It’s common to hear someone say that their old Weber gas grill is still going strong, but it doesn’t light properly. They have to light it with a match through the manual lighting hole in the front of the grill.
Sadly, it’s also common for some grill owners to think it’s time to toss and replace an old grill when it won’t light.
Difficulty in lighting is a common problem as a gas grill gets older. The solution is to install a new igniter kit. Doing so is cheap and easy on older Weber grills and just slightly more expensive and difficult on more recent Weber grills. Either way, it’s cheaper than buying a new grill and it’s a job that I’m confident you can do…so read on!
Buying The Correct Igniter Kit Is Key
Weber has used a variety of igniter kits over the years for different grills. Some kits are mechanical, some are electronic. Some include multiple igniters, some include just one. The wires may be longer in some kits and shorter in others. It’s important to get the right kit for your grill because even kits that look alike may not work properly in your specific grill.
Weber does not list the replacement igniter kit part number in your grill’s owners manual because these part numbers may change over time. The best way to make sure you get the right kit is to call Weber Customer Support at 800-446-0171. Give them your grill’s model name and serial number and they’ll tell you which part number you need. Alternatively, if you’re buying at a home center or online, read the box label or product description carefully to make sure the kit covers your specific grill model and year.
Types of Ignition Systems
Prior to the mid-2000s, Weber used a mechanical piezo ignition system in gas grills. When you depress the ignition button, a spring-loaded hammer hits a crystal, generating a high voltage discharge that travels through wires to a ceramic igniter in the firebox, creating a spark next to the burner tube and lighting the gas. These older systems make a loud metallic “bang” noise when you depress the rectangular ignition button. Each time you depress the button, a spark is generated. Continue reading Replacing Weber Gas Grill Igniters→
Sometimes one of the challenges to restoring an old Weber gas grill is just being able to identify which model of grill you’ve got.
A couple of months ago, I posted some information on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board about deciphering old Weber gas grill serial numbers. It comes from Dave Weaver, a TVWBB member with inside information on how the older grills were serialized.
This 1996 Genesis Platinum Series II restoration by TVWBB member Jeff MA of Fitchburg, MA is one of the finest, most comprehensive restorations you’ll ever see of a Weber gas grill.
It features almost everything you might encounter in a restore project, including frame repair, firebox cleanup, screw hole repair with QuikSteel, a little welding, repainting, polishing, parts replacement, logo emblem refinishing, new propane tank scale and hose connector, plus a brand new side burner for good measure.
To the untrained eye, this circa 2005 Weber Genesis Platinum C gas grill looks like a piece of junk, ready for the scrap heap. But Scott P. from Porter, TX knew better. He picked it up on Craigslist for $50, gave it some spit and polish, and it’s ready for many more years of grilling.
Scott gave the grill a thorough cleaning inside and out, then removed the storage enclosure and did some repair to the floor pan using a rust converter, bonding primer, and graphite spray paint.
A little more polishing of the stainless steel and gray painted surfaces and this gasser was ready for action!
“The burners all work well. It got up to 500°F in about 6 minutes and 600°F a bit later,” says Scott. “I could have spent more time sanding and grinding to smooth out the rust and old paint, but I was looking to do this quick.”
It’s not uncommon to encounter a rusted-out screw hole when restoring an old Weber gas grill. How do you repair a rusted-out screw hole? In some cases, it’s easy enough to clean-out whatever remains of the hole and replace the original screw with a bolt and nut. But in some cases, you’ll want (or need) to repair the screw hole so the original screw can be used again.
Here’s a beautiful restoration of a Weber Genesis 2 by EdW from Silver Spring, MD. He’s documented the process in a series of posts on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.
The restoration included a complete disassembly of the grill, repair of the rusted frame, replacements of many internal parts, repainting of the frame/firebox/lid end caps, and some beautiful new woodwork on the work surfaces.
The cooking grates had been recently replaced by the previous owner and the Flavorizer bars were in pretty good shape, but there were plenty of issues with broken bolts and rust on the frame that needed to be addressed.
THyde also replaced the burners, ignition system, and control knobs. And of course, there was lots of cleaning and cosmetic work to be done to make this beauty shine like new again.
TVWBB member KellyMc from Austin, Texas picked up this 1998 Weber Genesis 1100 redhead on Craigslist for just $45.
“I spent about $160 on paint, wood and finishes, warming basket and shelf, catch pan and holder, cover and a propane tank,” says Kelly. “I’ve used it half a dozen times already and it works great. I like it so much better than something new that would have cost twice as much or would have been half as well-made.”
What really stands out about Kelly’s restoration is the woodwork. “I used cedar from Home Depot — 1x2s for the side shelf and just plain fence pickets for the bottom shelf. The handle is the original wood, which seems like very cheap pine, with the gray paint sanded off.
“I sanded everything thoroughly and did 3 or 4 coats of teak oil. Then I sanded again and topped with spray-on spar varnish. I think I did 2 or 3 coats, sanding between each. It looks quite nice and seems plenty water-resistant. I keep it completely covered between uses, so I’m hoping it stays looking great for a long time.”