grill will not light. i have a full tank and the starter sparks

by jeff schaffer
(sidney, mt. )

Grill rarely used. I called the 800 # and have waited almost 2 hours for a reply, please help.


Check that you have a flow of gas. If the starter is sparking and your burner is not igniting then there can be only one issue - no gas is getting through.

You can check for the flow of gas simply by turning the burner on and smelling - propane gas has a chemical added (I think it's called maleneosic) that makes it smell so that you can detect a gas leak.

If there's no gas coming out of the burner the inspect visually and with you nose for potential leaks anywhere between the tank and the burner - do no test with a naked flame!

If you believe there is a leak, double check with soapy water - it will bubble exactly where the leak is. If you grill is rarely used it could be that the gas hose has degraded.

If there's no leak and still no gas in the burner then you clearly have a blockage and this could be either in:-

  • the tank faucet - remove the regulator, open the faucet and check for flow of gas
  • the regulator - connect the regulator and again check for flow
  • the pipe
  • the burners

At each point test for the flow of gas and you'll eventually find the blockage. I stress again with all this testing, do it outside and nowhere near a naked flame, cigarette etc.

If however there is gas coming out of the burner then try lighting with a match rather than the ignition spark.

See Also:-

Barbecue Tips
About Meat Smokers
Outdoor Kitchen Barbecue Islands
Tabletop Gas Grill

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Comments for grill will not light. i have a full tank and the starter sparks

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Nov 21, 2021
Plugged ports
by: Steve

Cleaned all of the ports under the ceramic insulator where the gas ignites from the spark. Once done, it works like a charm.

Nov 02, 2021
There is gas, lights with match but no with starter sparks,
by: Marc in Ottawa

Well, I see sparks, I smell gas... but the gas does not ignite. If I light a match, it ignites. What's wrong with my spark??

Jan 01, 2021
won't stay lit
by: jim

I just purchased a CAVEMAN table top grill. It ignites quickly but when you let up on regulator it goes out. I bought a new butane tank, no change. I know that it is something simple so any info will help. Thank you, jim,

Jun 20, 2020
New tubes, new igniter, but nothing
by: Howard E

I just replaced the burner tubes on my Weber E-310, and at the same time I replaced the entire piezo igniter system. The igniter has been snapped into the exact location specified. I put in a new battery, and when I push the button, it clicks loudly. If I turn on the first gas valve where the igniter is located, the igniter will NOT ignite the gas (which I can easily smell), but a match lights the gas immediately. It is currently 55% humidity. What is the problem?

Jun 12, 2019
Wasn’t starting it correctly
by: Anonymous

I found that I was just turning the starter knobs and not pushing it down to flood the gas around the spark. It was just lacking gas around where the spark was and that’s all that wa wrong.

Apr 24, 2011
Gas Grill Starting Problems
by: Dean

All propane tanks built in the last years have an excessive flow regulator. If it senses a leak in your system it dramatically reduces the flow out of the propane tank. This often happens if you have a burner in the "on" position when you open the propane tank valve.

First thing is to turn everything off, meaning the tank and all the burners.

Open the propane tank valve first.

Then turn on the burner you want to light.

Utilize the starter.

After it is lit then open the other burners.

This seems to be the most common problem my friends have had with gas grills.

Hope this helps.


Apr 21, 2011
Vapor lock
by: Anonymous

If you have a side burner, you can get a vapor lock in the line. Turn off all valves, then turn on side burner and light with a match. If it lights, turn it off, then try lighting the main burner again.

Apr 21, 2011
Will not light
by: Bill

Have you tried lighting the burner with a match or propane fireplace lighter? I frequently have problems with piezioelectric type lighters. For the lighter to work, it must spark, and gas must actually get to the spark. Often, gas is flowing to the main burner, but the port intended to direct gas to the lighter is plugged. Also, wind can blow the gas away from the lighter. If gas is flowing to the main burner, it will light with the fireplace tool.

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