Pellet Stove Igniter / Starter / Hot Rod Troubleshooting

Posted on by Earth Sense Energy System
Igniter

Sally sent in the following message to us. This can relate to virtually every pellet and corn stove appliance that has automatic ignition/start.

SALLY: I recently purchased an igniter for my Lennox Winslow PS40 Stove because it wouldn’t start. The new igniter turns red and gets hot. The burn pot where the pellets are gets hot (red) but the pellets won’t ignite. The stove errors out with a steady red ‘Ready’ light and the ‘Igniting’ light flashes 2 short flashes. Is there something else that should be replaced? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

 

MR. PELLETHEAD: It’s the combustion air that comes up through the firepot/burnpot once it passes by the igniter that actually lights the pellets. This air is heated to extreme temps by the igniter element and the velocity of that air hitting the fuel causes combustion/ignition.

Check the following items.

  1. Inspect the combustion/exhaust fan – Is it moving? It should be spinning/turning at a very high speed during start up. (Can always check exacts with a voltage meter.) Combustion Fan Kit
  2. Is the door and ash pan gasket sealing tightly? If they are not closed tight or if the gasket is worn and not making a good seal air will leak and cause an issue with start up/ignition. Parts & Gaskets
  3. Check the air intake. Make sure nothing is blocking or obstructing the air intake. (Smaller tube which goes from the rear of the stove to the bottom of the burn pot.)
  4. Inspect the exhaust venting. Should be cleaned every 50 bags on average. Check for accumulation or blockage. Flue Vent Pipe Cleaning Products

These are starting points. For further troubleshooting assistance please email us [email protected]

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    39 Responses to Pellet Stove Igniter / Starter / Hot Rod Troubleshooting

    shirley sandoval says: October 31, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    can you email me the written instructions on how to replace the igniter on a Harman P61A pellet stove, everything seems to be working , the igniter will not ignite a fire

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: October 31, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Shirley,

    Thanks for your message. Here is a blog regarding the Harman igniter installation. The factory does not send an instructional pamphlet so we created this. http://pellethead.com/2015/01/harman-igniter-replacement/

    Keep in mind that the heated combustion air coming through that area and past the igniter is what actually is lighting the fire. Make sure all burn pot air holes are unplugged and the fire pot is thoroughly scraped. We offer a custom scraper for Harman bun pots that makes the job much easier- http://pellethead.com/product/burn-pot-scraper-for-harman-stoves-fireplaces-part-mar22/

    – Make sure the igniter door cover is placed back on and tightened securely with the wingnuts
    – Make sure the air inlet to the stove is free and clear underneath the burnpot running back to the rear of the stove- check the flapper located in the intake in the rear of the unit above your combustion fan to make sure it’s free and swinging.
    – Make sure your exhaust vent pipe does not have any obstructions
    – Make sure your firebox and ashpan drawer are closed securely and the gasket is sealing well all the way around (Typically replace gaskets every 4-6 years.)
    – Make sure your combustion/exhaust fan appears to be operating correctly.

    Always check the easiest items first. Let us what you find, we are happy to assist.

    Sincerely,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Annie says: December 8, 2015 at 3:10 am

    My igniter was glowing, but only lighting about every other time.

    I sprayed that computer keyboard dust cleaner canned compressed air in the igniter hole. Fixed it. Ignites fast again.

    I think some dirt and soot got in there.

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: December 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Annie,

    Thank you for your comment and sharing. Very glad to hear your igniter is working and lighting the fire consistently once again. If you need anything at all please let us know.

    Warm Regards,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Jim comrey says: January 19, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Ignitor gets hot but does not light is it getting hot enough to light?

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: January 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Jim,
    Thanks for your message. The igniter should be getting glowing red hot. If it is not glowing red then the igniter is more than likely faulty. If it is glowing red than the igniter is more than likely fine and there is an issue with air-flow. The hot air forced around the igniter is what lights the fire. Make sure ash in that area is removed, burnpot holes are not plugged, door gasket seal is tight and combustion/exhaust fan is operating correctly.

    You can also test the igniter with an OHM Meter to determine if it is good or bad. Further questions just let us know; specifics regarding make and model can help us better troubleshoot.

    Thanks again for your inquiry.

