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We answer the question: why aren't all my grill burners lighting and show you how to troubleshoot and resolve the issue with our guide.

You bought a grill with multiple burners for a reason — you had visions of sizzling steaks and veggies grilling simultaneously to perfection on every inch of its surface.

So when one or more of your burners just won’t light, it’s a problem.

Thankfully, it’s likely a problem that you’ll be able to troubleshoot and, in many cases, fix on your own!

In this guide, we’re covering everything you need to know about why you’re down a burner or two and how to bring them back to life.

We’ll explore the common culprits behind burner malfunctions and walk you through the steps to identify and fix the issue.

We’ll dive into all of the essential info you need to get all of your burners fired up in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • Damage or blockage in the burner or carryover tubes, such as grease, debris, or spider webs, is a common reason why some grill burners won’t light, requiring a thorough cleaning to ensure a clear gas flow.

  • Issues with the gas supply, including a low propane tank or a malfunctioning regulator, can prevent burners from lighting and may need checking or replacing to restore proper grill function.

  • Dead or corroded batteries or damaged ignition systems can also lead to burners not lighting, necessitating an inspection and potential adjustment or replacement of the ignition igniter.

9 Reasons Only One Burner on Your Grill Works

A Clogged Burner | A Clogged or Damaged Carryover Tube | Burner Igniter Is Not Working | Insufficient Fuel Levels | There’s a Gas Leak | Your Grill Is in Bypass Mode | A Malfunctioning Regulator | The Air and Gas Mix May be Off | The Spider Check

One is the loneliest number, especially when your grill just has one burner working correctly.

There are a few different reasons why only one burner might light on your grill, all of which are, thankfully, pretty easy to solve on your own.

Like any other appliance, your grill may encounter common setbacks such as blocked burners, a disrupted gas supply, or an igniter needing attention, just to name a few.

Fortunately, each of these can be remedied with some basic troubleshooting. Cleaning out the burners, checking for any obstructions in the gas line, and ensuring the igniter is in working order are some of the steps you can take to resolve the issue.

I’ll cover them all down below.

A Clogged Burner

One common cause for only one burner working is that the other two (or potentially more or fewer, depending on your grill size) are clogged with debris, stopping them from lighting properly.

The fix? A good old-fashioned cleaning. Remove the burners, give them a gentle but thorough scrub, and clear out those gas ports with a pin or paper clip, being careful not to damage the port holes.

You can learn more about the best methods for cleaning gas grill burners in our guide: The Complete Guide on How to Clean Gas Grill Burners

A Clogged or Damaged Carryover Tube

Over time, your carryover tubes, which connect the burners to each other, can get clogged or rusty.

This prevents the gas from flowing between the burners, leading to one or more not lighting.

If you suspect a clog, you can remove the carryover tube and clean it out just like you would clean your burners with a bottle or wire brush.

However, if you notice any cracks or rust on the carryover tubes, it’s time for a replacement. Thankfully, this part is easy to replace!

To find a replacement carryover tube, remove the damaged tube from your grill, measure it, and head over to your grill manufacturer’s website or grill parts store to buy a new one. Install your fresh carryover tube back into your grill, and you should be good to go.

Main Reasons Why a Crossover Tube Is Not Working

There are two primary reasons why the crossover tube, which carries gas between the burners so they can all be lit at once, may not be working.

First, the crossover tube may be rusted. If the tube isn’t so rusted that you can see holes or damage, it’s possible to just clear this rust out with a cleaning brush to get it functioning like new again.

If you don’t see any rust, it’s still possible that the tube is damaged. Another frequent culprit of malfunctioning crossover tubes is cracks that can form over time.

If your tube has cracks, it won’t be functional anymore, so you’ll need to replace it.

Burner Igniter Is Not Working

While most grills only have one igniter, some models come with separate igniters for each burner. So if one igniter isn’t working, those burners wouldn’t work either.

To test this one, turn your gas on and light each burner manually using a long match or a lighter. If all of your burners successfully light, you know you have an issue with your igniter.

Igniters can fail for various reasons, ranging from dead or corroded batteries or electrodes to loose wires, wet weather, and more.

You can learn more about troubleshooting a malfunctioning igniter and how to fix it in our guide on how to replace a gas grill igniter!

Insufficient Fuel Levels

It’s possible that some of your burners aren’t working simply because there isn’t enough fuel to light them.

To check this, weigh your propane tank — if it’s full, a typical propane tank should weigh around 38 pounds and drop closer to 18 pounds when empty.

You can learn more tricks on how to check your fuel level in our guide: How to Check Propane Tank Levels on Gas Grills

There’s a Gas Leak

Your faulty burner problem could also be due to gas leaking from your grill.

When it happens, the flow of gas from your propane tank or natural gas line into your grill is interrupted, stopping it from flowing into the burners and igniting.

Before you test for gas leaks, you’ll need to turn your grill and gas completely off — if you’re unable to do this, evacuate the area and call emergency responders immediately. A grill that’s unable to stop leaking gas is a dangerous situation that needs professionals to fix.

