Five or six years ago, when my most recent gas grill was in serious need of new parts and new parts were no-where to be found, I swore I’d never buy another “designed to wear out” grill again (Char-Broil™ is the most famous of this category, but by no means the only one). The only replacement parts available for these grills are “universal” parts, which means they’re not quite right for any grill, but if you’re not too picky you can just barely make them work on any grill. So, I bought a gorgeous new stainless steel Sears Kenmore gas grill, because everyone knows Sears sells replacement parts for its appliances!
This grill has been wonderful and has served us well through all seasons (I shovel a path to the grill in the winter and keep on using it), but the burners, the burner bracket, and the “savor plates™” finally wore out and needed replacement. The first step in ordering appliance parts from Sears is to look up the part number in the owner’s manual… the owner’s manual… where did I put the owner’s manual? Instruction booklets and owner’s manuals for all the household appliances get stored in a folder in the file cabinet… but it wasn’t there! I checked the cabinets in the garage, the junk drawer in the kitchen, everywhere I could think of. Nothing.
Time to work my way through my stash of “pre-file” paperwork; paid bills, statements, receipts, and other paperwork that I need to file away eventually, but the file cabinets are full and I have to either cull down the filed paperwork or buy another file cabinet before I can file the “pre-file” stash (which fills 2-3 boxes right now). After digging through all that paper, I finally found the owner’s manual, so I was able to order the parts I needed; five “savor plates” (three-sided tent-like covers for the burners), two (of five) burners (three burners looked like they didn’t need replacing yet), and the burner bracket that attached the burners to the grill chassis. All three of these items had corroded away from five years of hot propane fires blasting on them a lot (we grill probably 4-5 times a week during the summer down to twice a week during the winter).
The burners and “savor plates” were delivered quickly, but the burner bracket was back-ordered. Originally it was back-ordered until the end of November, but it magically showed up this past week, so last night I attempted to replace the old parts with the new parts. Not so much. The burners had welded themselves to the the burner bracket, and one of the two mounting screws for the burner bracket had fused itself to the side of the grill chassis. So I need three more burners (ordered this morning) and a bolt puller to get the mounting bolt out so I can re-mount the new bracket.
The saga isn’t over yet, but it’s getting close. Univeral parts are looking better and better!