Honeywell Water Heater Igniter Not Working

Why Is My Honeywell Water Heater Igniter Not Working?

The igniter on Honeywell water heater won’t work because of these three reasons: 

  • Igniter wires come loose from the white connector
  • The thermopile gets covered with carbon deposits
  • The igniter itself is bad

If you want to ignite the unit again to comfort the ice-cold conditions, you must address those issues and solve them. Fortunately, I will put you through the grind to resolve those problems I mentioned. 

The best part is- I will also walk you through 3 simple steps to replace the igniter if it’s at fault. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Table of Contents

Honeywell Water Heater Igniter Not Working [3 Easy Solutions]

Your Honeywell water heater igniter is not working due to loose igniter wiring, dirty thermopile, and bad igniter. 

Below, I will break down everything you need to know to let the igniter function again. 

01. Igniter Wire Comes Loose

Extracted igniter wires that come out of the white connector are the first I blame most.  

If the igniter wires come loose from their connector, the controller will receive no signal for ignition.  As a result, the igniter fails to ignite the burner.  

In short, the igniter doesn’t work if its wiring comes out of the white connector. 

How To Fix:

Start with inspecting the igniter wire (it’s either white or orange). It should be firmly inserted into the white connector. 

Igniter wire should be inserted into the white connector

If the white or the orange igniter wire comes loose, ensure you tighten it up or insert into the white connector. 

Lastly, make sure you keep the white connector far from the metal pilot tube, manifold tube, and manifold door. Indeed, the white connector shouldn’t touch these components. 

02. Thermopile Gets Dirty

Honeywell water heater thermopile won’t work if it gets covered with carbon deposits. Over time, carbon and fuel residue form a layer on the thermopile. As a result, it will not work the way it should. In other words, you can’t ignite your water heater. 

How To Fix:

Stick to the following steps to learn how to clean igniter on a water heater: 

  • Shut the gas supply off to the unit and set the gas control knob to the Off position.
  • Detach both igniter wire and the thermocouple wire that leads into the gas control valve. 
  • Don’t forget to remove the bottom cover from the unit.
  • Now, use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the pilot tube and the gas supply tube from the control valve. 
  • Use a screwdriver to unscrew the nuts that hold the manifold door in place. 
  • Once you remove the manifold door, take out the burner assembly from the burner chamber. 
  • Locate the thermopile on the burner assembly. 
  • If the igniter seems dirty, clean it by using an emery cloth. 
  • After cleaning it, replace the burner assembly in its place. 
  • Finally, follow the steps in reverse to complete the burner assembly installation. 

03. Defective Igniter

If cleaning the thermopile doesn’t bring any luck, I bet the igniter itself is the culprit. When this component gets damaged by corrosion or bent, it won’t function anymore. In this case, the only option you have in front of you is to replace the igniter. 

In the next chapter, I will walk you through the step-by-step procedure of igniter replacement. So, keep reading between the lines. 

Honeywell Water Heater Igniter Replacement [A Step-by-Step Procedure]

Replacing an igniter on Honeywell Water Heater is just a piece of cake. Just follow the below simple steps I described below to make the replacement correctly: 

Shut Off The Unit

First off, turn the main gas supply valve clockwise to stop the gas supply to the unit. Then, set the gas control knob to the Off position to turn off the unit. 

Detach Everything & Remove The Igniter

In this stage, what you need to do is to take everything out that leads into the gas control valve. For example, disconnect the igniter wires and the thermocouple wires from the gas control valve. 

Then, unscrew the manifold tube, pilot tube, and gas supply tube from the gas control valve. 

Next, remove a screw from the bottom of the Honeywell Gas Control Valve.

remove the screw that hold the plastic faceplate on the control valve

Afterward, use a screwdriver to remove the plastic face of the control valve. 

And then, pry off the igniter from the plastic assembly. 

removed the igniter

Install A New Igniter

Get a new igniter, which looks like the below screenshot. 

this is how the igniter looks like

Then, install it and push it into its place. After that, reinstall the plastic cover on the control and secure it with the nut. Next, reattach everything like the wiring, manifold tube, and pilot tube to the gas control valve. 

Finally, verify the igniter is working properly by relighting the pilot following the lighting instructions on the manual. 


How long does the igniter last on water heater?

Typically, an igniter on  a water heater lasts around 7 to 15 years. So, you should replace it after every 7 years.  

How do you light a hot water heater with an igniter Honeywell?

Relighting the pilot on Honeywell is simple. Just set the gas control knob to Off position for 5 to 7 minutes to let the gas clear out. Then, move the gas control knob to Pilot position. 

Hold down the pilot button and keep depressing the igniter button until the pilot light comes on. When the pilot light is on, turn the gas control knob to the desired temperature settings.

Can you replace an igniter on a gas water heater?

Yes, you can replace an igniter on a gas water heater. If it’s a Honeywell water heater, follow the steps I mentioned to make the replacement with ease. 


As I mentioned earlier, three culprits: loose igniter wiring, dirty thermopile, and bad igniter cause the igniter to not work. 

Just follow the troubleshooting steps I mentioned and fix them. I hope you can fix the issue by following this guideline. 

Read Also:

Similar Posts


  1. Eric,
    your tutorial was very helpful, I’m from El Paso as well. I live on the Eastside and went to Eastwood High back in the day. Where can I order the parts ( Thermopile, Igniter, etc.) for the Honeywell water heater? It does not blink at all.
    If you could get back to me, I really would appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *