Do-it-yourself marching gas burner repair with piezo ignition: common breakdowns and their elimination

Amir Gumarov
Checked by a specialist: Amir Gumarov
Author: Karen molko
Last update: October 2019

If you ever had to use a portable torch with piezo ignition, then you must have encountered the problem of a breakdown of such a device. Agree, throwing out a practically new burner due to a malfunction that can be eliminated on your own will be somewhat impractical.

In order not to spend “extra” money on repairs, for which the master will require the cost of the device, you should figure out how to repair the gas burner with a piezo ignition with your own hands, and not spend a dime from the family budget.

A gas burner can stop its operation for completely different reasons, from the ingress of water or dirt into the mechanism, and ending with the breakdown of the piezo ignition itself. Further in the article you will familiarize yourself with the main causes of a burner malfunction, and learn how to disassemble the mechanism yourself and repair it without the help of an experienced craftsman.

Piezo ignition gas burner

The piezo ignition classic burner is especially popular among tourists who willingly use such a simple device as an alternative to a fire.

With its help, you can quickly boil water or cook food, while, unlike a fire, the device allows you to adjust the flame force, and at the same time, control the gas flow. In addition, modern portable burners are equipped with a wind protection function, a holder for dishes and other “devices”.

Piezo ignition gas burners
The piezo ignition function allows you to ignite the burner in seconds with just the touch of a button, without using matches

Such a torch with piezo ignition is also actively used in cottages where there is no need carry gas to the house. The device will greatly simplify the task of cooking for you, for which even a small gas spray will be enough for you. In addition, gas burners are often used for soldering and heating metal parts.

The popularity of torches with piezo ignition is justified, because the user does not have to worry about the presence of matches, but exactly until the moment the device breaks. It is in the presence of piezo ignition - an additionally inserted element that gives a spark, often the problem of frequent breakdowns of a gas burner lies.

Diagnostics of a gas torch with piezo ignition

Often the cause of the malfunction of such a device lies in the breakdown of the piezoelectric element, after the replacement of which the burner works again without any problems.

However, in some cases, the operation of the device can be restored by the usual cleaning of the nozzle or atomizer, which from time to time can become clogged, as a result of which the gas in the burner simply does not ignite.

Piezoelectric element piezo lighter
If the gas burner has stopped working due to a faulty piezoelectric element, then you can replace it with an identical part removed from the usual lighter

The cost of repairing a gas torch with piezo ignition can be equal to the cost of a new device, so there is no more profitable option how to fix it with your own hands. To identify the cause of the breakdown, you will need to conduct a diagnosis gas burnerduring which you can understand why she stopped her work.

When disassembling the burner, special attention should be paid to whether a spark appears when the button is pressed. The presence of a spark indicates the serviceability of the piezoelectric element, which means that the cause of the breakdown of the device lies in the contamination of individual parts of the burner.

If the burner does not ignite in the presence of a spark, then most likely the problem is dirt getting into the atomizer - a small hole through which gas enters.

Often, a gas burner on a spray can pass gas, which indicates the wear of one of the rubber gaskets inside the device. Also, the device may not work due to contamination of the mesh on the back of the sprayer. In this case, it is recommended to flush this element with alcohol or gasoline.

If the piezoelectric element is in good working order, a spark will be supplied, but due to the oxidation of the wire through which it is supplied, the gas may not be ignited. If the insulation of the wire is melted, then you will need to strip it with a file or sandpaper, and, in general, the problem will be solved.

Gas burner atomizer
In order not to unwind the burner again, it is better to immediately clean all the listed parts, even if at first glance they do not look dirty

It is important to understand that the absence of a spark means only one thing - the piezoelectric element is out of order, which means that it requires urgent replacement. You can do this yourself, relying on simple instructions, while you don’t even have to look for a new piece for a long time.

Piezoelectric element replacement instruction

Despite the external differences of many burners, everything is arranged on the same principle inside, while all the parts have standard sizes, which makes it easy to find a replacement for a broken element. Since the piezoelectric element is the most vulnerable part of the device, it is not surprising that in most cases it is its breakdown that causes the entire burner to stop working.

The piezoelectric element can fail, as a result of a strong blow, or if water or any other liquid enters the burner. To replace the piezo you will need to prepare all the necessary bits for a screwdriver, a new lighter from which a new piezoelectric element will be removed, as well as heat shrink to connect the two wires.

Outdoor use of the burner
If you take a gas torch with piezo ignition on a camping trip, then for reinsurance it is better to take matches or a lighter with you, since the slightest drop in the device will lead to breakdown of the piezoelectric element

First of all, you should make sure that the piece is malfunctioning, which you will be “notified” by the absence of a spark when you press the button. Next, we disassemble the burner body with a screwdriver and the corresponding bits that are in any set of nozzles.Along the way, check all parts of the burner for contaminants, and, if necessary, carry out their cleaning.

Having reached the piezoelectric element, with the help of wire cutters we cut the wire connecting the piezo to the burner, and thus we extract the broken piezo.

Using the same principle, we remove a serviceable piezoelectric element from a new lighter, leaving a supply of wire for further connection with the burner wire. To do this, use a small heat shrink, which will need to be heated with a lighter.

