How to Repair a Gas Grill and Restore It

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:
Well I'm rolling out my toolbox because I'm a man on a mission.  My grill over here has been with me for some time.  My wife thinks it's time to replace it.  It's kind of worn out.  I say rebuild it.  So let's get cooking.

First to go are the grills.  Then it's goodbye to the ceramic briquettes, long overdue for retirement.  Now the grate that supports the ceramic briquettes, well it's pretty badly deteriorated.  As a matter of fact, I've even tried to make some repairs on it before by cutting strips of sheet metal and sort of bridging the places where it was totally gone. But I think the time has come for a little better quality repair.

Well now I can see why I haven't been getting the results out of my grill.  Look at these burners. They're completely plugged up right here and here from debris and rust.  And over here, they're burnt through.  Look at these big holes.

Now also, there's an igniter on this grill. If I push this button down here - these units right here are supposed to spark and start the gas. That hasn't worked for a long time.  So I'm going to take everything out.  Now I can turn my attention to the firebox.

The inside walls are caked with years of baked on gunk.  A flexible putty knife takes it off very quickly.  To cut down on the mess, I use my shop vac to catch and dispose of, the loose material.  Well I've gotten most of the nasty stuff off the inside of the fire box.

Now I've noticed that there's some oxidation on the outside, right here.  So I'm going to go after that next. For this, a wire brush is the best tool.  Now because there have been a lot of cooking oils and grease around this, I'm going to do one final thing before I put a coat of paint on here.

And that's to sort of wipe everything down with some denatured alcohol.  A bit of masking tape will keep the spray paint from messing up the control panel.  Well I'd say we're ready to start painting.  Now a grill like this gets really hot.

So you can't use just any kind of paint on it.  What I've chosen is a high temp paint which should hold up pretty well.  Now I find that if I hold the spray can about ten inches from the  surface and make long smooth, overlapping strokes, I get good even coverage.

Rather than just reversing direction at the end of the stroke, I move off the edge and momentarily take my finger off the button. This keeps me from getting drips and runs. Wow, the outside looks terrific.  Now it's time to make it work as good as it looks.

And that means I've got to find some new parts. I've located a garden center a few miles away that stocks repair parts for my grill. 

RON HAZELTON:
Hey, you got it.
JOE:
All set, Ron.  Briquetts, right and left burner, lava grate.
RON HAZELTON:
What about the igniter?
JOE:
The igniters are both on the burners.
RON HAZELTON:
Oh they come attached?
JOE:
Yes, they do.

RON HAZELTON:

Alright, alright. Thank you very much. Got my work cut out for me.
JOE:
All right, thank you.

RON HAZELTON:
Appreciate it, Joe.
JOE:
Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
Ah now for the fun putting all the new parts in.  Just look at this compared to the old one.  I'm surprised this was working at all. Everything was rusted, plugged up here, broken away.  Well bye bye old burner.  In with a new one.

All I've got to do is drop this wire through this hole right here and slip the end of the burner over the valve, just like that. That's all there is to it.  The igniter wires push onto terminals at the igniter button.

Well the burners are in. They're working fine. I've checked them out.  Now I'm going to install the new grate.  Remember this.  It was completely burnt through.  Now this sits above the flame and supports the ceramic briquettes. Here's the new one right here.

Quite a difference, eh?  And it just sits right in place.  Like that.  My new ceramic briquettes are ready to go and it's probably a good time to replace them.  You can see on the old one here how they were getting sort of crumbly.

Well about all I have left to do is to put in my grills.  Here's one and two - attach my table, and I'm ready for some grilling. A few hours ago, my grill may have looked like a lost cause.  Now it looks practically brand new.  What's even more important though is how it cooks.  I'm going to fire it up and find out.  Now this is what I call enjoying the fruits of my labor.

Learn how to tune-up your outdoor grill; includes details on cleaning, repainting, replacing briquettes and installing new burners.

Ron had his old grill for some time, and although it was pretty worn out, he preferred to give rebuilding it a shot rather than replacing it.