Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

Furnace Ignitor Care ? Home Furnace Repair

One of the many problems since the introduction of the ignitor to the home furnace is the fact that they often do not last very long. This is especially true of the older style gray glass type ignitors. To prolong the life of these types of ignitor there are some things that you need to know that will help you.



First off make sure that you never touch the gray surface with you hands or any other part of your body. The oils from your skin will cause them to burn out.

Make sure that the ignitor you are using is the right part for the furnace you are installing it in.

Make sure that your furnace is sized correctly. If the furnace cycles often you will cause it to burn out faster. You only get X number of cycles from an ignitor. A properly sized furnace will run almost continuously on a very cold day. A dirty air filter can also cause your furnace to cycle more often and cause burn out. If your thermostat is not set up right and cycles your heat often you ignitor will wear out faster.

Check the voltage in your home. It should be between 110 and no more than 125 volts. High voltage will cause excessive wear.

Make sure that if you have a boiler that the return water temperatures are not below 140 for an extended period of time. This will cause condensation which if it drips directly on the ignitor while it is hot will cause immediate burn out.

By checking these things when you replace your ignitor you may be able to extend the life of the new ignitor.

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The Goodman Heater was installed in 2004. Thermostat set at 75F, the fan that blows CO2 out was on for about 1 minute, then I could hear the sound of the gas blowing into the furnace, but the ignitor won't ignite. I took the ignitor out the sand it for better electrical conductivity, and installed it back properly but it wasn't the problem. After 2 times that the ignitor tried to ignite the burner, no flame ignited, then the whole system shut off. What's the next step should I perform? Thanks.


Problem: Your furnace will not ignite the gas to produce heat for your home. When a furnace has a bad ignitor what I see most of the time is the following sequence of operation:


1. Thermostat calls for heat. 2. Draft inducer motor starts. 3. Pressure switch attached by a small plastic or rubber tube senses the negative pressure produced by the draft inducer and closes. 4. Draft inducer runs for 30 seconds to a minute before you hear a gas hissing sound. The ignitor did not glow, the flame sensor (a small metal probe about 1/8" in diameter, with a white porcelain base) does not sense the flame, so after 8 to 10 seconds the hissing sounds stops with no ignition of gas to heat your home. Your furnace shuts down and goes into a lock out condition until you turn your power switch back off and on again. Then the sequence starts all over again with no ignition of the gas. Solution:You probably need to purchase and install a new ignitor. I would suggest that you inspect your ignitor closely for cracks. Make sure you do not touch the ignitor with your bare hands. If you do not visually see a crack, then you could have a furnace control board problem or a limit, rollout switch problem. The furnace's control board might not be supplying the voltage to the ignitor. If your furnace lights and the gas stays on for 8 to 10 seconds, then shuts right back off, then you need to clean your flame sensor with light sand paper or steel wool. You might need a new flame sensor, but most of the time they can be cleaned an will work well after cleaning.

Nov 30, 2010 | Goodman GMS80903BNA Heater

1 Answer

have a ruud achiever 90 plus furnace. the flame goes out after the igniter quits. any ideas


Problem: Your furnace will not ignite the gas to produce heat for your home. When a furnace has a bad ignitor what I see most of the time is the following sequence of operation:


1. Thermostat calls for heat. 2. Draft inducer motor starts. 3. Pressure switch attached by a small plastic or rubber tube senses the negative pressure produced by the draft inducer and closes. 4. Draft inducer runs for 30 seconds to a minute before you hear a gas hissing sound. The ignitor did not glow, the flame sensor (a small metal probe about 1/8" in diameter, with a white porcelain base) does not sense the flame, so after 8 to 10 seconds the hissing sounds stops with no ignition of gas to heat your home. Your furnace shuts down and goes into a lock out condition until you turn your power switch back off and on again. Then the sequence starts all over again with no ignition of the gas. Solution: You probably need to purchase and install a new ignitor. I would suggest that you inspect your ignitor closely for cracks. Make sure you do not touch the ignitor with your bare hands. If you do not visually see a crack, then you could have a furnace control board problem or a limit, rollout switch problem. The furnace's control board might not be supplying the voltage to the ignitor. If your furnace lights and the gas stays on for 8 to 10 seconds, then shuts right back off, then you need to clean your flame sensor with light sand paper or steel wool. You might need a new flame sensor, but most of the time they can be cleaned an will work well after cleaning.

