Girard Tankless Water Heater Won’t Light [Here’s What To Do]

The major reasons for Girard tankless water heater won’t light include:

  • Insufficient gas inlet pressure.
  • Degradation in power supply.
  • Faulty igniter.
  • Accumulated debris on the burner chamber. 

Plus low water flow is another leading reason that prevents the flame from igniting. Or, your water heater might be in an anti-freezing operation.  

First off, confirm that there is sufficient gas in the propane tank and the igniter assembly is functioning well. If that is not the issue, ensure that the gas valve is open and the burner chamber is clean, so gas can ignite the flame.

Let’s take a deeper dive into our comprehensive guide to know how to deal with your water heater if it is failing to light. 

girard tankless water heater won't light

How You Fix Instantly

Before moving to the detailed troubleshooting, let’s have a quick overview of all probable reasons and instant solutions through the table below:

Probable Reasons Recommended Fix 
Gas supply issue # Check for the fuel amount in the LP tank and refill it if needed.
# After refilling, purge the air from the gas line. 
# Adjust the gas pressure in the unit.
# Turn on the gas valve all the way. 
Faulty power supply # Make sure the heater power switch is turned on.
# Reset the tripped circuit breaker or replace the blown fuse.
# Ensure the heater is connected with 12VDC power output. 
Faulty igniter # Check for faulty igniter wiring connection to the control board. 
# Clean out the igniter assembly.
# Replace the defective igniter. 
Clogged burner orifice Inspect the burner orifice and clean out the main burner. 
Low water flow Increase the water pressure from the water control valve. 

How To Fix If Girard Tankless Water Heater Won’t Light [7 Easy Solutions]

Throughout this troubleshooting guide, I am going to unfold all the reasons that are causing the ignition issue in your RV tankless water heater. Plus, I’ll help you to discover effective solutions herewith. So, keep on reading till the end.

01. Perform A Soft Reset

In case your RV tankless water heater fails to light, there will be a minor glitch throughout the system. If so, a soft reset in the unit will be enough to diminish the glitch in the system. 

Plus, Girard tankless water heater error code E1 is also a clear indication of the ignition failure in the unit. So, check for such an error code on your heater’s control display. If you find the code, start troubleshooting with the easiest thing like a soft reset.

Hope it’ll prove to be an effective fix. Let’s proceed:

How To Reset Girard Tankless Water Heater?

Here are the simple procedures to do a soft reset in your Girard RV tankless water heater.

Step #1: Turn off the electric supply to your water. For instance, turn the heater On/Off switch to the off position and unplug the power cord from the wall socket. Or, you may simply flip the circuit breaker switch to the “Off position. 

Step #2: Now shut off the hot water faucets for your water heater. Turn the handle on the faucets CLOCKWISE until it stops.

Step #3: Wait for 10-15 minutes and let the heater reset.

Step #4: After that time, turn the hot water faucets back on again and the controller of your heater will reset. Now check for ignition whether you are getting a flame in your water heater.

Apart from the soft reset on your Girard Tankless water heater control panel, you can even reset your heater through a reset button as well. Both resetting attempts will set your water heater into default settings. 

02. Insufficient Gas Inlet Pressure

If still, you are not getting a flame in your water heater, the best possibility is there is an interruption in the gas supply to your heater unit. Without fuel, you can’t expect your RV water heater to fire up. 

Several factors would be responsible for insufficient inlet gas pressure in the system. Such as:

  • Empty LP tank and not enough fuel in the tank.
  • The valves for the gas are closed or not completely open.
  • Having a leak in your propane system.
  • Air in the gas line.
  • Bent gas hose.

How To Fix:

As the fuel is one of the root sources to start up the ignition process in your tankless water heater, you need to ensure a fluent fuel supply throughout the system. Here is all you need to do:

i) Check For Fuel Amount In The LP Tank:

First, you need to verify there is enough fuel in the propane tank. Turn the gas OFF at the LP tank and check for the propane level in the tank. You can simply measure the propane level using a propane gauge or any other method that you prefer.

Anyway, if there is not sufficient gas in the tank, you need to refill it. Also, remember that the LP tank must be filled by a qualified gas supplier only.

ii) Inspect The Gas lines:

After refilling the gas in the tank, you need to purge the LP tank and bottles correctly and ensure that all of the air has been eliminated from the cylinder. Air in the gas line or tank can cause intermittent heating operation errors. 

When done, don’t miss to check whether any of the gas hose is bent. If so, straighten it to ensure a fluent gas supply. Clean out the stuck debris from the gas line as a build-up of oil in the LP plumbing can debris or oil restrict the gas flow to the appliances. 

Lastly, inspect the gas line fittings inside the heater. Make sure the screws to the fittings are not incredibly tight. 

gas line fittings inside the girard tankless water heater

iii) Ensure Sufficient Gas Pressure:

If everything is okay in the tank and gas lines, it’s time to check the gas inlet pressure throughout the system. Take a gas pressure monometer and measure the pressure of a gas. In the case of propane fuel, there should be a minimum of 8.0 WC or 1.99 kPA gas pressure for the proper operation of the water heater.

