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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    2,897

    Hot surface ignition...

    Why did the majority of manufacturers (all but Rheem) change to HSI when spark is more reliable and there's no ignitor to change?

    Is it cheaper to produce or is it for the sake of sellings more parts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    33,384
    Interesting question. Rheem was one of the first to go to HSI from spark pilot and the first to give it up.

    Personally I love the $200 ignitor change calls you can do it 10 minutes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Califormia
    Posts
    318

    Confused

    Cheaper to produce and cheaper to repair. Do NOT except Rheem from this.. my stock of Robertshaw 41-411 ignitors and the consistent repair history says it all. Rheem was with all the rest in conversion. Don't leave out the diagnostic difference. I have had technicians condemn a spark ignition module when it's the flame sensor or something else. Manufacturers probably got really tired of functional parts being returned.
    "Surprised ?! If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised."
    Clark Griswold

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,509
    hsi was used in ovens and dryers for years and with out a glitch> they almost never went bad or cracked

    the manufactors followed the lead and got bit. I think the main reason hot surface ignitors fail is from sitting for 6 to 8 months and get damp then when fired up it burns off and starts a weak spot

    spark was and is still the best imo but they are going back to the new hsi and claim it is just as reliable


    time will tell

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    332
    Job Security with HSI. Also maybe because the intermittent pilots could plug up and need cleaned. RTUs still have spark which is nice. I think they both have an equal amount of faults.
    Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lancaster,Ohio
    Posts
    464
    I had many customers complain about the noise that the sparker makes. My Father in law finds comfort in hearing the sparker. To each his own...HSI's better for business!
    IcyFlame

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,506
    Quote Originally Posted by tinknocker service tech View Post
    I think the main reason hot surface ignitors fail is from sitting for 6 to 8 months and get damp then when fired up it burns off and starts a weak spot
    Well, what I was personally told at a convention one time by a RUUD rep. was that they changed back to spark because by the time the unit was shipped and then the installers got through beating the units up they had a lot of hsi's that were getting damaged between the factory to the final destination.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” –Albert Einstein

    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”-Vernon Law

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hangin out with you losers
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    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by mrbillpro View Post
    Well, what I was personally told at a convention one time by a RUUD rep. was that they changed back to spark because by the time the unit was shipped and then the installers got through beating the units up they had a lot of hsi's that were getting damaged between the factory to the final destination.
    Every season I get a couple of DOA HSIs
    I have even had DOA replacment HSIs
    shattred in the box
    I remember my first day,It was fun!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    I don't know
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    2,897
    I had many customers complain about the noise that the sparker makes. My Father in law finds comfort in hearing the sparker. To each his own...HSI's better for business!
    I don’t understand that - the noise doesn't carry past the room that the furnace is in, most of the time. Furnace blower kicking in is much louder than that, since most duct systems are undersized.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    I think Lennox is the only manufacturer that never used silicon carbide ignitors, at least not that I am aware of. They went from standing pilot, to intermittent pilot lit by a spark, to direct spark, then HSI with SiNi ignitors.

    I have seen proportionately a lot fewer problems with HSI using SiNi ignitors than with spark ignition, and I mean by a HUGE margin, lol.

    I'll take spark ignition over a silicon carbide HSI any day of the week though. I really don't understand why any manufacturer still uses carbide ignitors in anything. I certainly won't be selling any models that do.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    I had a rheem 80 % that a distributor gave me to put in my house to see what I thought of it and to see if he could lure me away from the brand I was selling. It was one of their first 80% furnaces built.

    You could hear a loud click from the relay pulling in to power the power venter. the unit was in the basement and I could hear the click in the living room. The spark igintion was real loud too compared to most.

    Now to me I ignored it but I think a lot of customers would have had a problem with it.


    Never had one problem with it tho, real reliable.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    7
    Trane is getting on board with the nitrides. Carbides are pretty poor quality but I like my job so keep the carbides coming so I can keep changing them. I think the big reason for the change is the number of parts.

    Spark igniton
    1. Blower Ctrl Board
    2. Spark ignition module
    3. Flame sensor
    4. Pilot assembly
    5. Pilot Orfice
    6. Pilot Tubing
    7. Ignitor

    HSI
    1. Integrated Ctrl Board
    2. Flame Sensor
    3. Ignitor

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,641
    i will take the lennox sure light ignition over any spark system, so far they have been MUCH more reliable.


    now if someone could invent a flame sensor for 80% furnaces that doen't foul up i would be in heaven.

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