A Comprehensive Guide to Hayward Pool Heater Ignition Failure

Hayward Pool Heater Ignition Failure

A pool heater is essential for any pool owner, providing comfort and relaxation. However, when your Hayward pool heater fails to ignite, it can lead to problems such as decreased water temperature and increased energy bills. Identifying and understanding the causes of Hayward pool heater ignition failure is important to ensure proper operation and efficiency.

Insufficient gas supply is the most common reason for Hayward heater ignition failure. If your Hayward pool heater runs continuously, the igniter may become clogged and not get enough gas to ignite. Dirty burners or pilot assemblies can also lead to ignition failure.

Other causes include improper installation, faulty thermostat settings, electrical issues, or obstructed exhaust vents. To learn more about this, read on.

How can you if your Hayward Pool Heater Ignition is failing?

A Hayward pool heater is a great way to ensure your pool stays warm and inviting, but what happens when the ignition fails? Below is how to tell if your Hayward Pool Heater Ignition is failing:

Lack of Heat

Lack of heat is the most obvious sign that your pool heater ignition is failing. If your pool water is not getting warm enough, even though the heater is running, there may be an issue with the ignition system. This could be caused by a faulty ignitor or gas valve.

Error Codes on the Display Panel

Another sign that your Hayward pool heater ignition may fail is the display panel’s error codes. The most common error code associated with ignition failure is “IF,” which stands for “ignition failure.” If you see this code on your display panel, it’s time to investigate further.

Burner Not Igniting or Staying Lit

If your burner isn’t igniting or staying lit, this could also be a sign of ignition failure. A dirty burner orifice or faulty gas valve could cause this. It’s important to address this issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your pool heater.

Unusual Noises from the Heater

Finally, if you hear unusual noises from your pool heater, such as banging or popping sounds, this could also indicate an issue with the ignition system. These noises are often caused by delayed ignition, which can occur when there is an issue with the ignitor or gas valve.

What Are the Causes of Ignition Failure on a Hayward Pool Heater

Knowing the causes behind the Hayward pool heater ignition failure is crucial. A few potential explanations for such a malfunction include the following:

Gas Supply Issues

Gas supply issues are among the most common causes of ignition failure on a Hayward pool heater. If not enough gas flows into the heater, it will not ignite. Various factors, including low gas pressure from the utility company or a clogged gas line, can cause this.

It’s important to check that the gas valve is open and that there are no obstructions in the gas line. Additionally, if you have recently refilled your propane tank, ensure it has been properly connected to the heater.

Improper Installation

Another cause of ignition failure on a Hayward pool heater is improper installation. If the heater has not been installed correctly, it may not function properly and could result in ignition failure.

It’s important to ensure that all connections are tight and secure and that the unit has been installed according to manufacturer specifications. If you suspect your pool heater was not installed correctly, contact a technician to inspect and correct any issues.

Dirty Burners or Pilot Assembly

Dirty burners or pilot assembly can also lead to ignition failure on a Hayward pool heater. Over time, debris, such as dirt and dust, can accumulate on these components, causing them to malfunction.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and inspection, can help prevent this issue. If you notice any buildup on your burners or pilot assembly, turn off the power to your pool heater and clean them thoroughly before attempting to restart.

Faulty Ignition Control Module

The ignition control module controls the gas flow into the burner assembly and ignites it when necessary. A faulty ignition control module can prevent your Hayward pool heater from igniting properly. Signs of a faulty module include intermittent heating or complete failure to ignite. In this case, you must replace the module with a new one.

Electrical Problems

Electrical problems such as loose connections or damaged wiring can cause ignition failure on a Hayward pool heater. It’s important to inspect all electrical connections regularly and ensure they are tight and secure. Additionally, if you notice any frayed wires or other damage, have them repaired immediately by a qualified technician.

Obstructed Exhaust Vent

Finally, an obstructed exhaust vent can also lead to ignition failure on your Hayward pool heater. The exhaust vent removes harmful gases produced during combustion from your home or outdoor space where your pool is located.

If this vent becomes blocked by debris such as leaves or other debris, it can prevent proper ventilation, which leads to poor combustion resulting in an IF code error being displayed on the LED display panel.