You can learn more about troubleshooting a gas grill leak in our guide: How to Test Your Grill for a Gas Leak and Enjoy Safe Outdoor Grilling

Your Grill’s Regulator Is in Bypass Mode

Bypass mode occurs when the Overfill Protection Device in the regulator on your grill is triggered. This typically occurs when the device senses a gas leak and drops the gas flow to 10% or less to prevent more gas from building up in the grill.

Our first step to troubleshoot this possible issue is, naturally, to perform the soap and water leak test we detailed above. If there is a leak, that’s what triggered the OPD and sent your grill into bypass mode.

If there isn’t a leak, it’s possible that your OPD needs to be reset. To do this, first, turn off your grill and open the lid.

Next, turn all of the control knobs on your grill (side burner included) up to high, and let them run for one minute.

After the minute is up, turn all of the knobs off, slowly turn the gas back on, and light your grill.

If this reset process is successful, all of your burners should light as usual.

A Malfunctioning Regulator

A regulator is another critical safety device on a gas grill that can occasionally act up and prevent your burners from lighting.

The regulator controls the flow of gas between the propane tank and the burners. If a part of the regulator malfunctions, it can cut off the gas supply to your grill entirely.

You can perform a visual inspection to see if your regulator is cracked or damaged. If it is, thankfully, it’s a pretty straightforward process to replace it!

First, purchase a regulator that fits your grill (your owner’s manual should be able to help you narrow it down).

With your gas and burner knobs turned off, remove the existing regulator. Oftentimes, the regulator should twist right off.

Install the new regulator, and give everything a leak test with your soapy water solution to make sure it’s a tight connection and no gas is escaping.

If you don’t see bubbles, go ahead and light your grill.

For more tips on troubleshooting gas grill regulators and resetting the OPD, check out our guide: What Is a Gas Grill Regulator: Troubleshooting Gas Grill Regulator Problems

The Air and Gas Mix May be Off

If your grill lights but the flame remains so low you may not even notice it, the problem likely lies with an incorrect air-to-gas ratio. This results in a weak flame that’s insufficient for proper grilling.

To fix this, adjust the air shutters on the burners to achieve the right mix of air and gas.

To do this, first, make sure that the grill is turned off and cool. Disconnect the gas supply to eliminate any risk of ignition while you’re making adjustments.

The air shutters are typically found at the base of each burner. They look like metal plates or rings with one or more screws holding them in place. These shutters control the amount of air mixing with the gas before it ignites.

Loosen the screw(s) slightly (you don’t need to remove them completely) to adjust the shutters. They should be able to move freely for adjustment but stay in place when not being touched.

Adjust the shutter to open (to increase air) or close (to decrease air). Light the grill and observe the flame color. A proper air-to-gas mix produces a blue flame with yellow tips. If the flame is mostly yellow or orange, there’s too much air, and if it’s a weak blue flame, there’s not enough air.

Continue adjusting until you achieve a strong, blue flame with minimal yellow tipping.

For more troubleshooting tips for achieving a healthy flame on a gas grill, see our guide: Gas Grill Has Yellow Flame? Here’s How to Fix It

The Spider Check: Yes, You Read That Right

Spiders love gas grill venturi tubes as much as we love barbecue. Unfortunately, their web-building can block gas flow. A regular “spider check” keeps the peace between our eight-legged friends and our culinary endeavors.

Conducting routine inspections for spiderwebs in these tubes is important for maintaining optimal grill performance and ensuring safety during our barbecue sessions.

It’s a simple step that might make a difference, safeguarding the harmony between our love for grilling and the natural instincts of our eight-legged neighbors.

6 Easy Steps to Fix Non-Working Burners on a Gas Grill

Refill a Low Gas Tank | Light the Burner Manually | Check the Igniter Switch | Check for a Gas Leak | Reset the Regulator | Clean the Burner

So you’ve narrowed down the potential reasons your burners aren’t lighting. Now what?

Follow the below straightforward troubleshooting steps to get your grill back in working order swiftly.

Just keep in mind, that in addition to these steps, regular maintenance is key to preventing future issues. Regularly cleaning your grill and checking for wear and tear can save you time and ensure your grill is always ready for barbecue season.

Refill a Low Gas Tank

If you suspect you’re low on propane, or you weighed your tank, and it’s between 15-18 pounds, it’s time for a refill.

This is probably the easiest step to fixing a non-working burner — just swap your tank out for a full one or run your empty tank down to the store to get refilled.

Check out this guide for assistance: How to Remove a Propane Tank From a Grill: Tips, Tricks & Safety Measures

Light the Burner Manually for Further Testing

You can also troubleshoot a malfunctioning burner by trying to light it manually.

Turn your gas on and light the burner with a long lighter or match — if the burner lights successfully, you’ll know the issue isn’t with the gas flow.

Check the Igniter Switch Is Functioning Properly

If gas is flowing well through your grill, a faulty igniter could be to blame.

