Outdoor grill: starter won't throw spark


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Old 07-06-17, 05:09 PM
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Outdoor grill: starter won't throw spark

I have an Element grill that I love.

A little overzealous with the burgers Monday night, I started some fireworks of my own - the drip tray ignited. Because of the vents' design, dropping the lid and killing the gas wasn't quite enough to smother the flame... As it began crawling along the outside of the bowl (like a recent London apartment), I put it out with a box of baking soda.

Cleaning, as you can imagine, was a bit of a mess!

Here's the issue
The electric starter won't start it anymore. It still has "potential" - if I hold a small piece of metal in its path, the spark jumps from the solenoid to the metal. But if I take the metal away, it only clicks - it won't throw a spark to the gas burner tube.

As an interim measure, I have put a paper clip in one of the burner tube's holes, and that will catch the spark and ignite the grill.

I have sanded the burner tube to expose as much bare metal (it appears to be copper) as I can. But still, it only lights with the paper clip there to force a faux contact.

What else can I try? I mean, it works, but....


Thanks!
 
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Old 07-06-17, 07:08 PM
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Is there an adjustment on the gas tube to move it closer? Does the spark have a blue tint?
 
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Old 07-06-17, 07:22 PM
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Looking at the manual it looks like there is a long electrode or spark tube. It looks like it could be readjusted or bent closer to the burner for better ignition.
 
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Old 07-07-17, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ShortyLong
Is there an adjustment on the gas tube to move it closer?
Nope.


Originally Posted by ShortyLong
Does the spark have a blue tint?
Hm. The grill is in bright daylight until about 915 tonight, so I can't tell! Will report back...


Originally Posted by PJmax
... it looks like there is a long electrode or spark tube. It looks like it could be readjusted or bent closer ....
I don't think it can be readjusted. I tried bending it as a first course, but to be honest, was afraid of snapping it!

What's interesting is, when I was experimenting, I was cleaning the burner tube with a metal file. And holding the metal file on the top of the burner tube, the spark would reach the file - which is actually a titch farther from the side of the burner tube, which is where the spark should reach. So I was wondering if there was something about the conductivity that could have changed (or if grease or baking soda or both) was somehow blocking it. Not that I can see, but....
 
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Old 07-07-17, 10:17 AM
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Oh, wait. Clarifying question for shortylong:

Is your question: "What color is the spark?"

Or, "Is there a spark?"

There is a spark, which I'm sure you inferred. Jumps to "clear" metal - paperclips, ******* files - put in its path, but not the burner tube.

ETA: Hah! When I type "b a s t a r d file", the filth police blanks out the word before "file"! Ha ha!
 

Last edited by rjbinney; 07-07-17 at 10:21 AM. Reason: To assert my gol dang 1st Amendment rightz!
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Old 07-07-17, 10:22 AM
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Since it's a privately owed site, 1st Amendment rights don't apply!
 
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Old 07-07-17, 12:55 PM
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Yes, my question was what color is the spark? All sparks should have a blue tint.
 
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Old 07-07-17, 04:07 PM
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It sounds like the spark is not directly at the burner. The metal doesn't need to be bright and shiny. The spark will jump right thru.
 
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Old 07-07-17, 04:10 PM
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The starter can be replaced if it is weak or bent. Very easy to do.
 
 

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