Nothing could be more perplexing than your water heater malfunctioning all of a sudden. However, when everything else is okay in the unit and it’s only the igniter that’s not sparking, you’re bound to get annoyed because this means the system will run flawlessly as long as the igniter sparks the pilot light. However, when it won’t, you’ll have to inspect the water heater igniter to diagnose the complication and see if you can manage to fix it.

Here, we’ll walk you through how to troubleshoot the igniter and try a couple of tricks to fix it.

Why won’t my water heater igniter spark?

Follow the step guide below to fix the water heater igniter that ceases to spark.

  1. Firstly, it’s really important to inspect the small glass window via which you can view the pilot light. To do so, remove the outer cover, so you can get access to the system.
  2. You may thumb the igniter (piezo button) and see if the spark occurs through the small window. Another thing that’s important is the igniter receiving the proper voltage. If it’s getting the current it needs and still, the spark doesn’t appear, then move on to the next step.
  3. You may see a cord either in yellow or orange color. Reattach that wire with its connector to ensure a secure connection. You can do this by sliding the shield on the cord and disconnecting the wire to attach it again correctly, making sure it’s tightly fit. In case you find the wire dirty, clean it using some contact cleaner and put it back together. This should work for you. So, try pressing the igniter again. In case it still doesn’t create a spark, try the next step.
  4. Turn off the gas knob and use a thin brush or sandpaper to clean the igniter. The layers of dust and grime can form a sort of insulation that may disrupt the passing of current, preventing the spark. Once cleaned, it may revive the sparking.
  5. Next, remove the burner and clean it using a brush or sandpaper. To do so, you’ll need to detach the three main wires connected to the frame. After that, unscrew the frame and pull the burner out. Be careful not to break anything. If you’re not confident about this, there’s no harm in getting professional help.
  6. Usually, cleaning the system should help you fix the problem. However, if the igniter on your water heater still doesn’t spark, it means either the igniter or the spark electrode is faulty. Replace the spark electrode first and check if the issue goes away. If it doesn’t work either, then replace the igniter switch. Hopefully, that may help you resolve this complication.

Final thoughts:

The water heater igniter not sparking is an exhausting problem. However, now that you know why the igniter on your water heater is not working and how you can get rid of this troublesome issue, your water heater’s pilot flame would light up just fine. You may seek professional assistance in case none of the solutions work.