Ignitor Mystery (American Standard Freedom 90)


Old 12-06-08, 04:24 AM
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Ignitor Mystery (American Standard Freedom 90)

Hello All,

Im hoping you can help me solve a mystery.....The mystery is ignitors that blow yearly....

First a little history....

Bought house (New) in 2002

After about 4 years, the heat stopped working. I discovered that the ignitor was bad. So, I went to my local HVAC store, and replaced it with the same part which I took out.

1 year later.....Poof!!! Same problem.

Went to different HVAC store, and they told me "Oh, that ignitor was redesigned....this is the new one" I thought "GREAT!!! maybe thats why they are going"

I was a bit skeptical, as it now mounted a bit differently. It was more in the direct line of the flame from the first burner as opposed to off on the side. Just in case, I bought 2 of them. Of course, little less than a year later.....POOF!!! Next one bad! But this time, it was a lot worse. Some how, the ignitor failed in a way that it shorted out the controller board, and one of the components on the controller board blew out!

So......I took controller board to local heating supplier, and he showed me the replacement. I also asked him what was the correct ignitor, and I felt more comfortable when he showed me the style of the ORIGINAL ONE that lasted 4 or so years.

Replaced both controller module, and ignitor.

Guess what I had to do this am? REPLACE THE IGNITOR AGAIN! This is after about 1 year again.


Any help/suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. Honestly, I dont want to simply call a HVAC guy when it breaks, because it will be the luck of the draw. If I get a GOOD guy, he will help. But, if I get a bad guy, he will simply just replace the ignitor, and say "you should be fine" (And I will be in the same situation a year later!!!)

Thanks again!!!
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Old 12-06-08, 06:16 PM
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What is the full model # of the furnace?

Is the furnace hooked up to two PVC pipe, or just one?

Is your system cycling on and off often?

Do you have a meter to check for voltage?
Old 12-06-08, 07:32 PM
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Ignitor burn out

Since you are in N.H. I doubt you are just starting the furnace for the first time this season but it is not unusual to see ignitors burn out the first time they are tried for the heating season. Sometimes it is a small flake of rust, sometimes a bug, even a dust bunny, anything laying on the ignitor can cause them to burn out. If over the summer a drop of water from the A/C could get on the ignitor & cause a burn out in the fall.
Old 12-07-08, 06:18 AM
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Thanks SO MUCH for your replies!!!

The full model of the furnace is:
Serial is:

The furnace came with an Ignitor that looked like this. It sits towards the side of the flame.

One time I went to the american standard dealer, and they said "Oh...thats redesigned" and they gave me a IGN00117

I wonder about this one, because it sits more in direct contact with the flame. It mounts directly to front with its bracket rather than bending 90 degress. In other words, more surface area of the second one is in the flame, whereas the first one has the skinny side facing the burner and is off to the side.

But....no matter what, both types done last more than a year!

I know these things are delecate and Im very careful when I install them. HOWEVER, I would say that each time I installed them, I have gently brushed them up against some metal components when trying to fish it inside. Could that have an effect? Keep in mind---it was VERY lightly, albeit I did for sure brush up against something.

To answer your other questions....

1) The furnace has ONE intake PVC pipe, and ONE output connected.

2) On cold mornings it does cycle a lot. I have the heat turn down during the evening, and then come back on in the AM. In the AM it does cycle a lot to bring the house back to temp.

3) Yes....I do have a volt meter. (And an oscilloscope for that matter....Im a nerd )

Thanks SO SO SO SO SO much for listening to me!
Old 12-07-08, 10:04 AM
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Silicon Nitride

These silicon nitride ignitors are supposed to be so much tougher than silicon carbide. My comments were based on experience with the carbide ignitors. I have zero experience with the silicon nitride.

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