INFORMATION

Restore A Grill

7 Step Guide

Spring, summer, fall - even winter, anytime is a great time to restore your grill's lost luster and performance. Important safety checks can also be done at this time. The following procedures apply to both propane gas (LP) and natural gas (NG) models, and can be done with a minimum number of tools.

For the replacement part(s) you need see your local authorized MHP Dealer. He has a full line of MHP replacement parts for all major gas grill brands and many more.

Important note: While we have assembled basic restoring procedures that apply to most gas grills we strongly suggest that you refer to the owner's manual (packed with your grill) for special cleaning, safety and adjustment instructions.

Step 01: Preparation

Restore Step 01

Make sure you shut off the gas supply at the source before doing maintenance or repairs (fig. 1 ). Select an area for the repair process and spread newspapers or a protective cover over the area, since many parts will have a greasy film or rusty residue. Before removing any components, have a notebook handy to keep notes on the order and placement of the parts.

Step 02: Cooking Grids & Grates

Restore Step 02a

Grids are most efficiently and easily cleaned on an ongoing basis by simply pre-heating the grill on high for 10 minutes before each use, and then scrubbing with a brass bristle brush (fig. 2). Carefully wipe grids with a paper towel before use.


Restore Step 02b

For a thorough cleaning remove and inspect the Cooking Grid/Grids. (make sure gas supply is shut off.) Most grills have either chrome or porcelain coated cooking grids. If the chrome grid is not excessively rusted, soak in a hot soapy water solution to loosen accumulated grease, (a degreaser may also be used) then scrub with a steel wool pad or a stiff nylon pad (fig. 3). Rinse thoroughly and lightly coat with cooking oil before use.

If you find broken welds, or cannot adequately remove rust, you may opt to replace the grid. Porcelain grids may be cleaned in the same manner. After cleaning, check for excessively chipped and missing porcelain. Again, you should replace grids that are badly deteriorated.


Restore Step 02c

Next, remove the rock and rock grate they rest on (fig. 4). If your grill was supplied with Lava Rock (fig. 5), and they have not been changed in the last season or two, it is usually best to simply replace them. Lava Rock absorbs grease over time and can cause flare ups if they become saturated with grease drippings. Lava Rock is relatively inexpensive, but make sure you purchase a good quality rock that doesn't fall through the Rock Grate opening. Some grills may be supplied with a better quality rock, usually round or pillow shaped (fig. 6).


Restore Step 02d

This usually lasts longer than Lava Rock and does not absorb grease as readily. Lightly brush residue off with a wire brush (fig. 7), and put them aside until reassembly. If many pieces are broken or crumble, replace with a good quality Pumice or Ceramic Rock.

An easy way to clean this type of rock on an ongoing basis is to periodically turn them upside down and cook on the opposite side (fig. 8). The heat from the burner will gradually clean the under side of the rock.


Restore Step 02e

When it comes time to reinstall the rock, make sure it is distributed evenly across the Rock Grate surface. This will help the grill cook at an overall even temperature. When replacing uniformly shaped ceramic or pumice rock, arrange the rock to have a minimum amount of space between them (fig 9).

This will reduce the amount of grease dripping directly onto the burner flame and help reduce flare-ups. Flare-ups many times are caused by cooking on too high a heat setting.


Restore Step 02f

Finally, inspect the Rock Grates. This component is subject to very high temperatures and will weaken and deteriorate over time. Knock off loose rust and scale with a wire brush.

If grate is very thin, or sags excessively (fig. 10), replace with a new grate sized to your model, otherwise this grate can go back into the grill for further service. There is no need to paint this part.


That's all for the cooking grids and grates. In step 3 we'll check the burner and valves.

Step 03: Burner & Valves

Restore Step 03i

With the Rock Grate removed, the burner/venturi assembly (the heart of your grill) is now exposed. Gently lift and remove the burner assembly from your grill (fig. 11). The burner may be held in place from underneath with clips or pins (fig. 12), so check before attempting removal.


Restore Step 03j





Restore Step 03a

Also, if your grill is equipped with an ignitor and collector box attached to the burner, the wire must be disconnected before burner removal (fig. 13). Lightly brush the burner with a wire brush to remove loose rust and scale (fig. 14).


Restore Step 03b

Inspect the burner for holes or split seams. Replace if necessary, as a new burner will give superior performance and dependability. If burner passes inspection, next inspect the venturi.


