Hot Surface Furnace Igniter Education

All newer furnaces in about the past 10 years, have replaced the old continually burning pilots with these units also called simply H.S.I. On a call for heat from your thermostat the ignitor glows red and then lights the burners in the gas furnace. Because they are continually getting red hot and then cooling, they have a 3-5 year life expectancy. Most people should have a spare on hand for those middle of the night breakdowns. ( A 1/4" long nut driver REALLY helps! ) Also worth mentioning is, most service companies don't carry EVERY one of these on their trucks! You most likely will be able to change them yourself - but remember they are made of a VERY brittle material and will break VERY easily. During installation, EXTREME care should be taken not to bump the carbide section against metal! Beware also, different manufacturer's have different quality, while you may find a cheaper price you will probably not get the expected service life as with good quality units!

We carry a full line of the most commonly used hot surface ignitors.

Please use the diagrams and cross reference chart below to determine which one you need. The O.E.M number is the furnace factory part number, the Uni Line number is what you will use for ordering purposes. Compare the style of ceramic block as well as the electrical terminal on the end. Units shown with terminals are usually exact fit replacements, others have no terminal and you must use your own small wire nuts to use your existing terminal and install it on the new ignitor. Your old ignitor terminal can be cut off and installed on the new one if you can't find the correct configuration below. Just be sure to install wire nuts so no loose wires are protruding. Some of these ignitors will have (2) wire nuts included for this purpose.
Once you know which one you need, click on the appropriate link at the bottom of the page and you will be directed to a secure online ordering site where you can purchase them. Also note these units are 120 volt units, there are SOME furnace manufacturers that are using 24 volt ignitors! These 24 volt units will be burnt out instantly if 120 volts are applied to them! Please read the diagrams below carefully before ordering. To view pictures of a typical 24 volt ignitor see the bottom of this page.

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Visually look at the ignitor and see if it is cracked or has a white spot on the carbide section. If it is cracked or has a white spot it is probably bad. They last about 3 years. The new unit on the left is black but notice closely that the right unit which failed has a white spot on the left side. It actually has a small crack in it also, which is barely visible in the photo.

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The thermostat called for heat, then after a few seconds the igniter should glow red, then a few more seconds will bring on the burners as in the second photo.

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The ignitor has glowed a few seconds and then the main burners light.

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Shut main power off to the furnace. If you have a Volt meter set it to measure 120 Volts AC. Disconnect the modular plug at the end of the ignitor. Plug the meter leads into the modular end that goes back to the blower section. Turn the power back on and set the thermostat high enough to call for heat. The inducer motor will come on and after a few seconds you should get a reading of about 120 volts. If you don't and you are sure you don't have a 24 volt system then you most likely have a bad ignitor. If you don't have a Volt meter then the same test can be done with a cheap Circuit tester from Wal-Mart see below. This tester costs $1.44 and can be used all over your home! The one in the photo was found in the Hardware section near the electrical extension cords. Wal Mart scan number is 3207601693.

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A cheap 120 Volt circuit tester below. Plug it into the modular plug as in the above instructions.

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If there is power going to the ignitor from the Circuit Board, the small light will light after a few seconds. If it doesn't you probably have a bad Printed Circuit Board. Be aware however, there are limit switches, roll out switches and some other controls that could be bad.

Pictorial of ignitors used in most furnaces * Note: We don't carry the 41-413 model.

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To see a Cross Reference click the link below

Hot Surface Igniter Cross Reference

24 Volt Smart Valve To To

Smart Valve Igniter-Sensor

There are several different types of 24 volt ignitors used by several manufacturers. This picture is just one of them. This is not just an ignitor but is also a flame sensor. If your ignitor looks like any on the top of the page it is a 120 volt model. If it looks like this one it goes to a Smart Gas Valve Ignition System used on Ducane, some Tempstar and several others. Trane uses their own version of the 24 volt ignitor, the one thing they all have in common is that they are tiny in size.

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