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Problem: I have a bad igniter is there anyway to light a gas furnace manually?


Problem: I have a bad igniter, is there any way to light a gas furnace manually? My family is cold please help!

The solution in an Emergency Situation: An Emergency situation would be a situation where your furnace ignitor goes out in the middle of the night, on the weekend, or on a holiday. It is super cold outside and you need to get heat from your furnace to protect your family and the pipes from freezing. We have had many customers who are cold and without heat over the years on the weekends or Holidays. They do not want to wait on a service tech or wait on shipping for a new ignitor. They need heat as soon as possible. I feel very sorry for them being without heat when it is really cold out! I decided I would include this YouTube video on how to light a gas furnace manually on our website. Below we have a YouTube video that shows how to manually light a furnace when the ignitor fails. I only provide this video because I do not want to see anyone be cold when they could actually have heat in their home. Changes in the video that I would make would be to (1) use a long wooden match instead of the lighter. (2) Make sure the match is burning when the draft inducer comes on. You must make sure the burning match is sitting in front of one of the burners before the gas valve opens. The worst mistake would be to allow gas to come into the furnace and then apply the match. This could produce a  mini-explosion or fire! (3) You should control the furnace On/Off using the electrical switch (like a light switch) usually located on the side of the furnace. This way you are not depending on someone else to turn the thermostat up and down and you have immediate control of the furnace.  The match needs to be burning and sitting in front of one of the burners before the gas valve opens. Please remember the gas valve is only going to be open for 7 to 10 seconds and if the flame sensor does not sense the furnace flame then the gas valve will shut off until there is another cycle. Below we have one YouTube video that shows how to Manually Light a Gas Furnace when you have a bad igniter. The video was made by Chris Swain. Thanks to Mr. Swain for making this informative video. I hope this will save you from having a cold home.

Please send us your furnace’s model number if you would like for us to use one of our online parts programs to recommend a replacement ignitor for your furnace. On Bryant Carrier furnaces we will need the product number. On Rheem Ruud, we will need both the model number and serial number. For all other furnaces, we need just the model number.  Our email address is Please click here if you would like to see the furnace ignitors we sell.

*Disclaimer: Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. assumes no liability for any incidental, consequential, or other liability from the use of this information. All risks and damages, incidental or otherwise, arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein are entirely the responsibility of the user. Although careful precaution has been taken in the preparation of this website’s information, we assume no responsibility for omissions or errors.

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

18 thoughts on “Problem: I have a bad igniter is there anyway to light a gas furnace manually?

  1. If manually lighting your furnace, you probably need to manually shut it off as well. IE your furnace will put out a bunch of gas the next time it tries to cycle on.

    Turn the thermostat up to 85 or 90 degrees before lighting. then turn the thermostat completely off once the house is comfortably warm.

    Note:. I see a couple posts about furnaces turning off after being lit. The problem could be a dirty temperature sensor. Remove it and clean it.

    1. Sounds good Charles! Thanks for your contribution and knowledge! Steve

  2. Hello,
    I just wanted to thank you for giving me the info I needed (link to video) to search for the part and replace my ignitor myself. You have no idea how much that helped me. The last time, the furnace people charged 200$ to replace it! Bless you

    1. Thanks, Penney! Glad to know that we were able to help you out! Thank you so very much for all your kind words and blessings! God bless you and your family today and always! Steve

  3. My flame sensor is spliced into the igniter neutral wire connector and even though I manually lit it without the bad igniter connected, the sensor fails to detect the flame. Is there a way to bypass the igniter for the sensor to work?

    1. Hi Larry! I am sorry, but I have not heard of this being the problem with the flame sensor connected in with the ignitor. Sorry, but I am afraid to give you any advice on how to fix this problem. Sorry that the manual lighting will not work for you. Steve

  4. Awesome! This worked for me! Now I have to decide if I want to try to install a new igniter myself or just call a furnace guy…

    1. Hi Craig! Glad to hear that you were able to get your furnace going by lighting your furnace manually! We have an ignitor troubleshooting page with a Youtube video on how to replace an ignitor on the following page: If you have a few tools and if you are good with your hands you should be able to install an ignitor. Please send me your furnace’s model number is you would like for me to find out which ignitor your furnace uses. Our email address is God bless you and your family today and always! Steve

  5. You really saved the day! I can handle the cold but my wife can’t. on New year’s day our heater would not ignite, saw your video on how to manually ignite the heater now my wife is happy and cooking breakfast! again, thank you so much!

    1. Hi Dale! Great to hear that you were able to get some heat for your home! Thanks for letting me know the great news! Congratulations! Happy New Year 2019! Steve

    2. I remove the ignitor to do it manually but it looks like I have a security or sum that keeps shutting the flame

      1. Hi Luis! If you have a sealed combustion furnace the pressure switch will not close if the burner compartment cover is removed. I am guessing that you have a sealed combustion furnace. The manual lighting is almost impossible to do on a sealed combustion furnace unless you can by-pass the pressure switch temporarily. Only do this in an emergency situation and be very careful. Steve

  6. Thank you so much we were able to do it manually with the help. Its the nor’easter storm today n our igniter went out. Thank you so much n god bless


    1. Fantastic! Great to hear that you were able to manually light your furnace and provide heat for your family! Thanks so much for your blessings and letting me know that our post was a help! God bless you and your family today and always! Steve

  7. It’s a holiday, our furnace isn’t working and we are freezing in Montana right now. I came across your website and want to thank you so very much for the video showing me how to manually light our furnace until the ignitor gets here at the end of the week. Thank you again!

    1. Glad to hear that this post was able to keep you warm until your furnace parts arrive! Thank you so very much for writing to let us know that we were able to help you out! God bless you and your family today and always! Steve

  8. I bought this house almost 4 years ago, AC working fine but we had a lot of rain fall and the water level got up in blower. I gently washed it out and it continues to work fine however, there has been what appears to be pipe insulation that was around the power wires going from blower into the house. Now this insulation looks sagging and a wire that appears to be a ground is visible and even a small section of the power supply. Not sure what to do about it meaning can I get more pipe insulation and re wrap it with power off of course or do I need a ac person to look at it.

    1. Hi! I would suggest turning the power off and rewrapping the wire with electrical tape if possible. If you are referring to the black thick insulation that insulates the refrigeration lines then you can hopefully get some new armaflex at home depot. This is what I found when I googled the subject: I hope you have a great day! Steve

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