Restore Step 03c

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to clean the Venturi tubes of any obstructions, such as spider or insect webs, etc. A small web can block the gas flow and cause poor burner performance or a flash back fire. A specially made flexible spider brush should be used to clean the venturi tubes (fig. 15). Special care should be taken to make sure the brush passes through any curve in the venturi tube.


Restore Step 03d

If a spider brush is not available, you may flush out the tubes with a strong flow of water from a garden hose (fig. 16). Pay special attention to how the water exits the burner port holes, as clogged holes are easily spotted. Clogged holes can be opened with an awl or piece of wire (fig. 17). Clogged holes can cause a grill to have hot and cold spots because of uneven flame characteristics.


Restore Step 03e

The valve system can now be checked. Valve Knobs should depress, turn and release (pop up) freely (fig. 18).

An easy way to clean this type of rock on an ongoing basis is to periodically turn them upside down and cook on the opposite side (fig. 8). The heat from the burner will gradually clean the under side of the rock.


Restore Step 03f

If they are sluggish, remove knobs and carefully spray a small amount of WD40 or similar lubricant onto the valve stem area (fig. 19). Work knobs a few times to distribute the lubricant. Valves that bind severely should be replaced.


Restore Step 03g

Also, check the hose connection at the-valve for tightness (fig. 20). In the final step we will again check this connection with a soapy solution.


Restore Step 03h

Small insects also have a peculiar habit of spinning webs inside the valve orifice, which will restrict gas flow. Debris in the lines may also clog these tiny holes.

So, remove the hex head orifice (fig. 21) with the appropriate size wrench, and make sure the hole is completely clean. Also, check the inner portion of the valve from where the orifice was removed. Webs can be removed with a small piece of wire or toothpick. Re-install orifices and tighten.



That wraps up the burner and valves restoration. In step 4 we'll clean-up the grill interior.

Step 04: Grill Interior

Restore Step 04a


First, cover the valve orifice area (fig. 22) and any ignitor wires with a protective cloth or plastic, or aluminum foil.


Restore Step 04b


Secondly, scrape off heavy grease or cooking debris accumulation with a putty knife or scraper (fig. 23). Lastly, vacuum the dry debris with a shop vac or scrub the interior with a strong detergent solution. Rinse, and let dry. Remove protective covers installed earlier.



Do not paint the interior of the grill.


With the grill interior now cleaned, we can move on to step 5 and tidy up the exterior of the grill.

Step 05: Grill Exterior

Restore Step 05

If the grill is not badly oxidized (whitened), a good warm water and detergent solution will brighten its appearance. A light coating of cooking oil evenly applied will actually restore the black color. If it needs more attention, you may opt to paint the castings, which will restore them to near new condition (fig. 25). Brush heavy oxidation on the grill's exterior with steel wool or a wire brush. Lightly sand the whole grill, then rinse. Make sure no grease remains, as paint will not adhere. Using good quality grill paint, lightly coat the whole exterior. Two or three light coats are better than one heavy coat. Let air-dry. The paint will bake on during its first use.



While the grill exterior is drying, we can begin step 6 and clean the ignitor.

Step 06: Grill Ignitor

Restore Step 06a

If your grill is equipped with an ignitor that no longer works, check the connections at the push button itself (fig. 27), and at the spark collector box (fig. 28). These connections can become corroded.


Restore Step 06b

Any ignitor sends a high voltage along the wire to the ignitor electrode inside the collector box. The collector box collects a quantity of gas, which a spark lights. Also, check the insulator in the collector box for cracks. Cracks collect moisture a keep the spark from getting to the electrode.

The spark jumps a small gap inside the collector box. Lightly sanding the inner roof may help (fig. 29) provide a hotter spark.



We're done checking, cleaning and replacing needed parts, lets go to step 7 to reassemble the grill and make a final test.

Step 07: Reassembly & Testing

Restore Step 07

Re-install the grill components, and reconnect any wires or pins removed in the dis-assembly process. Reconnect the gas supply. Turn on the gas supply, but do not light grill.


Check for leaks with a soapy solution (50% water / 50% detergent). Pay special attention to connections at the valve (fig. 30), and the tank. Also inspect gas hoses for cracks, trays, etc. Clean hoses of any grease that may have dripped onto them as this may attract rodents that could chew their way through the hose. Bubbles indicate a leak which must be repaired before proceeding. If everything is ready, light grill, close lid, and leave on medium for approximately one half hour, which will cure the new paint.



This last step completes the restoration of your grill. Now you can return to your outdoor cooking enjoyment with a restored and clean grill.