When you try your igniter, you should see a small spark form — if you don’t see that, it’s likely a problem with your igniter that you’ll have to address.

If you have a battery-powered igniter, swap the batteries out and try to light your grill again.

If you have an electric igniter, there may be an issue with the wiring. In that case, you’ll want to call in a pro or contact your grill manufacturer to fix it.

Check for a Gas Leak

You can test for gas leaks using a simple solution of half water and half liquid dish soap. Mix this up and load it into a spray bottle or a dish with a brush.

First, give your grill a quick look over while it’s off for any obvious holes or cracks in your gas hoses. If you don’t see any, go ahead and spray or brush your soap mixture onto the gas hose and all connection points, the propane tank welds and handwheel, and the regulator.

Next, turn your gas on and look for small bubbles. If you see bubbles forming, that’s where your leak is allowing gas to escape.

Turn your gas off, and either try reconnecting the part where the leak is (the hose or the regulator, for example) or be prepared to replace it (if the leak is on the hose or on the propane tank itself).

Reset the Regulator

If you don’t see any damage to your regulator, you can try resetting it to see if this solves your problem.

To do this, turn your grill completely off, then disconnect the regulator from your grill.

Turn your burner knobs on high, then leave them on for 10 to 15 minutes to “burp” the gas from your gas line. Then turn the burners off, reconnect your regulator, and try lighting your grill again.

If the issue still occurs after resetting the regulator, you may need to replace it.

Clean the Burner if It Is Clogged

To clean a clogged burner, remove it from your grill and use a bottle brush or specialty tool to clear the venturi tube of each burner. Next, grab a small wire brush or a needle to remove any clogs from the tiny ports on the burner.

Reinstall the burners and try lighting your grill again — if a clog was the culprit, all three burners should light back up.

Simple Steps for Properly Cleaning a Burner Tube

To thoroughly clean out a burner and help avoid clogs from forming in the first place, you’ll need gloves, a grill cleaning brush, a bristle or bottle brush, liquid soap, fine steel wool, and a toothpick, paper clip, or other small pointy object.

To start the cleaning process, first, completely turn your grill off and close the propane tank valve.

Give your grill grates a quick scrub with the brush and soap, then remove them and set them aside.

Grab your bristle brush and clean out the interior of the burner tube. If you notice that any of the small perforations on the burner are clogged, grab your toothpick or paper clip and poke the clogs out.

Then reassemble your grill and try lighting it again. Hopefully, with your newly squeaky-clean burners, everything should fire up as expected.

Why Aren’t All My Grill Burners Lighting – FAQs

Still have some burning questions about why aren’t all your grill burners lighting on your gas grill? Check out these FAQs!

Why Might Some of My Grill Burners Not Light Even Though There's Gas in the Tank?

There could be several reasons, including clogged burner tubes from grease buildup or insect nests, issues with the ignition system, or problems with the gas flow. Checking for blockages and ensuring your ignition system is functioning correctly are good first steps.

How Can I Check if My Grill's Gas Flow Is Obstructed?

Begin by inspecting the burners for any visible obstructions, such as debris or spider webs, which can block gas flow. If the burners are clear, check the gas lines and connections for kinks or leaks that could restrict gas from reaching the burners.

What Should I Do if My Grill's Ignition System Isn't Working?

First, ensure the ignition system has a good power source, such as a fully charged battery if it’s battery-operated. For a manual ignition system, check that the igniter is clean and free from grease. If issues persist, replacement parts may be necessary.

Can the Weather Affect My Gas Grill's Performance?

Yes, extreme cold can affect propane flow, and windy conditions can blow out flames or prevent burners from lighting. Ensure your grill is in a sheltered area if you’re experiencing problems during adverse weather conditions.

What Maintenance Can I Perform to Prevent Future Gas Grill Lighting Issues?

Regular cleaning is important. This includes brushing the burners, cleaning the grill grates, and checking the gas lines for leaks. Additionally, covering your grill when not in use can prevent many issues caused by environmental exposure and debris accumulation.

Why Aren’t All My Grill Burners Lighting: Final Thoughts

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as some of your grill’s burners not igniting when you go to light your grill.

Thankfully, the culprit behind this obnoxious roadblock is typically pretty easy to solve.

When it’s as simple as running down to the store for more propane or scrubbing a clog out of your burner, we hope this guide has empowered you to take matters into your own hands the next time you have burner trouble.

Remember, always turn your grill and gas source off before trying any of these troubleshooting steps. And if you’re unable to turn your gas off, call emergency responders like your local fire department to handle it for you.

With this safety know-how and a bit of elbow grease, you’ll hopefully have all of your burners up and burning bright in no time!

Cheers,

Emily

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DisclosureAt The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs.  If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission.  This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue.  Your support is truly appreciated.

Emily Lord

I’m a Wisconsin-based freelance writer and home cook who loves hosting parties and expressing my love for my family and friends through homemade meals and baked goods.

I blame Iron Chef and Chopped for my competitiveness in the kitchen.

In my free time, I occasionally run marathons as an excuse to eat more good food.