If your manometer isn’t showing the amount in this range, you’ll need to increase the gas pressure by adjusting the regulator on the gas control valve. 

iv) Check For Leak In The Propane System:

While fixing the gas pressure issue, it’s always wise to check for leaks in your propane system. You can use soapy water methods to do so.

Apply the soapy water to the entire hose assembly, the tank’s valve, and the regulator. If you see bubbles or smell like rotten eggs, be sure there is a leak in the plumbing system. 

Contact a professional to fix the leak as soon as possible. 

v) Inspect The Gas Valves

Along with the other above steps, it’s also essential to inspect the gas valve. 

There are about two gas valves in your Girard RV tankless water heater inside. One side of the gas valve is the on/off solenoid and the other one is the linear valve. Here the gas valve is designed to adjust the amount of gas pressure to the burner orifices.

If the solenoid gas valve fails to open, no gas will be supplied to the burner, and consequently, there will be no ignition. 

Anyway, to check the gas valve condition-

  • Take a volt meter and measure the voltage of the valve connection at the control board. It should give a reading of approximately 12VDC on a voltmeter.
  • If the voltage is not in this range, be sure that there is a problem with the wire connections. Fix it.  
  • Now, measure the output gas pressure of the gas valve. Place the voltmeter probe at the test port on the right side of the board. There should be 1.5” WC on low heat and 7.8” WC on high heat. 
  • In case there is no pressure, be sure either the valve is not open or you have a faulty gas valve. Contact a professional to replace it or you may take a look at this effective Girard tankless water heater error codes guide to learn the needed procedures for replacement by yourself.

03. Degradation Power Supply

A faulty power supply or interruption in the electric supply to your RV water heater is one of the root causes behind the ignition issues in the unit.  Along with the proper fuel supply, there should be a fluent electric supply to the unit to ensure the proper ignition process. 

In case, there is a glitch in the power connection, the element won’t work as it should.

However, this would happen due to:

  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Blown fuse
  • Turned off heater “ON/Off” switch
  • Loose or worn-out wiring
  • Faulty power cord connection
  • Malfunction from the wall outlet

How To Fix:

Whenever you are fixing the electric issues on your RV, make sure you’ve checked the following:

First up, remove the front cover of your water and there will be an On/Off switch. Make sure the switch is turned on. The indicator light should come ON, indicating the switch is in good operation.

girard tankless water heater on-off switch

Also, verify whether the fuse below the power switch is in well working condition. You need to replace the blown fuse.

If your water heater is connected through a power cord, look for the sign of damage on the cord. Repair or replace it. Also, inspect the circuit breaker switch for your water heater. It should not be tripped. If so, simply reset the switch will get back into normal operation.

Above all, it’s wise for a regular inspection of all the wiring connections of the heater. Replace the worn-out wires and tighten them if any wires get loosened. Now check for voltage going through your RV water heater using a voltmeter. 

Make sure your unit is connected to up to 12VDC power supply and it should be properly grounded. Also remember, your RV water heater will not function when the input voltage drops below 10VDC. You can verify the poor power output through the illuminated red LED.

Tip: If your water is connected with an older converter, don’t forget to check the wiring connection through the battery or on the filtered side of the converter.

04. Faulty Igniter 

A faulty igniter is the big reason for not sparking which leads to ignition failure in your RV tankless water heater. Basically, the igniter is one of the main elements for ignition that ignites the main burner by creating sparks. So first up, look for sparks at the tips of the igniter.

girard tankless water heater igniter

If there is no spark or slow at the igniter, be sure it is a clear sign of the igniter problem. There are a few factors that would be responsible for a faulty igniter:

  • Faulty igniter wiring connections to the control board
  • Obstructed igniter assembly
  • Improper distance between the igniter and the burner
  • Cracked or defective igniter itself

How To Fix:

Before inspecting the heater inside, disconnect the power connection to your tankless water heater system. Turn off the water supply as well. Now proceed to the below few steps to fix the igniter issues on your tankless water heater:

Step #1: Check For Wiring Connection

First, inspect the wiring connection from the igniter to the control board. At the top right corner of the control board, you will find a high voltage output from where the needed voltage is sent to the igniter through spade-type connectors. Make sure the connections are good and secured enough.

control board wiring connection of girard tankless water heater

If needed, unplug the high-voltage connection and hold the connector approximately 1/8” from the case. Then check for spark. If still the same situation, it’s a bet either the igniter is clogged or the element is defective itself. 

Step #2: Clean Out The Igniter Assembly

Visually inspect the igniter for obstructions or debris. you will find carbon or a white substance build up on the igniter. Clean out the igniter using 100-grit sandpaper or similar. 

While doing so, don’t put excessive pressure that may lead to physical damage or out of position.

After cleaning, check for the igniter connection with the burner. For instance, go through the Girard tankless water heater manual for your model.