    Taylor- Earth Sense

    Reply
    marie says: February 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I have a country/Lennox pellet stove and the igniter will be cherry red one minute and off the next, The igniter light is flashing and the pellets wont light. when I shut he sequence down by the off switch when it finally stops the combustion fan I get 2 flashing red lights which means ” proof of fire switch” so does that mean the stove is in shut down mode? anything I do it will not start untill I replace that switch? Or is it the igniter? Thanks

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: February 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Marie,

    Thanks for contacting us, happy to help. Based on what you are describing we believe the POF (Proof of Fire) snapswitch is not locking in because the stove is not igniting and creating the heat necessary to lock that switch in. As the igniters in the Winslow models start to go out, they glow red hot in the back where you can see it but are actually burnt out at the tip which is where the heat is needed to ignite the fire. Do you have an electrical meter? If you do, please check the Ohms coming from the igniter. Anything reading over 40 ohms with that particular element should be replaced. Let us know what you find, we are happy to assist.
    -Mr. Pellethead

    Reply
    rick says: April 11, 2016 at 3:23 am

    hi i have a napoleon pellet stove red light flashes fan side blower comes on no igniter red light. flashes fourth up fan side everything is clean i heard this could be hi limit switch or maybe igniter thank you is this hard to replace fa stays on.
    tank you

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: July 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Rick, Thanks for contacting us. Unfortunately we did not see your comment here until today – There was a glitch in our blog notifications. We are happy to assist should you still need us to. Please contact us direct at [email protected] for direct and immediate response on any questions or needs you may have. Warmest regards, Taylor M. -Earth Sense

    Reply
    Tim says: October 25, 2016 at 7:41 am

    I have a Harman P-61 pellet stove that won’t ignite.Tested the igniter by plugging it into a wall socket and works fine.During the feed cycle,the igniter indicator light never comes on.Thinking it’s just not getting power.Checked fuse on circuit board and all is good.What could be the cause?

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: October 25, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Tim,

    Tim, Thanks for contacting us. I will also send an email directly to you. Is the feed motor working? Have you double checked the igniter lead connections? Do you have a meter you can check to see what the amperage is coming through the igniter wires. This is either a control board issue or it could be the unit not making a complete circuit with the electric components. If the feed motor is not working it could be a vacuum switch issue. We are happy to assist and we will work with you to get this figured out. Thanks – Taylor

    Reply
    Dave says: October 26, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    I have an enviro ev5 evolution stove. Igniter gets red hot but stove doesn’t light. I noticed that the combustion fan doesn’t come on during start up but the exhaust fan does. Is the combustion fan supposed to come on during start up?

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: October 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Hey Dave, thanks for contacting us, happy to assist. I believe you are referring to the distribution/convection room-air fan not coming on during start-up. That blower motor will not run until the unit gets hot enough after start-up. There is a low limit snap switch mounted near that blower and once it reaches above 110/120 degrees it will lock in and kick that blower on. The exhaust/combustion motor should be running right away as soon as you start the stove up.

    As for the igniter, typically if it is glowing cherry red it should be correct, however you could double check the ohms with a meter and make sure it’s in proper range. Keep in mind that it is not the igniter that lights the fire, but the pre-heated air rushing past the igniter that lights the fire. Make sure the air inlet tube is free and clear, make sure the burnpot holes are free and clear, double check the door and ash pan door seal gaskets and double check the voltage of the exhaust/combustion fan. Let us know what you find, happy to assist. -Taylor

    Reply
    Deniese says: October 30, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Have a pleasant hearth pellet stove and having problem getting the igniter to light. Replaced it with a new one checked airflow, used Meter in it. Have to start the stove by hand which makes it run continuously.

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: October 30, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Deniese,

    Thanks for contacting us. So replaced igniter, double checked Ohms, made sure draft/exhaust fan was operating correctly and burnpot holes were open and clean – Those are great first steps to check. How does your door and ash pan gasket seals look? If we are not making good seals there won’t be enough negative pressure in the firebox to light the fire. When you say runs continuously are you saying your stove wont shut down or that the igniter stays on continuously? Could potentially be a control/circuit board issue, but you definitely want to check all the simple and basic things first. Let us know what you find.

    Thanks,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Colleen says: November 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Our Harman blower works great when I switch it to TEST Mode Test but when it swtiches back to regilar mode.. the blower goes off.

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: November 3, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for contacting us. With the Harman line of stoves the unit has to get up to temperature after start-up before the convection/distribution/room-air fan will kick on. The ESP Exhaust Thermister probe is what senses this heat and kicks the blower on when ready. Typically it is around 15 minutes after start-up. Is your fan not coming on at all? Is the status light giving you a series of blinks? Let us know, we are happy to assist.

