Gas Fireplace Electronic Ignition Troubleshooting (The Detailed Guideline)

If you’re facing difficulty while igniting your gas fireplace, know that you aren’t alone. Homeowners who have gas fireplaces frequently fall in trouble with their electronic ignition system.

The possible causes range from dead batteries, cloudy gas, gas leak, burner failure, and other ignition problems.

But, what to do? Can this be solved? How to troubleshoot the problem?

Well, this article comes with aid to discuss gas fireplace electronic ignition troubleshooting in detail.

However, before starting with the rest of the article, have a look at the most common problems and their possible solutions to the electronic ignitor of a gas fireplace.

ProblemPossible Cause(s)
Pilot sparks but doesn’t lightThe module may not be grounded properlyIssue with the gas supply
Ignitor sparks and lights but the main burner isn’t runningExhaustion of propane gas Contamination is sensor rodPoor grounding between the gas valve and pilot assembly
Gas fireplace ignitor stops sparkingDirty or defective ignitor
Gas Fireplace ignitor remains lit without burner turned onFaulty wiring or loose connection
The pilot makes noise and doesn’t lightLoose connection or faulty wiring Incorrect ignitor gap  

Without further ado, let’s get to the basics of electronic ignitor troubleshooting.

How Does A Gas Fireplace Electronic Ignition Work?

Well, a successful ignition of a fireplace is set on an ignitor. The spark ignitor consists of an electrode that is responsible for bringing the spark as required.

The strong spark is generated by the voltage that is supplied when you turn on the controls.

This spark ignites the gas released by the burner.

Then, a flame rectifier is heated which relays signals to the control module.

This heat indicates that the fire is present.

Gas Fireplace Electronic Ignition Problems and Troubleshooting

When it comes to working with a gas fireplace, you may face different types of problems that need to be troubleshoot.

The problems range from a pilot not working at all, no spark at the pilot burner but making noise, or the pilot not sparking at all.

All there’s a solution for all problems, the ignitor problems can also be solved in terms of troubleshooting. Here are some of those.

1. Pilot Sparks but Doesn’t Light

When you see this occurs, surely there’s a malfunction that can be because of a gas supply issue or a module may not be grounded.

To troubleshoot the problem, firstly you need to ensure the ball valve on the incoming gas line is in the “open” position. Also, you need to confirm the inlet pressure reading is within the optimum range.

If the problem still stays, then there’s a module that may not be grounded properly. To find that out, check the valve and pilot assemblies if they are grounded to the metal chassis of the fireplace.

2. Pilot Sparks and Lights but Burner Doesn’t

When the pilot sparks and lights but the main burner doesn’t do the same, there are many probable reasons behind that. These range from the exhaustion of propane gas, loose connection in sensor rod, contamination, poor grounding between the gas valve and pilot assembly, and many more.

To troubleshoot, firstly you need to check if the propane gas is filled or not. If not, fill up the cylinder and start as usual.

However, if you detect a dirty, damaged, or contaminated sensor rod, you would need to clean it using emery cloth. It helps the sensor rod to get rid of any contamination. Then, bring a multimeter and test for continuity.

If the problem occurs for poor flame rectification, make sure to examine the flame whether it is engulfing the sensor rod or not. Also, ensure the pilot orifice is properly installed as per the instructions provided in the manual.

Another probable reason would be the poor grounding between the gas valve and pilot assembly. In order to troubleshoot, tighten the wire harness to the module.

Also, check the condition of the ceramic insulator which is located around the sensor rod. If it is cracked or damaged, it should be replaced.

3. Gas Fireplace Ignitor Stops Sparking

If the pilot is lit but the fireplace isn’t igniting as the ignitor stops sparking, the ignitor is probably dirty or defective.

Bring out all components carefully and ensure to clear away all dirt and debris that is in the way between the ignitor and the thermocouple.

4. Gas Fireplace Ignitor Remains Lit Without Burner Turned On

This problem occurs due to a faulty wiring harness or connection problem.

If you suspect the faulty wiring or a loose connection is the culprit here, you can troubleshoot by inspecting all wires. Make sure to tighten all wirings. Also, they should be installed just as inscribed in the owner’s manual.

Again, sometimes a faulty module or valve may be the reason for the problem. To deal with this, you need to bring your multimeter out by turning it to the “DC” setting.

The red end should be placed on the screw that is located on the terminal block. The black lead of the multimeter is placed on the ground which is the valve here.

If you get a zero reading, then there’s an issue with the module or valve. Check if wires are connected in the right order or not. Also, this should be tightly connected to the module.

If the problem remains, call the customer service center number as soon as possible. You’ll get the number in the manual as well.

5. Pilot Makes Noise and Doesn’t Light

If you’re facing the problem, it could be due to a loose connection, faulty wiring, or an incorrect ignitor gap.

To troubleshoot this problem, you’ll need to ensure that both wires of the ignitor and sensor are tightly and properly connected to the terminals. Make sure there’s no loose connection whatsoever.

Again, you also need to ensure that there is no electrical shorting in the wiring. Also, if the incorrect ignitor gap is the problem, you need to make necessary adjustments as prescribed in the manual.


It is very common to experience electronic ignition issues while operating a gas fireplace. Knowing how to troubleshoot the issues is a great advantage. That’s why I tried to cover most of the common problems that you may face by explaining why they occur and how to fix them.

I hope after reading this gas fireplace electronic ignition troubleshooting guideline, you’ll be able to deal with any issues that may arise with your gas fireplace.

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