Nov 26, 2010 | Ruud UBHC Air Conditioner

1 Answer

I AM WORKING ON A CARRIER 90% FURNACE. IT WILL NOT FIRE UP. IT SHOWS A 34 CODE. THE IGNITOR DOES NOT ENERGIZE FROM THE BOARD. NO POWER COMING FROM THE BOARD. I HERE A CLICK AS IF IT IS TRYING BUT NO VOLTAGE COMES THROUGH. CARRIER MODEL # 58MVP06014114. COULD IT BE THE BOARD FAILING?


Problem: Your furnace will not ignite the gas to produce heat for your home. When a furnace has a bad ignitor what I see most of the time is the following sequence of operation:


1. Thermostat calls for heat.

2. Draft inducer motor starts.

3. Pressure switch attached by a small plastic or rubber tube senses the negative pressure produced by the draft inducer and closes.

4. Draft inducer runs for 30 seconds to a minute before you hear a gas hissing sound. The ignitor did not glow, the flame sensor (a small metal probe about 1/8" in diameter, with a white porcelain base) does not sense the flame, so after 8 to 10 seconds the hissing sounds stops with no ignition of gas to heat your home. Your furnace shuts down and goes into a lock out condition until you turn your power switch back off and on again. Then the sequence starts all over again with no ignition of the gas. Solution: You probably need to purchase and install a new ignitor. I would suggest that you inspect your ignitor closely for cracks. Make sure you do not touch the ignitor with your bare hands. If you do not visually see a crack, then you could have a furnace control board problem or a limit, rollout switch problem. Please see "limits, rollout switches & furnace control boards" further down on this page. The furnace's control board might not be supplying the voltage to the ignitor. If your furnace lights and the gas stays on for 8 to 10 seconds, then shuts right back off, then you need to clean your flame sensor with light sand paper or steel wool. You might need a new flame sensor, but most of the time they can be cleaned an will work well after cleaning.

Nov 25, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

hot surface ignitor won't ignite,I replaced the igniter and it still won't.


Problem: Your furnace will not ignite the gas to produce heat for your home. When a furnace has a bad ignitor what I see most of the time is the following sequence of operation:


1. Thermostat calls for heat.
2. Draft inducer motor starts.
3. Pressure switch attached by a small plastic or rubber tube senses the negative pressure produced by the draft inducer and closes.
4. Draft inducer runs for 30 seconds to a minute before you hear a gas hissing sound. The ignitor did not glow, the flame sensor (a small metal probe about 1/8" in diameter, with a white porcelain base) does not sense the flame, so after 8 to 10 seconds the hissing sounds stops with no ignition of gas to heat your home. Your furnace shuts down and goes into a lock out condition until you turn your power switch back off and on again. Then the sequence starts all over again with no ignition of the gas.
Solution: You probably need to purchase and install a new ignitor. I would suggest that you inspect your ignitor closely for cracks. Make sure you do not touch the ignitor with your bare hands. If you do not visually see a crack, then you could have a furnace control board problem or a limit, rollout switch problem. The furnace's control board might not be supplying the voltage to the ignitor. If your furnace lights and the gas stays on for 8 to 10 seconds, then shuts right back off, then you need to clean your flame sensor with light sand paper or steel wool. You might need a new flame sensor, but most of the time they can be cleaned an will work well after cleaning.

Oct 25, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

ignitor last a day then goes bad again going on 4th try help .


You are getting improper voltage to the ignitor. Check all grounds both in the furnace as well as at every connection heading back to the circuit breaker panel. If you find none, you will need to replace the circuit board.

Dec 08, 2008 | Goodman GMS90703BXA Heater

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