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Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition - Gas Ignition Systems

The Honeywell Y8610U Intermittent Pilot Retrofit Kit

Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition - So you are tired of relighting the pilot light every so often or replacing the thermocouple on your standing pilot gas water heater. You want to replace the standing pilot gas valve with an electronic ignition gas system so you can never have to ever worry about lighting another pilot light again. How do you do this? You can refer to this article about changing a standing pilot gas boiler system to electron ignition for additional information.

Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition

First of all, you need to have a very good understanding of basic electric circuits. If you are not confident about your electrical skills and knowledge of electrical circuits it is best to hire someone to make the conversion for you. You should also have a basic understanding of piping as you will need to replace the gas valve and position the new pilot burner really close to the main burners of the water heater. Other than skills and knowledge you will also need all the tools to perform the task. Plus what the materials and new components will cost.

Honeywell Conversion Kit Available here - includes gas valves and all the parts needed for the conversion.

Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition - The Kits

There are a few manufacturers that offer complete electronic ignition kits to make it easier for you to make the conversion. The kit will not include a transformer which you will need plus a source of power. You need a junction box near the water heater to provide 120 volts for the transformer. The transformer should be a step-down transformer from 120 to 24 volts. If you need to run a new circuit from the circuit breaker box it is best to get a qualified electrician to do it for you. The new control and gas valve will need a 24-volt power source to work. The 24 volts can run from a transformer mounted on a junction box where the 120 volts powers the line side of the transformer. Some standing pilot gas water heaters already have a transformer so it will not be necessary to run the 120 or buy a transformer.

Honeywell Conversion Kit Available here - includes gas valves and all the parts needed for the conversion.

Once you have the 24-volt power source for the new control and gas valve you should the instructions exactly provided with the kit. The kit I have personally used with great success in the past is the Honeywell conversion kit captioned in the photo above. It comes with a wiring harness that makes the wiring from the controller to the other components a breeze. It comes with a new gas valve and has the necessary parts for either 1/2″ or 3/4″ piping whichever you may have for your water heater. A typical installation for a conversion should take only about an hour unless you have to run the 120 volts supply feed for the transformer. Depending on where a circuit is that you can tap off of or the circuit breaker box will depend on the time to complete the job. In addition to running the wiring through the safety circuits, you need to make sure you run the control wire through the temperature switch on the water heater. It is the same switch that turns the water heater on and off and is controlled by temperature.

Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition - Conclusion

After successful installation is complete you will never have to worry about lighting the pilot light on the water heater ever again. It will light automatically every time. There are issues that can come up where it will not light but that is a different story. Most electronic ignition controls provide very reliable service for years with no problems. Enjoy!
Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition

Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition - Gas Heating Systems

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