Piazzetta Monia and Marcella igniter replacement: Working instructions (or my username isn't @leycec)

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New Member
Jan 30, 2020
Ontario, Canada
Italian-made Piazzetta pellet stoves are frequently regarded as among the best in the business. Their instruction manuals are... not so much. Thankfully, the formidable Pellet Mill forum has got you fully covered.

In this post, we detail exactly how to replace the igniter for the smallest Piazzetta models – the Monia and Marcella. These instructions probably generalize to larger Piazzetta models as well (with minor differences outlined below). Since pellet stove igniters only have an expected lifetime of several years, replacing an igniter at least once over the lifetime of your stove is a sure-fired guarantee. (...get it, "sure-fired"? I'll show myself the door now.)

That's where we come in. First, a brief list of everything you'll need to get this pellet-fed puppy restarted:
  1. Replacement igniter. Contact your local reputable Piazzetta dealer. Since Italy probably isn't around your corner, shipping might take slightly longer than sanity demands. To avoid stove downtime the next time this inevitably happens during the dead of winter, consider always having one or more spare igniters on hand. We didn't. Don't be like us.
  2. 17mm wrench. Required to remove the existing igniter. Available from your local disreputable hardware store.
  3. Phillips-head screwdriver. Required to remove the side panel, lower panel, and front grill. Available literally anywhere.
  4. Power drill with Phillips-head screwdriver bit. Required to remove the rear three screws from the side panel, which Piazzetta typically power-drills in insanely firmly "for safety." Available... oh, you know the drill. (...get it? Ahem.)
Right! You good? We're good. Let's do this, fellow imported pellet stove fiends:
  1. (Optional) Double check. Before you reach for that rusty 17mm wrench, first verify that the igniter is to blame for whatever infernal woes caused you to read this far. Specifically, perform a cold test and run the diagnostic check for the igniter. So, you've done that and the igniter's still the bad guy? Excellent! Well, not really. But at least we haven't squandered your probably scarce time... yet.
  2. Unplug the stove. To avoid a real-world reenactment of "Frankenstein," disconnect the stove from its electrical outlet.
  3. Remove the front exhaust grill. This is the front-facing vent that the internal fan circulates heated air out from. This vent blocks access to the topmost screw on the front panel (which itself blocks access to the igniter) and must thus be removed. Using the screwdriver, remove and set aside the four Phillips-head screws attaching the grill to the stove and remove the grill.
  4. Remove the front smoke panel. This is the front-facing panel at the very bottom of the stove. This panel blocks access to the bottommost screw on the front panel and (wait for it!) must thus be removed. Using the screwdriver, remove and set aside the two Phillips-head screws attaching the panel to the stove and remove the panel.
  5. Remove the leftmost side panel. Facing the front of the stove as one would during normal operation, this is the panel on the left side of the stove. This panel blocks access to the igniter itself. There are three substeps here, because life is strange like that sometimes: (Note: if you have a different Piazzetta model like the Sabrina or Sveva, you'll want to remove the rightmost side panel instead. The larger Piazzetta stoves appear to have switched the positioning of the igniter to the other side. If unsure, there's no harm in removing both side panels. It's gotta be in one of 'em, doesn't it?)
    1. Remove the front two screws. Using the screwdriver, remove and set aside the two Phillips-head screws attaching the front of the leftmost side panel to the stove. These were the screws blocked by the front exhaust grill and front smoke panel.
    2. Remove the back three screws. Thought you'd never need that power drill, did you? You were wrong... dead wrong. For unknown reasons that might have something to do with low-paid workers on factory assembly lines and well-paid legal teams in foreign liability departments, the back three screws of both side panels appear to have been power-drilled in by famed Italian wrestler and Slim Jim promoter Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Let's undo his hard work. Attach the Phillips-head screwdriver bit to the power drill and unscrew these three ridiculously tight screws.
    3. Remove the panel. Bet you didn't see that one coming! Oh... you did.
  6. Remove the old igniter. The old igniter currently resides in a long cast-iron tube leading from the interior of the leftmost side panel into the burn pot. It's also currently connected to the motherboard via a standard computer cable. Disconnect that connection and remove the igniter from its sheath.
  7. (Optional) Clean everything. If time permits, this is the perfect chance to clean any dust or debris from the stove interiors you've just exposed. Ideally, you should try to do this anyway once a year. In our case, this was the first time we cleaned these spaces... in seven years. Yeah. Needless to say, they'd accumulated enough hazardous waste to burn down the entire municipality or merely give us cancer. Live and learn, right?
  8. Insert the new igniter. Insert the replacement igniter into the same sheath and connect its cabling to the same connector.
  9. Replace the leftmost side panel, front smoke panel, and front exhaust grill and plug the stove back in. Reverse steps 2—5 above for great glory.
  10. Celebrate. I prefer video games and heavy metal at this stage. Replace with your personal vice(s) of choice.
Appreciative thanks to a two-year-old forum post from @biom@ss that got the collective ball rolling and @Sootmaster1990, Pelleting In NJ, and @johneh for their generous commentary in my preceding post. These instructions are for you – because you are all awesome.
Thank you leycec! Just followed your instructions to a T and my stove is now back up and running!!! I did do the diagnostics you provided in the link and one thing to note for others that may read this was when I tested the igniter from the control panel, it did make one low pitched click sound, so I was worried it wasn’t the igniter. I already had the new one so I replaced it anyways and it was indeed the igniter. So if someone does the test and they hear a click it may still be a bad igniter. I know literally nothing about stoves so maybe the click should have been a more prominent clicking sound if it was still good (I was expecting no sound if igniter was bad) so if there’s a dull sounding click still try the igniter! Anyhow, thank you so much, this saved me an expensive service call for sure!!