My dad kindly donated an elderly Homebase Sorrento gas barbecue a few years ago and each summer since, it’s cooked a good few bangers and steaks in the garden. Nice. However, during the winter this year, the barbecue nearly met an unfortunate end. The barbecue is always kept lightly sprayed with WD-40 when not in use and always covered with a generic tarpaulin, to keep the rain out. However, one particularly windy day during the winter of 2018, the cover that was meant to protect the outdoor cooker turned in to a handy sail and briefly lifted it a few feet in to the air and then down again with a crash. Oh dear.
At first glance, all appeared to be well but on further inspection it seemed that the gas burner within the main ‘charcoal’ area had taken quite a hit. Years of use and damp storage had taken their toll and the rusty burner within had finally shattered and was no longer in good serviceable condition. In fact, using the barbecue in this state could literally be explosive, since the gas would be flowing out all over the place, potentially un-burned.
Not holding out much hope for spares, I took to Google to see what parts were available for the nearly 20-year-old appliance. It turns out that there are many spare parts available for gas barbecues, from spare handles to gas valves to replacement grilles, including burners of just about every variant. With a bit more research, it appears that my Homebase Sorrento is in fact a re-badged Campingaz Eldorado. As Campingaz is a well-known brand, the burner was readily available at a very reasonable £23.00, including delivery from Hamilton Gas Products www.gasproducts.co.uk.
Hamilton supplied the parts quickly and the part fitted as easily as the existing one, as it was a like for like spare part, more or less. I had to cut-off the existing screw, as it was beyond help and replace it with something similar, once fitted and the height adjusted with a washer and nut or two, the burner was once again ready to cook.
However, before I could sit back with a cool beer and admire my work, I decided to tackle the piezo push-button ignition, which had stopped working a while ago. The wiring had broken away from the main spark anode and to be honest, even I nearly binned it. I hate to be beaten by silly problems like this, so I soldered the wire to the base of the spark anode and then re-attached the bracket back to the barbecue. After a little tinker time, the spark was close enough to light the gas, pretty much every time. I was well pleased!
So, if your gas barbecue needs parts, don’t assume it’s not worth repairing. There is a wealth of direct replacement and generic spares that will get yours working again, cost effectively.
Cost of a replacement barbecue: £100 upwards (although the range could be as dramatic as £30- £5000). Cost of repair: £23.00 for the burner and £1.00 for the nuts, bolts and washers (which I had already).