not always know this for a variety of reasons) the measurement along the bottom will be 14″ instead of 14.5″ which is the length of the majority of these infrared replacement burners.

The second major difference in how most barbecue grills are assembled and the TEC assembly is completely different involves the control valve and gas orifice.  Typically the general construction of a gas BBQ is that a gas line attaches to a gas manifold pipe which has a series of control valves attached to the pipe.  Each control valve has a small gas jet either threaded onto the valve like a cap or threaded into the valve like a plug.  This orifice jet has a tiny hole that is the limitation for how much gas will pass through the valves.  Typically the orifice jet is attached to the tip of the control valve, exactly opposite the valve stem and the end of the valve slides into the burner tube.  The gas orifice slides inside the burner to allow gas flow to mix with oxygen once the burners are installed onto the orifice at the tip of the valve.

capital bbq grill control valve and orifice attached to gas manifold

Capital Gas Valve Installed to Gas Manifold with a Hood-Tyoe Gas Orifice Mounted On The Tip Of The Valve.

In hundreds of thousands of typical barbecues, broilers, smokers and grill designs the tip of the control valve has an orifice jet that slides into the tip of the burner in order to direct the gas mixture into the burner while supporting the front end of the burner to keep the burner and the burner flame ports perfectly level.

In this image we can see the control valve for a gas barbecue grill by the manufacturer Capital Cooking Systems which is owned by the originator of DCS gas BBQ grills.  This control valve is almost identical to many of the infrared TEC model control valves.  Performing on-site technical service, I have actually used the TEC and the Capital control valves and orifices interchangeable when necessary and they work perfectly for each grill.

We can see in this image that the control valve has been threaded into the gas manifold pipe with a sealant on the threads.  The control valve is now mounted in place and the grill is ready to be out together and used.  The gas orifice cap is already threaded onto  the tip of this control valve and this is the same hood orifice design used in the TEC grills we are discussing.  Since the manifold, control valve and orifice are already installed the only item left to be installed is the gas burner.

Capital gas control valve installed into burner air shutter venturi

Capital BBQ Grill Control Valve Showing Orifice Installed Into Burner Venturi At The Air Shutter.

In this image we are still looking at the same Capital gas barbecue grill control valve except in this image the gas grill burner has been installed.   We can see the hex-head of the gas orifice on this side of the burner venturi tube  and air-adjustment-shutter because the orifice was threaded onto the control valve and then the burner was installed so the center-feed-tube was  mounted onto the gas orifice at the tip of the valve.  This allows the gas to flow through the limitation of the gas orifice which is drilled to a specified diameter based on what is a maximum safe flow of fuel.  The burner can be easily installed and removed onto the control valve because the center-feed-tube is resting on the gas valve which is positioned to keep the burner tubes level.

The infrared burners in the Patio II, Sterling II and Sterling II by Thermal Engineering Corporation are Not Installed like this Capital grill — and thousands of other gas barbecues in the world.

In their defense, TEC was on the cusp of truly innovative technology and has completely changed the world in terms of grilling with the pressurized infrared burner.  Thermal Engineering was not a barbecue grill company so all this engineering and grill architecture was figured out around the infrared burner as though they were designing the very first cooking appliance on the planet.  Had the company been working with a barbecue company the process would be simpler to repair but at the time the real focus was getting this amazing technology for intense heating and flavor into the hands of residential companies.

TEC infrared burner installation on to control valve.

TEC infrared burner installation on to control valve.

This next image shows the TEC control valve installed to the gas manifold inside the TEC Patio II model grill.  Note the control valve is threaded to the gas manifold exactly as we would see inside the control panel of a Capital or a Lynx, DCS, OCI and thousands of other barbecue models.  However, after this TEC control valve was mounted to the gas pipe manifold the infrared burner was installed so the burner venturi tube slid over the threaded tip of the control valve.  Only after the burner was installed onto the tip of the control valve was the gas orifice them attached to the tip of the valve.

No other barbecue grill follows this procession of assembly.

What is different about the TEC gas grill is that the manifold pipe is not bolted to the grill because the installed valve, burner, orifice locks all these individual parts together.  Once the gas orifice is threaded to the control valve from inside the air-shutter opening in the burner venturi tube the burner cannot be removed or replaced without first removing the gas orifice.

When we have to remove a damaged infrared burner from a TEC Patio II, Sterling II or a TEC Sterling III these are the problems we have to address.  Whereas an infrared burner in an Alfresco, Solaire, Firemagic and many others will simply lift out of the grill the TEC burner is locked into the grill by the orifice inside the venturi tube and the small screw in the bottom of the back of the housing.  In the video above we can see these pieces coming apart to free the old burner in order to allow us to reinstall the new infrared burner.  We will need to remove the control panel to remove the gas orifice in order to remove the TEC burner.  Once the orifice has been removed (or after, the order does not make a difference) we will need to get into the small space behind the burner with either a 1/4″ socket or box-end wrench and remove the screw holding the burner in place.

Once the mounting screw and the orifice have been removed we can simply lift the burner from the back and slide it out of the grill.

New infrared replacement burner showing back bracket and mounting bolt.

New infrared replacement burner showing back bracket and mounting bolt.

The new infrared burner for the TEC Patio and Sterling models will install into the grill exactly the opposite.   We slide the venturi tube in first so the air-opening fits through the opening in the firewall and enters the control panel.  In the control panel we can guide the venturi tube onto the tip of the threaded control valve where the gas orifice has still not been replaced.  With the venturi seated on the valve so the threaded tip of the control valve is pressed through the opening in the venturi tube we can set the back of the burner into the “L” bracket cross support in the back of the grill.

Again, the order does not matter but  once the burner is loosely set in place we will want to screw the back bolt in place and reinstall the orifice onto the tip of the valve from inside the air-opening in the front venturi tube.  The New Infrared burner for the Patio and Sterling models is an American made 304 Stainless Steel replacement burner that is much better quality than the replacement burners previously available for these models.  The only differences of concern during the installation is that the air-opening in the venturi is a little smaller than the original TEC and the bolt in the back of the bottom of the burner is slightly larger than the original screw.  The wire mesh screen that protects the top ceramic tile of the infrared burner comes with the burner.

TEC infrared replacement burner burning after new installation.

TEC infrared replacement burner burning after new installation.

This TEC Replacement Burner shown here was just installed and turned on to test for the first time which is a still-frame from the full video of this installation in the video above.  If for any reason this installation TEC burner video is not functioning, the video is available here.     All the new 304 stainless steel replacement burners will have a small rectangle bracket  just left of the venturi tube in order to attach the pilot assembly if a pilot ignition assembly is necessary in that particular model of Patio or Sterling.  The original models used a pilot ignition system but later versions of these infrared models connected the ignition electrodes above each infrared burner to ignite each burner directly instead of igniting a pilot flame that would then ignite the burners.  As you can see in the video and in this image of the burner the extraneous bracket is not in the way when it is not used.

For Any Kind of Assistance and To Locate  TEC Infrared Burners and other grill repair parts contact Majestic Grill Parts at:


954-2-GRILL-2  (954.247.4552)



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