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Manually light fire (without ignition rod)

If the ignition rod fails, it is possible to still run your Z Grills pellet smoker. This is important to know if you have a huge cook-up planned!

Ignition rods are responsible for lighting the wood pellets in the fire-pot, using electricity to get red hot. To learn more about how ignition rods work and the different types, click here.

Ignition rod
Metal ignition rod

Diagnose a failed ignition rod

If wood pellets are dropping into the fire-pot, the fan is blowing air, but there is no sign of smoke or fire, then the ignition rod may have failed. Wood pellets will pile up in the fire-pot but never ignite. Eventually the grill will display LER (low temperature error) and turn off.

Smoke but no fire?

If there is a little bit of smoke, but no fire (or very weak fire) that is more likely to be fan issue (no air flow). Click here for instructions to replace a fan.

Ignition rods operating for the first 5-7 minutes of the grill operation, so if a fuse blows, or power trips shortly after starting the grill it is most likely the ignition rod that has a problem. Auger motor or fan motor failures are often associated with a strong “burning plastic” small.

If the grill is less than 3 years old, a new ignition rod will be provided under warranty. Click here to submit a support request (Australia only).

Instructions to replace an ignition rod in 700 series grill, 450A grill.

Manually light the fire

If the ignition rod has failed, you can still use the grill by manually lighting the fire. Once a fire is established the grill can be turned on and will run as normal. Follow the instructions below to manually light the fire.

Hot weather operation

Operating the grill at at low temperature (<107ºC) in hot weather can require the ignition rod to periodically come on to help maintain the small fire. For this reason, don’t set the grill to less than 107ºC without an operating ignition rod as the fire may go out.

Fuse has blown (no power)

If the fuse is blown click here to follow steps 1-7 to disconnect the plug and change out the fuse. You can then return to this page and follow the instructions below to run the grill manually.

Fuse has not blown (grill has power)

If the fuse did not blow, then there is no need to unplug the ignition rod, so just follow the steps below.

  1. Place some wood pellets in the hopper and remove the grill racks, grease pan and heat baffle.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of wood pellets into the fire-pot. Do NOT add too many pellets!
  3. Place a fire-lighter cube into the fire-pot or squirt a small amount of firelighting gel onto the pellets. DO NOT use alcohol, petrol or any other flammable liquids. Never add any firelighting gel to an already lit fire.
  4. Carefully light the pellets with a long match or long reach fire lighter.
  5. Alternatively a gas torch can be used to light the pellets.
  6. Once there is fire in the fire-pot, switch the grill ON and turn to the desired temperature setting. The grill will still go through the normal startup cycle and drop lots of pellets, so expect to see a lot of smoke during startup.
  7. Carefully replace the heat baffle, grease tray and grilling racks.
  8. Wait for the big cloud of smoke to clear before closing the lid.
  9. Run the grill as per normal operation.

Check out this page for videos on how to access the grill controller and other key components.