Replacing an igniter in an old GFI55 insert & other Enviro & Hudson River pellet stoves ( A few complications )

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Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
Feb 1, 2010
Salem NH
I have not done this in a while but same igniter in the EF2, EF3, EF4, Milan, Solus, VF100, Hudson River Chatham, Davenport, Kinderhook pellet stoves where the igniter element comes inside the igniter tube with a flange that screws to the inside back wall of the fire box.
Luckily after wire wheeling the T-20 torx screws and spraying them with PB Blaster they came out quite easily. Then after spray the new screws with dry moly to keep them from getting stuck, installing the new igniter was a bit tricky. That is because the wires not only go into the hole in the back wall of the firebox but they end up inside the air inlet box to the burnpot! There is a large hole in the air inlet box in back of this stove but is offset to the left. Therefore I had a short piece of coat hanger where I could feed it into the small hole in the front and out the big hole in the back and then clip the wires in. Bingo! See pics below.
A good igniter reads 50 ohms.
Looks like the igniter shorted out.
Pic 1 - New 300 Watt OEM igniter top and old 300 Watt OEM igniter bottom
Pic 2 - Pushed coat hanger thru back air hole and thru front igniter hole an bent around new igniter wires to pull thru to back
Pic 3 - Pulling igniter wires thru igniter hole
Pic 4 - Pulling igniter wires thru air box hole in back of stove
Puc 5 - New igniter installed with new bolts
Pic 6 - New igniter installed view from top
Pic 7 - Burn Pot cradle installed (Had to loosen and align igniter bolts to install it)
Pic 8 - New OEM 300 watt igniter in box
Pic 9 - Bench testing old igniter shows short circuit

GFI55-1.jpg GFI55-2.jpg GFI55-3.jpg GFI55-4.jpg GFI55-5.jpg GFI55-6.jpg GFI55-7.jpg GFI55-8.jpg GFI55-9.jpg
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There is another issue this igniter caused!
In the last picture in the post shows the old igniter shorted and one of the igniter wire connectors in the stove has a small burn mark. Therefore when the new igniter was installed, it did not work at all! The control panel is the original panel and even though the decal was broken it was lighting up automatically just fine before the igniter died. Unfortunately the 5 amp fuse on the control panel did Not blow so the igniter short circuit damaged the igniter triac on the circuit board! Fortunately everything else works and the stove could be started by manually lighting up the pellets. The filament inside the igniter fuse on the old circuit board had zig zags which were designed to be stronger to withstand vibration for automotive use and looked thicker than the nice thin wire filament in the new fuse in the new replacement circuit board which also has 5 amps inscribed on it! So this new fuse might blow and save the new control panel like some other stoves do, but then the whole stove will not work! Therefore my solution is to add a 4 amp inline fuse with 1 male and 1 female quick disconnect clips on to the red igniter wire. Now when the new igniter dies and if it short circuits then the 4 amp inline fuse will blow and the stove will still work if started manually and the circuit board will be very well protected!

Pic 10 - New AGC 4 amp inline fuse and holder connected to the red igniter wire in the stove’s wire harness
Therefore installing a 4 amp AGC igniter fast blow fuse in pellet stoves that do not have one is a good idea!! Whitfields & Thelin stoves do have one!
Pic 11 - The original control panel - Front side
Pic 12 - The original control panel - Back side
Pic 13 - The original control panel - Zig zag fuse filament in 5 amp fuse designed stronger to absorb vibration for automotive use!
Pic 14 - The new control panel - Front side
Pic 15 - The new control panel - Back side
Pic 16 - The new control panel - Fine wire fuse filament in 5 amp fuse
Pic 17-18 - It works
Pic 19 - Model - GFI55 (Insert)
Pic 20 - Manufacturer date - Feb 2008 Good as New !!!

GFI55-10.jpg GFI55-11.jpg GFI55-12.jpg GFI55-13.jpg GFI55-14.jpg GFI55-15.jpg GFI55-16.jpg GFI55-17.jpg GFI55-18.jpg GFI55-19.jpg GFI55-20.jpg
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