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Check for loose or broken gas line connectors, including the pilot line. Check for blockage in the flue in the back of the fryer. Things occasionally fall down there and people with the bad habit of banging the fry baskets on the top of the flue will eventually clog it up with food particles and carbonized grease. Check for a defective gas pressure regulator, which can cause excessive gas pressure getting to the burners. Check to see if the burners are properly in position and that the holes in the burner are not blocked by soot or grease.
You may be able to check these things by having one person very carefully open the main gas shutoff just enough to for a second person to try to light the fryer. Before attempting to light the fryer listen and smell for escaping gas. If the fryer lights, observe the fryer while the first person very gradually opens the valve further. This can be hazardous, and the person observing should stay well back and the person on the main gas valve should be ready to close the valve.
Personally, if the problem is not obvious, like a loose of broken gas line or a blocked flue, I would leave further testing to a qualified service provider.
A very small amount of degreaser spilled in a large commercial fryer is harmless, but if in doubt, discard the grease, thoroughly rinse the vat with clean water, and allow to drain completely before refilling with grease. Recycle used grease. do not pour down a drain or storm sewer.
Some fryer valves have a safety lock, usually a slide on the handle near the valve body that must be released to open the valve. Check for this first. It's very rare for a fryer valve to stick unless it was forced shut with something partially blocking it. If not, let the fryer cool completely. Dip as much oil out as possible. Then disconnect the gas line and, with help, turn the fryer upside down draining the remaining oil into a suitable container. At this point, you have little to lose. Take a large wrench or piece of pipe to get more leverage and try to force it open and free it up. Do not use so much force that you damage the kettle. If you get it free, check to see that it does not leak before putting oil back in the fryer. If it leaks or fails to come free, replace the valve.
Thanks for your question. Because you have posted this in the Deep Fryer Section I would like to ask if this is indeed a commercial quality fryer. The answer to this question would be best answered with the make and model # of the unit. However, Generally speaking unless the glass over the flame sensor is completely covered in grease, or has become obstructed by food the flame sensor is not a serviceable part as far as cleaning. If it's not obstructed or covered in grease than chances are that it is not functioning any longer. If this is a 2 wire sensor you can use an ohm meter to test it. By turning off the power to the fryer, using a lockout take on the Electrical panel, and unplug the unit is recommended. Then remove the wires from the sensor. Using alligator clamps attach the ohm meter leads to the sensor, Color doesn't matter. One lead per connection. Make sure that any grease or flammable materials have been cleaned from the area prior to testing the sensor. Because you are going to using an open flame I also suggest a fire extinguisher be present ( Just in cause of a accident) Than using a propane mini torch or a bic lighter present the flame from the torch in front of the sensor and watch the ohm meter should have a 0.00 reading. U can also set the ohm meter to tone so that you can hear it instead of having to watch it. If you get a tone or a 0 reading that will indicate the sensor is working. If the sensor is working than the next issue would be the ignitor or the gas valve circuit itself. If you have further questions please feel free to contact me.
Gas valve and thermostat are two different parts. If you are having problem with the oil temperature, your thermostat probably is not doing its function well, that is, to regulate the oil temperature set on its dial, and needed to be replaced.
You will need a conversion kit from natural gas, most of this kit contains gas valve spring, burner and pilot orifice. Check the nearest authorized dealer in your area and ask buy the appropriate conversion for your fryer.
Make sure the high limit isnt tripped. There is a red button down next to the thermostat that you push to reset the high limit. If it will not light after that it is probably a bad thermocouple - This is the sensor located in the pilot flame.
Make sure it is well positioned in the pilot flame. If not adjust it into the flame, if so replace it. They are generally available at your local hardware store because they are also used in water heaters and home furnaces. They are pretty cheap and fairly easy to change. It ususally requires that you remove one or two of the main burners for easy access. Empty the grease first just to be safe. Remove the nut from the top of the drain valve handle and remove the handle. Look to the top of the main burner or burners in front of the pilot and there are two bolts on each burner that need to be loosened (not removed) and then lift the burner to remove the bolts from the slots and pull the burner down and out. Remove and replace the sensor (should be fairly straight forward), Replace the burners and valve handle, refill with grease, and try to light it again.
before replacing any parts,clean out the pilot,burner orfices and burners.if this doesnt solve your problem replace the thermopile.call 18884hobart and get the parts dept.tell them you need a thermopile for the model of your fryer.95% of the time the t-pile goes bad.theres also the hilimit in the unit that kills the gas if the fryer gets too hot but i dont think thats the problem.also check all wiring connections to the gas valve (clean and free of grease).drain the oil in the tank and youll see 2 bulbs ones the thermostat bulb the others the hilimit bulb.make sure their secured to the bracket.