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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Ignitor not sparking, but button shocks me

    Hi, I'm a new homeowner, busy learning all this DIY home maintenance stuff.

    One of our gas fireplaces was not working. I noticed that I couldn't see any spark when trying to light the pilot. I opened up the front so I could find the ignitor head (electrode?) to confirm for sure there is no spark.

    I unscrewed the push-button part (which I think contains the actual piezo-electric module), and when I push the button, it shocks me lightly. As I understand it, that means that the button is generating electricity and functioning correctly. I tried cleaning the ignitor head, screwing the push-button back in (as I understand it needs the frame it screws into as ground?), but still no spark.

    Does this mean that the electrode is not functioning and I should replace it? It does unscrew separately from the thermocouple & thermopile.

    Or are there other potential issues, like maybe the switch isn't grounding properly? I'm not sure how to test that - it is screwed in solidly, but I don't know how to test if the frame is grounded.

    For now I just manually lit the pilot and closed it all up. I don't want to do the work of replacing the electrode unless that's the likely problem. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    This is not a DIY website. Any technical advice given would be against the forums rules. I might suggest however you make sure the wire on the back of the button that connects to the spark rod hasn't come loose from all the rapid hard presses its been given. Those things press hard and snap alot. Get a technician to check it out. They can get you the right part so your not guessing and throwing money at it and also check everything else out. You'll get sick of pulling that thing apart eventually.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Billington Heights, NY
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    if it looks like a grill ignitor it should give you a good hard jolt when you hit it. a light zap means it's weak and probably doesnt have enough guts to make the gap between the electrode and the ground (the pilot hood or other part of the burner). Grill ignitors can be found at any box store and are relatively cheap. The biggest issue other than a weak zapper is rust between the electrode and ground.

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