I am the HO, have been trained by Nordyne (20 years ago), have swapped out atmospheric burner for this power burner about 15 years ago. I have been maintaining, cleaning, etc since about 1999. This trailer is behind my house and contains my mother-in-law...!
Anyway, over the past few years, I have had several problems with igniters that cracked or otherwise could not sense flame. On some occasions, I have swapped it out with a new one, and all was good. On other occasions, I tipped it into the flame a little further, and that did it. I always keep a couple of extras on the shelf, along with an extra control and some other odds and ends. At the beginning of this heating season, the symptoms were present at startup. (4 sec of flame then off, cycle three times, then lockout.) So I changed the igniter, but no good. Then I bent it into the flame and - voila! Off and running.
Two days ago, she called to say she heard a "big boom," and no heat so I went to investigate. Same symptoms. When I went to take the igniter out, it had broken off completely at the porcelain. So I changed it out. These were Supco SSN2200, I think. Basically a low-cost, universal igniter. The next one sizzled and burnt up on the first firing. The next one cracked, and the next one sizzled also. I have one of those left. But I decided to go to the supply house and get a higher quality one (just in case.)
So I bought two... this were also Supco, but the better ones (SIG101) which has the element that wraps around the core. Anyway, the first one was cracked, so I put the second one in. And finally, that one is working, but still isn't sensing the flame (cycles on 4 seconds, three times, and locks out.)
(This might be a good time to buy stock in Supco!)
So, I examined the flame, but it doesn't really look like any of the pictures I see, so I cannot say if it "looks good" or not. I suspect it could be something with too much or too little draft, etc. Or it could be an intermittent issue with the control. Or it could be... something else. I'm afraid that the continuum of bad igniters may be a "red herring." Or that they might mean something, that only a trained tech would know.
I know that this cannot be diagnosed through the internet. And I know that there is no substitute for having a good, qualified tech check it out. But of course, I would only want one that hangs out here, not one from the phone book... heh. (I'm in New Windsor, NY.) But, maybe one of you has some tips, advice, or questions that might lead to such. If any of that is possible, I would welcome it.
Thanks in advance,