Pellet Stove Igniter / Starter / Hot Rod Troubleshooting

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.

Recommended to 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 Kits
  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. 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 or back of the burn pot.)
  4. Make sure the burnpot/firepot is seated properly and that all air holes are free and clear
  5. Inspect the exhaust venting. Should be cleaned every 50 bags on average. Check for accumulation or blockage. Flue Vent Pipe Cleaning Products

Watch How To Test an Igniter:

Common Rear Igniter Replacement and Installation:

These are starting points. For further troubleshooting assistance please email us at [email protected] or comment on our YouTube Channel at:

  • Laura says:

    I have a question, my ignitor is faulty and I’m trying to replace it. I’ve done so in the past with no problems, however this time the ignitor won’t come out of the shaft? Do you have any insight to this problem if have you heard this before? Thanks in advance for any info!
    Laura from Canada!

    • pellethead_admin says:

      Hi Laura, happy to help. What make and model stove do you have? Happy to see what tips and tricks we may have for you. Generally speaking if an igniter is mounted inside a tube/housing and won’t come out, it can indicate that the igniter warped inside the tubing. Sometimes that tubing can be heated up safely to expand the metal to allow the igniter element to release. Just let us know your make and model and we’ll be happy to offer our advise on that. Very appreciated.

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