Next, we collect the gas burner in the same way as they were disassembled, after which we test it. If the correct sequence of actions is performed, the operation of the device will be fully restored, which means that you do not have to buy a new burner.

We also recommend that you read our other article, where we described in detail how do-it-yourself gas canister.

Other gas burner malfunctions

Breakdown of the piezoelectric element is a fairly common problem, but far from the main one. As a result of frequent use of the device, other interruptions in its operation may be observed, while the piezo ignition function will be fully operational.

To understand the cause of a gas burner malfunction, you will need to completely disassemble it, and inspect each part of the structure.

Cylinder and refueling adapter
In order to avoid contamination of the burner nozzle, experienced craftsmen recommend refueling the can only with clean gas, which is used to refuel lighters

Often, the burner does not ignite due to contamination of the nozzle, which occurs as a result of filling the cylinder with poor-quality gas. That is, the gas simply does not enter the burner, because of which it is not ignited. In this case, you can clean the nozzle in several ways, which you will learn about later in the article.

Another reason for the gas burner to stop working is the loss of the ring inside the nozzle, as a result of which the spark will fly not in the ring, but in different directions, which means ignition will not occur. If the ring is lost during operation, then the only right decision will be to make a replacement, for example, from a simple copper wire.

Nozzle contamination - how to eliminate?

The gas burner nozzle may become clogged due to the presence of dirt in the normal gas that we use to refill the can.

To clean the nozzle - a small hole in the torch, it is quite difficult to choose a suitable wire or needle, which means that it will not work mechanically to clean the nozzle.

Gas burner nozzles
You can understand that the nozzle is clogged only if you remove the part with the hole and look at the light. The absence of a translucent “speck” indicates contamination of the nozzle

If you manage to pick up a wire so thin that you can clean such a small hole, then you can quickly remove the contamination.

Professional craftsmen recommend cleaning the burner nozzle in the following ways:

  1. Blow the trash back. We remove the nozzle and firmly press it with its side with the hole to the valve of the gas cylinder. If the pollution is not serious, then it is likely that under the gas pressure the dirt can be blown back.
  2. Eliminate clogging by heating the nozzle. We attach a strong wire to the removed nozzle, and with the help of a second gas torch we heat it red-hot, after which we lower the element into water. The method is quite radical, since heating the part can lead to its destruction.

In this case, it would be more expedient to resort to mechanical cleaning of the nozzle. The ideal option is to choose a wire of a suitable diameter, preferably with a pointed end. This is the easiest and safest way to eliminate contamination without damaging the structure.

How to replace the nozzle ring?

As a result of long-term operation of the burner, the ring heats up under high temperature, and after some time it simply drops out.

In order not to look for a suitable ring, and especially not to spend money on a purchase new burner, you can make a home-made replacement for such a ring.

Brass ring on the burner
In the presence of the original ring, previously flown from the nozzle, it is necessary to resort to its turning in order to avoid a repetition of the situation in the future

Take a wire with a cross section of 2.5 mm, and bend the ring of the required diameter, after separating the required length of material. As for the material, in this case it is recommended to use copper wire, although the native material of the ring is brass.

Making a brass ring will cost you more than buying a new burner, so the best option is a homemade copper ring.

There is only one way to distinguish this breakdown from clogging of the nozzle - try to set the burner on fire using matches. If the burner is ignited, then it is not a matter of contaminating the nozzle, in which gas does not enter the burner at all, and accordingly, it is impossible to ignite it.

How to avoid burner breakdown?

Since the most common reason for the gas burner to stop working with piezo ignition is the breakdown of its most important element, the piezo, it is important to take care of its safety.

Avoid damage to the appliance or water entering the burner, especially if you are camping. In the best case, you will have to set the gas burner on fire with matches if you do not forget to bring them with you.

Maximum gas pressure in the burner
The duration of use of the gas burner should not exceed 10-15 minutes, after which it is necessary to allow the device to cool down a bit

Even if the piezoelectric element is still damaged in some way, you should not be upset, because today many autonomous piezo ignitions are sold. That is, this is the same piece, only figurative.

So, you do not have to spin the gas burner each time to put in a new piece, and such a portable piezo ignition is surely useful not only in nature, but also in everyday life.

Do not forget that the cause of the malfunction may be due to elementary contamination of the nozzle or a flying ring, therefore, to identify the cause of the breakdown, it is important to conduct a thorough diagnosis of the device. If the piezo is in good working order, you just need to try to set the burner on fire in order to understand what part has malfunctioned the burner.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

In more detail about the causes of the failure of a gas burner with piezo ignition, see this video:

The visual process for replacing the piezoelectric element of a gas burner is presented in the following video:


Damage to the gas torch with piezo ignition becomes a real problem if you go camping, and this device is the only source of fire for heating water and cooking. In this case, it is worthwhile to play it safe and take matches with you, since a piezoelectric element malfunction in such burners is not uncommon.

If you have previously had to repair a gas burner yourself, please tell us what was the reason for the breakdown of the device and what difficulties you had to deal with during the repair process. Immediately after the article, you can leave a comment in which you can share your experience of self-repairing a burner with piezo ignition.

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