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Thread: Hayward heater "ignition failure", though it does ignite

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    Hayward heater "ignition failure", though it does ignite

    I'm wondering if anyone has seen anything like this before.

    My Hayward H-Series (electric ignition) heater will ignite, heat for a while, and then shut itself off. After a few seconds it cycles again; it ignites, heats for a minute or two, then shuts off. After doing this a third time, it quits and reports an "IF" error, meaning "ignition failure". However, it didn't actually fail to ignite... it's like it's just not realizing that it succeeded in igniting.

    It sounds like it might be a problem with the sensor that tells it whether it's ignited. But, it gets a little weirder. It heats continuously, just fine, until the water reaches ~70 degrees F. Then, it starts with this problem.

    So, I wonder if it might be related to water temperature somehow, or gas pressure, or even water getting into the wrong place. Any idea what might be causing this?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Central NJ

    Re: Hayward heater "ignition failure", though it does ignite

    Sound like a Hi-Limit sensor is tripping. Since it is resetting, this leads me to expect the trouble is likely to be the internal bypass has stick open, letting most of the water bypass the heat exchanger. Without enough water going through the heat exchanger, it gets too hot and trips. The bypass valve is in the front header.

    Another possible cause, but less likely, is a clogged heat exchanger restricting the flow.

    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Re: Hayward heater "ignition failure", though it does ignite

    Here are a couple of things to check before you contact your service technician.

    Clean your filter and pump strainer to ensure proper water flow.
    Check the wiring and connections.
    Remove any dirt, dust, lint from the burner area.

    If you are not comfortable with this type of repair work, please contact your local service technician. A good service technician is worth every penny, especially on heater repairs.

    Scott has been extremely accurate with the on-line diagnosis of heaters. If you are comfortable doing these repairs, then here is some additional information:

    To check the bypass valve (service cartridge), here is a link to the service manual: ... manual.pdf
    See page 48 for a diagram of the inlet/outlet header located behind the plastic side panel.

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Hayward heater "ignition failure", though it does ignite

    Thank you both very much! I'll post again once I've found out what the problem was.

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