How To Replace State Select Water Heater Igniter: Step By Step Guide

A faulty igniter is one of the possible causes why the pilot in your gas heater won’t light. If you’re sure that you have a bad igniter, you must replace it. So, how to replace State Select water heater igniter?

It depends on the model you have. If you have an older model that has a gas valve with no status light, it’ll be one process. It’ll be another process if you have a gas valve with a status light.

Don’t worry, I’ll discuss how you can replace the igniter for both these valve types in this guide. You’ll also learn about a quick test to determine if you have a bad igniter. So, let’s dive in!

How To Replace State Select Water Heater Igniter [Older Gas Valves]

If you have an old model of State Select water heater, the gas control valve in your unit won’t have a status light. Here’s a picture of the type of gas valves I’m talking about:

state select water heater old gas valve

Before replacing the igniter, you should test if it’s actually bad or not. You won’t have a pilot light if you have a bad igniter. But several other issues can cause no pilot light and we need to narrow it down to the igniter.

Dim down the lights in your room and look through the viewport. If sparks come on as you press the igniter, it means your igniter is fine. The issue is most likely with another component in that case.

But if no sparks exist, it could be due to a bad igniter. You should clean the electrode first that’s supposed to create the sparks. If there are still no sparks after you clean the electrode, there’s a strong possibility that you have a bad igniter.

Now, let’s look at how you can replace the igniter. Follow these steps to do it:

  • Move the gas control knob to the Off position and shut off the main gas supply valve.
  • Disconnect the spark wire from the spark igniter wire.
  • Push the old spark igniter towards the tank.
  • The igniter will come loose and you should be able to remove it.
  • Align the new igniter to the bracket on the gas valve and push it forward to secure its position.
  • Attach the igniter wire with the spark wire.

That’s how you can replace the piezo igniter in your State Select gas water heater. Turn on the main gas supply and see if the igniter produces sparks now. Hopefully, the pilot light will come on and stay on after the replacement.

If you see sparks but the pilot still won’t come on, there is most likely another issue that’s keeping it from staying lit. Check out our guide on State Select water heater pilot light troubleshooting to find out more about it.

How To Replace State Select Water Heater Igniter [Newer Gas Valves]

If you have a newer State Select gas water heater, it’ll have a Honeywell gas valve with a status light. Here’s what it’ll look like:

state select water heater new gas valve

Though the replacement process of the igniter in the new models is different from the older ones, the testing process is the same. Make sure that there are no sparks coming from the electrode if you suspect you have a bad igniter.

If there are sparks, your igniter is fine. Otherwise, you could have a bad igniter. First, make sure that the igniter wire has a tight connection to the gas control thermostat. If it’s tight, then the electrode could be dirty and that’d prevent the creation of sparks.

If there are no sparks even after cleaning the electrode, you have a bad igniter. Here’s something you should understand – when you have a bad igniter, it’ll be either the switch that’s bad or the igniter itself is faulty.

The main igniter is located in the main burner assembly. I’ll look at how you can replace it in a second. But first, let’s talk about replacing the igniter switch. You can follow these steps to do it:

  • Turn the main gas valve perpendicular to the gas lines to shut off the gas supply.
  • Remove the electrical connections at the gas control thermostat.
  • Disconnect the connection between the igniter switch and the igniter wire.
  • Remove the screw located at the bottom of the thermostat.
  • Tilt the cover upward and use a flat-blade screwdriver to depress the tabs on top of the thermostat. Once you do that, you’ll be able to pull off the cover.

Here’s how it’ll look when you take off the cover:

state select water heater gas thermostat after removing cover

Once you get this far, you can follow these steps to complete the replacement:

  • Press the igniter button to slide the igniter switch outward and pull it out by pressing the plastic clip using the screwdriver.
  • Take the new igniter switch and insert it in place of the old one. If you give it a little push, it should be sealed in its place.
  • Then, put the cover of the gas control thermostat back on. Make sure that the wires inside the thermostat are placed the same way as they were before. Otherwise, you’d have trouble tightening the cover.
  • Once you’ve got the cover in a good position, push the plastic tabs till you hear them click and tighten the screw back on.
  • Attach the wires you removed earlier, turn the main gas valve back on, and turn the heater back on.