    Thanks,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Alan says: November 4, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I have a Lennox Country PI40 insert and I’m having a problem igniting. The last time it actually worked, it ignited only after the burn pot was almost completely full of pellets, and then it lit with a POOF, a lot of smoke, some of which leaked out the door. Just before that final successful lighting, I had let the ash build up in the stove before cleaning for a little longer than usual. I replaced the igniter (with one I bought from you), but the new igniter did get hot but still not enough to light the fire. Not sure what’s happening here. I have been able to light the burn pot manually in the meantime and everything else works fine after I light it manually. Today I cleaned the burn pot by scraping it…not a lot of extra stuff came off of it…tonight I will try again….but I have no confidence that it will work since not a lot came off of the burn pot during my cleaning.

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: November 4, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Alan,

    Thanks for contacting us, we are happy to assist. Yes, foremost it is important to keep the firepot clean for proper ignition. With the Country Winslow it is crucial that the igniter is in the correct position to start/light effectively. The igniter should be mounted/installed as close to the burnpot as possible – almost butting up right to the burn pot. Make sure the positioning of the igniter/igniter tube is set that way. Secondly, it is important that the hose clamp on the igniter tube housing is not covering up the holes that are there. Please double check that hose clamp as well. Keep us posted, we will make sure everything is 100%.

    Thanks,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Carlos Paz says: November 11, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    I have a tps35 pellet stove that won’t ignite, do you recommend blowing compressed air first to see if that works?

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: November 12, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks for contacting us. It looks like the TPS35 is a Napolean stove from the research I’ve done. It’s not a unit we have ever carried, however most pellet stoves will function and work the same way when it comes to ignition. Probably not a problem that compressed air will fix. You want to make sure your burn pot holes are free and clear so the air can pass through effectively. Make sure your burn pot is seated in the stove correctly. Make sure your exhaust/combustion fan appears to be operating correctly. You can use an electrical meter and determine what the ohms are of the igniter to troubleshoot whether it’s good or bad. Let us know what you find, we are happy to assist.

    Thanks for contacting us.
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Kellie Sanchez says: November 18, 2016 at 4:46 am

    We have a vogelzang 5790 and it has basically started with a explosion when starting after a shutdown for low pellets and an accidently shut off and re start before shutdown sequence complete. Is the air intake open too much?

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: November 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Kellie,

    Thanks for contacting us. Keep in mind it is the air rushing past the igniter that is starting your fire. If there is excess fuel in the firepot, excess build up in the firepot or if any of the firepot holes are plugged, it can lead to an explosive ignition. This can also result if the stove has ash plugged elsewhere and it’s not able to draw the air through as efficiently as it needs to. Make sure the venting is clean, Ash traps are clean, exhaust manifold is clean and exhaust/combustion motor housing is clean. 99.9% of the time, the issue you are describing here is directly related to a cleaning issue. Any questions as you go through let us know, we are happy to help.

    Thanks,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Mark Delaney says: December 1, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Hello – I had the exact same problem as some of the earlier comments with my Lennox PI40 Winslow pellet insert. The igniter would glow but not get hot enough to start up. It would get an ‘ignition failure’ code. After eliminating all the other potential issues, I ordered a new igniter. This was Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I got the part on Monday and installed it the next day. The advice was right on! The stove works great now. Thank you for the detailed advice on what to check and what could cause this issue. You will be my first source for information on any future pellet stove issues. (Note – my local Winslow dealer in Prescott AZ, where I live, still hasn’t returned my call from Nov 22, so I took on servicing the stove myself. I’m glad that Earth Sense has this great helpful website)

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: December 1, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Wonderful to hear Mark! Happy to assist anyway we can. Any future questions or assistance needed please let us know. You can reach us direct anytime at [email protected]

    Warm regards,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    mark trollinger says: December 13, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I have a whitfield profile 20 My igniter wont start i checked to make sure everything was clear and clean checked all the wires took a voltage meter and got no reading on the igniter while it was on
    Any help would be appreciated
    Thanks

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: December 14, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Mark,

    Thanks for contacting us. It would sound to me that the igniter in your unit is faulty and needs to be replaced. Here is a link to the correct igniter element for your Profile 20. Any other questions let us know, we are happy to help. http://pellethead.com/product/whitfieldlennoxiron-strike-igniter-ignitor-element-starter-part-12150213-h8127-xp3500-wi-cart/

    Thanks,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    mark trollinger says: December 15, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    I had already put a brand new igniter in and it wont light i can manually get the pellets to burn with a blow torch though
    Something is preventing voltage to the igniter and i need help figuring it out
    Thanks

    Reply
    mark trollinger says: December 26, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Can anybody help me i still cant figure out why my igniter wont light
    Its not the igniter i tested it with an outlet and the igniter gets hot but wont turn on at all in the stove everything else works fine all the blowers work
    After i manually start the fire it feeds the pellets and stays on like it should
    Its like everything works fine but it wont light
    Please help

    Reply
    Bob Scardamalia says: December 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I have an Enviro Mini stove that for 10 years worked without issue. This year the igniter went and blew the fuse. Replaced the igniter with an OEM part and the stove has been running great for a month until yesterday when it blew a fuse. Took the igniter out and test it and sure enough it’s dead. My question – is there something else I should be looking at that would cause the igniter to fail (like something in the control board) or is this just a bad igniter and I need another one?

