What to Do When Your Gas Grill Goes Bad

Steps to Take When the Grill Breaks Down Before its Time

gas grill on deck
Eirasophie/Getty Images

A gas grill is an investment and a purchase that you expect to enjoy for a significant amount of time. Certainly, no gas grill is going to last forever, but if the grill goes bad in a year or two, you know something is wrong. Most gas grills will come with a warranty, which should protect you from having to buy a brand new grill. However, be sure to read the warranty carefully to learn what the timeframe is as well as what the purchaser is responsible for.

A grill is essentially a cooking appliance, but unlike an oven or stovetop, a gas grill is not in a stationary position in your home; we can't just assume a repair person will come to the house. Therefore, how and where the grill will be fixed are crucial pieces of information. If your grill prematurely breaks down, following a few steps will ease the situation.

Get the Manual

Gas grills will often come with a hard copy of the owner's manual, but if you didn’t save the paperwork for your grill, most manufacturers have their owners' manuals available for download on their websites. The manual should tell you about any warranty. Read it thoroughly to see if your warranty covers the problem you are encountering. Also, take note if the purchaser is responsible for anything involving the repair, such as shipping costs and installation of replacement parts.

Ask the Manufacturer

Reaching out to any type of manufacturer can be quick and easy or painful and tedious, but they are the first point of contact for any warranty claim or support issue. Once you are connected to the warranty department and have described your grill's issue(s), there are a few important questions to ask if the manual has not already answered them.

First, find out how many years the warranty will cover replacing new parts. Warranties begin from the date of purchase and some parts may have a longer warranty than others. If the company is going to send you a new part, do you have to pay for shipping? And once you receive the new part, are you responsible for installation?

If your grill requires repair and not a replacement part, find out if you are responsible for getting the grill somewhere or if the manufacturer will send someone to your house to fix it. As an assembled grill is not easily transportable, understanding the process is an important step.

Many times the manufacturer will resolve the issue for you and get you back to grilling in no time. If they are not helpful, the next step is to reach out to the store where you made the purchase.

Contact the Retailer

Sometimes when you purchase something like a grill, the retailer will say not to return it to the store. However, they also don’t want an unhappy customer. Frequently retailers (who commission many store brand grills) will give store credit or even full refunds for defective grills if you are persistent. Talk to a manager; if the grill is less than a year old, you should certainly be entitled to some form of financial compensation. If the store manager doesn’t help, contact the company’s headquarters and consider filing a complaint to the retailer or go straight to the Better Business Bureau in the U.S. and Canada.

Report Dangerous Conditions

If, however, your grill is dangerous, you must take this to the next level. If you have used your grill normally, not modified its design, and kept it relatively clean, then it should operate as expected. If your grill has melted down, shot flames out the back, bottom, side, or front, or caused an injury to someone, then it may be a safety threat.

Every year there are thousands of fires caused by gas grills and dozens of people are killed. While many of these instances are accidents or are caused by the misuse of a gas grill, some are caused by unsafe products. If you feel that your grill is unsafe to use, report it to the proper authorities.

In the United States: Consumer Product Safety Commission
In Canada: Consumer Information Gateway
In the UK: Department of Trade and Industry
In Australia: Product Recalls Australia

Follow Some Tips

Purchasing a lemon is obviously not something you can predict or control, but there are a few steps you can take to make the warranty and repair or replacement process go more smoothly. When you buy the grill, register it with the manufacturer, which can be done online or sometimes by mail (if a form is included with the grill manual and paperwork). Registering your gas grill will make the warranty claim process easier for both you and the manufacturer and will assure you are getting the correct part and repair. Also holding on to the proof of purchase will assist in a warranty claim.

Also, it is always smart to make sure you are maintaining your grill so there is no question of responsibility when reporting the damage to the manufacturer.