So, that’s how you can replace the igniter switch. Hopefully, you’ll get the pilot light to come on after replacing the switch. If that doesn’t work, it’s possible that the switch was fine but the igniter itself was bad. In that case, you’ll have to replace it to avoid any issues like no hot water in your state select gas water heater.

You can just replace the entire flame sensor assembly here to solve your issue. Follow these steps to do it:

Step 01: Pull Out The Manifold Assembly

Cut off the gas supply to the water heater by switching off the main gas valve. Move the gas control knob on the thermostat to the “Off” position. Remove the outer door of the burner located at the bottom of your heater.

Unscrew the two screws that hold the manifold burner door assembly in place and take off the door. Disconnect the igniter wire, the pilot tube, and the manifold tube connections at the thermostat. You’ll need a 7/16” wrench for the pilot tube and a 3/4” wrench for the pilot tube.

Disconnect the TCO wire which goes from the thermal switch to the manifold door. Once you’ve removed the connections, push the manifold tube back and forth to free the main burner from the gas control valve.

Once the main burner assembly is loose, carefully slide it out without damaging any other component.

Step 02: Remove The Old Flame Sensor Assembly

Lift the retainer clip located at the back of the manifold component block with a flat-blade screwdriver. Then, you can separate the manifold component block from the manifold door.

Loosen the nut that secures the pilot tube to the pilot assembly. Make sure you hold pliers during this process so that you don’t bend the pilot bracket.

Pull the pilot tube from the pilot assembly. Remove the screws that hold the flame sensor assembly in place using a screwdriver.

Step 03: Replace The Flame Sensor Assembly

Replace the flame sensor assembly with a new one. It’s the 12A part in your manual if you’re using a natural gas heater and the 12B part if you’re using a propane gas heater.

Reverse engineer the above steps and put your heater back together. Turn on the gas supply valve and make sure the igniter is producing sparks when you press the button.

How To Prevent The Igniter From Going Bad

Ignitors do have a long lifespan. On average, they’d last for nearly 7 years before they go bad. But if you want to make sure they last longer, then you’d have to maintain your heater better. Also, with proper maintenance, you can skip many issues with your State Select gas water heater in advance.

The main burner assembly can get clogged and the dirt will prevent the igniter from working properly. Eventually, the igniter will go bad. So, if you clean the main burner assembly at least once a year, both the burner itself and the igniter should last longer.

Having said that, it’s not common for igniters to last the lifespan of an entire heater. You’d have to replace the igniter at least once during your heater’s operational period. Hopefully, you can still limit the replacement jobs after taking good care of your heater.


How much would it cost for a State Select water heater igniter replacement?

The part itself would cost between $20 – $40. If you hire an expert to do the replacement, you’d be paying a few hundred dollars in service charges. So, you better do it yourself as it’s an easy job.

How to reset a State Select gas water heater?

As there is no reset button in a State Select gas water heater, you’ll have to go old school here. Move the gas control knob to the Off position, wait for ten minutes, and relight the pilot to do it.

How to start the pilot light of a State Select water heater?

Move the gas control knob to the pilot position and press the igniter once every second while holding down the knob. Once the pilot light comes on, hold it for another 20-30 seconds and set the knob to your desired temperature.

How do you remove rust from the electrode?

You can clean the electrode by using an emery cloth or fine-grit sandpaper. If there is no rust in it but it’s dirty, use a piece of damp cloth to clean it.


So, how to replace State Select water heater igniter? Hopefully, you know the answer after completing this guide. Remember that the fault could be either with the switch or the igniter itself.

You know how to replace them both. No need to empty your wallet by hiring technicians for this one. Hopefully, this guide has helped you out and you can replace the igniter on your own.

In case you have a bad temperature sensor, check out our solution guide on State Select water heater temperature sensor failure to know the reasons & fixation in detail.

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