Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

What is an igniter on a hot water boiler made of

gary_3 Member Posts: 1
I am wondering what the igniter in a Weil-McLain hot water boiler is made of and also any sorces to by one


  • Bob Tonner
    Bob Tonner Member Posts: 64

    It is made of silicon carbide. It is a crystalline type of material that, like many conductors, gets really hot when you put electrical current through it.

    I would think that many wholesalers would carry them. The most popular manufacturer is Norton from Worcester Mass.

  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
    Pretty much the same thing as

    A grinding wheel, plus additional materials to enhance electrical conductivity. None that I have seen hold up very well. I have to say the average life of an SC ignitor is 2 seasons or less.

    The new silicone nitride ignitors seem to be holding up much better so far. In many cases you can substitute one of them for the silicone carbide type with one of the update kits now available.
  • Norton Igniters

    are distributed by Robertshaw and can be found in their catalog. They make both a silicon carbide and silicon nitride igniter. Depending on the age of the equipment most of the old ones are silicon carbide.

    There are two kinds a Norton 201 and Norton 271.

    The 201 has a 34 second warmup and a resistance of between 45-400 Ohms room temp resistance.

    The 271 is a 17 second warmup resistance 40-75 ohms.

    The igniters in the Robertshaw catalog are all 271 igniters. Except for one which is 34 seconds and is special made for Carlin Conversion burners.

    There is another company called Surface Igniter Corporation (used to be Carborundum)they also make igniters.

    Silicon Carbide igniters are used on heating, water heating, ranges (ovens & broilers), and gas dryers.

    Silicon nitride igniters Norton 301, 401 and 601

    301 is a 12 volt

    401 is a 24 volt

    601 is a 120 volt

    3 to 5 second warmup

    401 is 1 to 4 ohms

    601 is 50 to 300 ohms

    White Rodgers distributes an upgrade kit for Silicon Carbide to Silicon Nitride part # 21D64-1. Be careful to follow directions for installation very carefully. Also make sure you use the cross reference as it is not a replacement for every Carbide igniter.


    Hope this helps.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,014
    Plenty of sources

    In my area Johnstone Supply has a wide selection. Graingers has a bunch. OEMs should be available from local dealers or reps. The factory is always an option.

    Ignitor life is a mixed bag and hard to predict. I have 7 years on my Weils. Then others need yearly replacement. Enviroment, numbers of cycles, incoming voltage, improper venting, recirculated vent gases, exposure to burner flame, are just some of the more common causes of premature failure.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
This discussion has been closed.