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: December 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Bob,

    Thanks for contacting us, happy to assist. Typically speaking if there was an issue with the control board it would blow the fuse and igniter right away whereas in your case it run great for a month. I would highly suspect that it is simply a faulty element. Enviro has at least a 90 day warranty on replacement parts; I would suggest contacting the vendor you purchased it from and have them file a warranty claim and send you a new element. Hope that helps, any other questions let us know.

    Thanks again,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Bobjerritts says: February 4, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Hi,

    I have a Winslow ps40. I have replaced the igniter and proof of fire switch Which I bought from you.

    Despite replacing parts, the pellets still won’t ignite. No sign of pellets getting red . The new igniter glows red when vied from inside stove. Stove igniter switch flashes two fast red while ready button is steady red.

    I cleaned the stove completely so I don’t believe the issue is air flow.

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: February 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for contacting us, we are happy to assist. The igniter placement in the Winslow is very particular. Here are a couple things to check.
    1. Make sure the igniter is pushed up so it’s virtually butting up against the burnpot. If you try to turn the burnpot it should be hitting the igniter housing after an 1/8-1/4 turn not allowing you to spin the burn pot. That will let you know it’s pushed up far enough.
    2. The igniter needs to be level. If it is mounted angling slightly up or down it will cause an issue with it lighting properly. Make sure it’s completely horizontal.
    3. Make sure the hose clamp used to tighten down is not covering up the air holes in the housing.
    4. Check the damper on the stove and make sure that it is pulled out enough.

    If all that seems right and there still is an issue, let’s double check the ohms of the igniter with a basic electrical meter. When touching each of the igniter ends with electrical leads and the meter set to Ohm reading, it should be giving a number between 33 and 39 ohms.

    Happy to assist, we’ll make sure everything is 100%

    Thanks,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Justin disko says: February 12, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Hello, I have a pleasant hearth pellet stove and it’s about 1 year old. The igniter works intermittently. I have cleaned, checked connections and also made sure the igniter housing is grounding to the stove itself properly. It will work a few cycles of getting to room temperature then shut down but later on it will not ignite/ glow red. Kind of stumped at the moment. Any assistance would be great.

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: February 13, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Justin,

    Thanks for contacting us, happy to assist. Very odd to have an igniter work intermittently; typically they are either going to be good or bad. Keep in mind that it is the air rushing around the igniter that lights the fuel, not the element itself. Make sure all air holes in the firepot are free and clear and that there is no obstruction in the air intake of the stove. Double check the positioning of the igniter as well. If it continues to cause an issue you may want to purchase a replacement igniter. Keep us posted, we are happy to assist.

    Thanks,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Joe S. Williams says: March 28, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Hello, I have a winslow ps40. The igniter quite working but have been using stove with no issues by manual start of burn pot. Stove was not used for approximately one week. In that time I cleaned it as always and when I went to use it three days ago it will burn as normal operation for one hour then it quits feeding and will go out with the ready light flashing green just like you hadn’t started it at all. If every 59 minutes you turn to off and then back to whatever setting you had it on it will run perfectly for another hour. Any ideas? Thanks. Btw I will replace igniter in spring when stove is not needed.

    Reply
    Earth Sense Energy System says: March 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Joe, Thanks for contacting us, happy to assist. Are you operating the PS40 on a thermostat or do you have the jumper in place just operating it with the manual heat settings? Let us know – you can reply direct to [email protected]. We are happy to help troubleshoot and whenever you do need that replacement igniter we will guarantee the best price and fastest shipping.

    Thanks again,
    Taylor-ESESstoves

    Reply
    Joe S. Williams says: March 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for the help. I had the stove installed in 2008 and it just has the manual control heat setting knob. No external thermostat. I had replaced the fuse for the igniter earlier but still would not light. Therefore I’m sure the igniter needs to be replaced. However the stove has been working fine until a few days ago by using manual lighting in burn pot. Can’t figure out why it will only run one hour and then go to ready mode. Thanks again for your expertise.

    Reply

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