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Help! My Grill Won’t Light – Top three things to do when your grill won’t light

Help! My Grill Won’t Light – Top three things to do when your grill won’t light

We’ve all been there, a perfectly seasoned meal ready to be grilled to perfection. You go outside to light your grill, and it just won’t light. What’s going on? You scream, “Help! My grill won’t light!” but that won’t solve your problem, and definitely won’t get dinner on the table. Don’t panic, we’ve got the top three things to do when your grill won’t light.

Find out whether it’s the weather

Is the day damp, or cold, possibly both? Look, you don’t like being cold or wet, and neither does your grill. If you’ve noticed that yours doesn’t like to light on days that remind you of London fog (no not the delicious warm drink) there are a couple of reasons that your grill may not be lighting.

Your grill may have trouble lighting in the damp weather because our nifty JETFIRE™ Ignition System has a ceramic base for the electrode where the spark comes out. Although that ceramic base is ideal for helping the JETFIRE™ Ignition System light your grill, it is porous and will retain moisture. If this is the case, manually light just one burner using a match, and leave the grill on with the lid closed for 5 minutes. This will warm everything up and dry it all out. The grill will happily light from there.

“If lighting the grill with a match, clip the match into the supplied lighting rod. Hold the lit match down through the grill and sear plate while turning the corresponding burner valve to high.

Have patience


It’s been a long day and you are hungry; but are you giving your grill enough time to light? The JETFIRE™ Ignition System isn’t the same as a traditional electronic ignition. There is only one spark when you turn the knob and hear that click. If you haven’t given enough time for the gas to get there, the spark won’t kindle anything. Allow the gas to flow for 3 to 5 seconds before turning the knob all the way; ensuring there is fuel for your fire. This is especially true for your Infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ Side/Bottom Burner. There is more surface area for the gas to get to. When lighting the SIZZLE ZONE™ remember to let the gas flow for at least a count of five before attempting to light. It is important to know how to light a BBQ and how to light an Infrared SIZZLE ZONE™.

Dirty Grills


Okay so you’re being patient, it’s a gorgeous summer’s day, and the grill STILL won’t light! Have you checked to make sure your grill isn’t dirty? It’s the work of a moment to ensure that the electrode is clean. Just gently buff the electrode tip with some fine grit sandpaper; something from 150 to 200 grit will do admirably. While you’re there, double-check the JETFIRE™ pilot bracket (where the gas comes out); you may have an insect nest blocking gas flow. Use the little brush that came with your grill to clean that out. Now you should easily be able to light your grill.
Check out our article about insects and the sticky situation they can put you in.

Have you tried...?


Before you despair that your dinner will never get cooked, and sneak into your neighbor’s yard to use their Napoleon, try these last three tips that will help.

  • Make sure that the pilot bracket and electrode are lined up.
  • If there’s no spark or a faint one, but the electrodes are clean, make sure that the wiring harness to the electrode is correctly connected and undamaged.
  • Make sure that the ceramic base for the electrode is undamaged.

For more great tips on maintaining your Napoleon Grill check out our articles about What to do When You Get a New Napoleon and Fantastic Grills and How To Care For Them.

Dinner never tasted so good


There’s nothing more satisfying than a delicious meal, hot off the grill, but it will be even more delicious if you solved a minor issue, what to do if your grill won’t light, all by yourself. Keep watching the blog for more handy maintenance tips. For more fun things that can be done with your grill, try our Facebook feed instead. Don’t forget to visit our Recipe Blog for inspiration on your next culinary creation too.

Happy Grilling