Step #3: Replace The Bad Igniter

If all the above troubleshoots fail to resolve the igniter problem, it’s confirmed that you are dealing with a faulty igniter that needs replacement. Install a new igniter and if needed, seek professional help to do so.  

05. Clogged Burner Orifices Blocks

If still your water heater is failing to light, be sure it’s time to inspect the burner orifice. The ignition failure on RV tankless water heaters can occur from the malfunction of the burner orifice. 

The orifice block of the tankless water heater is located under the burner where about  6 orifices are metering gas into the burners. Now in case the orifice is blocked by debris, it would prevent the burner from firing.

So as a solution, you need to inspect the burner orifices for debris or condensate build-up and clean them if needed. Take a look at the how-to section to make your tasks easier:

How To Clean Burner Orifice In Girard Tankless Water Heater?

First up, let’s walk you through how you will inspect the burner assembly for cleaning. Here are step-by-step processes to follow:

Step #1: First up, make sure you’ve disconnected the electric and water supply to your water heater. Now remove the front cover and find out the orifice block.

Step #2: To clean the blocks, remove the output gas line mounting screws using a wrench. When done, you can easily pull the gas line away from the bock.

Step #3: Now, remove two screws mounting to the burner case and pull out the orifice block tabs.

Step #4: Once done, remove the main burner for cleaning. Take an air compressor or strong vacuum cleaner to clean the burner. Also, inspect the orifice for obstructions and clean out the scale deposits with a wire brush. Make sure there is no large debris left in the assembly.

Step #5: After cleaning, reassemble the heater. Plug it back into the power connection and turn on the water supply. Now check whether the heater is lighting or not.

If not, don’t get a hassle! I have 2 more effective solutions for you that would help you!  

06. Low Water Flow

Low water pressure is one of the most frequent causes if there is ignition malfunction in an RV tankless water heater.  If the water flow is too low, the burner will not ignite. 

In general, Girard tankless water heater requires between 1 and 1.4 Gallons per minute to ensure the optimum operation of the system. If the water flow is not in this range, you will not expect to light your heater burner properly. 

Anyway, the water flow on a water heater mostly depends on the plumbing and fixtures of the RV like the length of the plumbing or the restrictions in the faucets. 

Despite these, there are several factors that you need to concentrate on to adjust the water pressure to a recommended level. Follow the below section.

How To Adjust Water Pressure In Girard Tankless Water Heater?

To increase the water flow to your RV tankless water heater, make sure you’ve checked out the following:

First up, locate the water control valve to your water. Ensure that it is opened all of the way up.

water control valve of girard tankless water heater

Then inspect the plumbing and fixtures of your heater. Make sure there is no accumulated debris on the plumbing system that is restricting the flow. 

Also, there might be a flow restrictor in the faucet on the incoming water line. If so, just remove it. Plus verify that the water lines are connected properly and the plumbing is installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

When all is done, test the water flow using a pressure regulator. It should give the reading at least .8 GPM. 

If the water flow seems too low, inspect the water flow sensor from inside the water heater. This is basically a water flow meter that gives the actual water flow measurement to the control board.  

If the flow meter doesn’t function well, the board will no longer sense that there is enough flow of water, and then it turns off the ignition process. First off, clean out the grease-like deposits on the impellers of the flow sensor. If needed, replace the defective flow sensor.

07. Activated WUD Or Winter Use Device

Girard RV tankless water heater features an antifreeze or winter use system that keeps the water heater from freezing when it is in a freezing condition outside.

For instance, the heater uses a WUD thermostat that is designed to turn off at 48 degrees Fahrenheit and turn on at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. When the thermostat turns on, the water heater will begin to operate and heat the water. 

So, if still, the ignition problem persists in your heater, the best chances are the WUD thermostat is activated.  If so, you need to de-winterize your RV water heater. 

De-winterizing an RV tankless water is quite straightforward. Simply, you need to run the freshwater through all your faucets and the heater will be out of the anti-freeze operation.


How to properly turn on a Girard tankless water heater?

First off, turn on the power button on the control panel and the screen should light up. Then turn on the pump and make sure it is working correctly. Finally, open the hot water faucets and you will get hot water within a few seconds. Well, in case you face your Girard tankless water heater not turning on, you can go through this linked guideline to fix the issue.

How do I winterize my Girard tankless water heater?

To winterize your RV water heater, first, drain all the water from the plumbing using compressed air. Then fill the pipes with antifreeze. Overall, you don’t need to bypass your water heater during the process.

In Closing!

Whenever you’re struggling with the Girard tankless water heater won’t light issue, the propane supply is the first thing to check. Before that, there is a quick soft reset that can be performed to start the ignition. However, the persistent problem is a clear indication that you need to call for professional assistance or Girard water heater customer support for further troubleshooting.

Nevertheless, I’ve described all the needed procedures if the soft reset doesn’t prove to resolve the issue. Yet, I’ll recommend following all the tips and tricks assembled in our Girard tankless water heater maintenance guide to keep the heater in its optimal performance, 

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