Honeywell Water Heater Failed Ignition Lockout

Honeywell Water Heater Failed Ignition Lockout

This a complete guide on Honeywell Water Heater Failed Ignition Lockout. What I will break down in this article: 

  • What is ignition lockout?
  • Common reasons that cause the unit to go into the ignition lockout and their solutions 
  • How to get Honeywell Water Heater Out of Ignition Lockout

So, let’s dive in. 

Table of Contents

What Is Ignition Lockout?

Ignition lockout indicates the failure to establish burning ignition or a stable flame after three successive trials. 

Your water heater with Honeywell Gas Control Valve will goes into the ‘Ignition Lockout’ mode for the following reasons: 

  • Gas supply is shut off
  • Unplug connectors 
  • Flame probe gets dirty or damaged
  • Burner wire gets corroded
  • Burner issue like wrong adjustment or dirty burner 
  • Faulty gas control valve 
  • Defective control

In the next chapter, I will describe each of the culprits and walk you through the troubleshooting steps to fix them. 

Honeywell Water Heater Failed Ignition Lockout [Causes & Solutions]

This chapter will bring the possible reasons into light that cause the water heater to go into the ‘Ignition Lockout’ mode. 

Gas Shut Off

Igniting the water heater without sufficient gas is quite impossible. If you try to relight the pilot without fuel, you can’t ignite the burner. After three failed relighting attempts, the water heater will go into the ignition lockout mode. 

How To Fix: 

First off, ensure there is enough gas in the gas tank. If not, refill the tank with fuel. Secondly, check the gas valve position. If it’s in the off position, turn it on to let the gas flow to the gas chamber for combustion.

Unplug Connectors

Multiple connectors like thermocouple wire and igniter wire are attached to the gas control valve. If a single wiring gets detached from its connectors, you can’t ignite the water heater. 

With a detached connector, it’s not possible to light the pilot- no matter how many times you try to relight the pilot. And guess what, it will activate the ignition lockout mode once you fail to ignite the unit after three successive trials. 

How To Fix: 

Check the condition of every connector that leads into the gas control valve. Ensure the thermopile wiring doesn’t come loose from the control valve. 

Also, make sure the igniter wiring is also inserted into its connector tightly. If any of the connectors come loose, plug them. 

Bad or Dirty Flame Probe

Flame probe or sensor is the next component I blame for the ignition lockout issue. If this sensor gets dirty or damaged, it fails to send a signal to the unit. As a result, the flame sensor fails to sense the flame and the unit won’t ignite. 

What happens then is- when you try to relight the pilot again and again, the water heater will go into the ignition lockout status. 

How To Fix:

Either cleaning or replacing the flame sensor will help you fix the ignition issue. In this case, you need to disassemble the unit to pull out the burner assembly. So, turn the gas supply off. 

Then, detach every connection like igniter wire, thermocouple wire, and pilot tube that leads into the gas control valve. Afterward, pull out the burner assembly and detach the flame sensor from the assembly.  

Now, take an emery cloth and gently scrub the flame probe to remove the dirt and debris. If the condition of this sensor is not well, replace it with a new one.  

Next, put back the flame sensor into the burner assembly and reinsert it into the burner chamber. Reconnect everything that leads into the gas control valve. Finally, turn on the unit to verify your water heater comes out of the ignition lockout mode. 

Corroded or Broken Burner Wire

Damaged or corroded burner wire can also cause the unit to not ignite. If you try to relight the pilot with a defective burner wire, you can never igniter your water heater. I highly recommend you call a certified technician to inspect the burner wire. On the other hand, you can also perform the inspection task if you are handy. 

Dirty Burner

Over time, the burner or the burner chamber gets dirty by dirt, debris, and fuel residue. You can’t turn on your water heater if the burner gets clogged by dirt. 

How To Fix: 

Cleaning the burner will help you fix this issue. To clean the burner follow these steps: 

  • Turn off the unit by shutting down the gas supply.
  • Detach everything like the igniter wire, thermopile wire, and pilot tube from the gas control valve. 
  • Remove the bottom cover and unscrew the nuts that hold the manifold door in place. 
  • Pull out the burner assembly from the burner chamber. 
  • Check the burner for debris and clean it with a vacuum cleaner. Don’t forget to vacuum up the burner chamber. 
  • After cleaning the burner, reinstall the burner assembly into the burner chamber and reconnect every connection that leads into the gas control valve. 
  • Finally, check the gas control valve for gas leak and turn on the unit. 

Faulty Gas Control Valve

Honeywell Gas Control Valve

A defective gas control valve is also a proven culprit that prevents the unit from igniting. You must replace the gas control valve to fix the ignition problem. 

It’s always recommended to make this replacement by a professional. However, you can also perform this task if you are handy. Regarding this, you can find this tutorial helpful: 

How To Get Honeywell Water Heater Out Of Ignition Lockout?

The three following steps will help you get the water heater out of ignition lockout status: 

  • Discover the reasons that cause the unit to activate the ignition lockout and solve them. Above, I already mentioned those culprits behind ignition lockout. So, follow the remedy to fix them. 
  • Reset the ignition lockout by momentarily pressing the red button on the display panel. 
  • Verify the water heater is functioning properly. 


Your Honeywell Water Heater won’t function or deliver any hot water if it goes into the ignition lockout condition.  

Several reasons are responsible for this issue (I already broke them down). Just solve those issues and keep pressing the red button on the display panel. It will reset the ignition lockout. 

If the remedy I offer doesn’t bring any luck, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber. 

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