How to Troubleshoot and Repair Hayward Heater Ignition Failure

Now that you know what might be causing your Hayward pool heater to experience ignition failure, it’s time to troubleshoot and repair the issue. Before attempting any repairs, ensure you have disconnected the power to your pool heater.

Step 1: Check for gas supply issues

One of the most common causes of ignition failure in a pool heater is a lack of gas supply. To check for this issue, ensure the gas valve is fully open. Next, check the gas pressure using a manometer. If the pressure is too low, calling a professional to adjust the gas line or replace the regulator may be necessary.

Step 2: Clean the burner and pilot assembly

Another common cause of ignition failure is a dirty or clogged burner or pilot assembly. To clean these components, turn off the power to the heater and remove any debris around the unit. Then, remove the burner tray and use a wire brush or compressed air to clean any buildup from the burners and pilot assembly.

Step 3: Inspect the ignition control module

The ignition control module sends an electrical signal to ignite the burner. If this component is faulty, it can prevent your pool heater from igniting properly. To inspect this component, turn off the power to your heater and remove any covers or panels that provide access. Look for signs of damage or wear on wires or connectors, and test any fuses or relays as needed.

Step 4: Check electrical connections and wiring

Loose or damaged electrical connections can also cause ignition failure in your pool heater. To check for this issue, turn off the power to your heater and inspect all wiring connections for signs of damage or corrosion. Tighten any loose connections using pliers or a screwdriver as needed.

Step 5: Clear any obstructions in the exhaust vent

If your pool heater still isn’t igniting after following these steps, there may be an obstruction in the exhaust vent preventing proper airflow. To check for this issue, turn off the power to your heater and inspect all vents for blockages, such as leaves or debris. Clear any obstructions using a vacuum cleaner or other tool as needed.

When Should You Call a Professional?

If you have tried basic troubleshooting steps such as checking the gas supply and cleaning the pilot assembly but still cannot get your Hayward pool heater to function properly, it’s time to call in a professional. A licensed and experienced technician will have the knowledge and tools to correctly diagnose and repair the issue.

Additionally, attempting complex repairs alone can be dangerous and may cause further damage if not done correctly. It’s always better to avoid caution and seek professional help when dealing with complicated heating systems like those found in pool heaters.

How to Prevent Ignition Failure in Hayward Pool Heaters

Prevention is always better than repair when it comes to pool heaters, so here are a few tips to help you avoid ignition failure:

Regular Maintenance Checks

One of the most important things you can do to prevent ignition failure is to have your Hayward pool heater regularly checked by a professional technician. They can identify potential issues before they become major problems and ensure that your heater runs efficiently.

Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial to preventing ignition failure in your Hayward pool heater. Ensure the area. around your heater is well-ventilated and free from any obstructions. This will help prevent the buildup of gas fumes, which can be dangerous if ignited.

Keep Debris Away

is important, Keeping debris away from your Hayward pool heater as this can cause blockages and other issues that may lead to ignition failure. Make sure that there are no leaves, twigs or other debris near your heater, and clean it regularly to ensure that it’s running smoothly.


What causes ignition failure on the Hayward pool heater?

Ignition failure on a Hayward pool heater can be caused by factors such as low gas supply, clogged filter, malfunctioning gas valve, faulty transformer, or closed gas valve. It is important to identify the root cause of the issue to fix it properly.

How do you ignite a Hayward pool heater?

Ensure that the gas supply is turned on and the filter is clean. Then, turn on the power switch and set the thermostat to the desired temperature. Finally, press and hold the “Pool On” button until you hear a clicking sound indicating the igniter is working.

How do I manually start my Hayward pool heater?

Turn off all power to the unit, remove the front panel, and locate the gas valve knob. Turn this knob to “Off” and wait 5 minutes before turning it back to “On.” Next, turn all power on the unit and follow normal startup procedures.

How do you clean the flame sensor on a Hayward pool heater?

Clean the flame sensor on a Hayward pool heater, and turn off all power to the unit. Locate the flame sensor near where the burner assembly meets with the heat exchanger. Use fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool to scrub away any buildup or corrosion on the sensor gently. Once cleaned, reassemble all parts and turn the power on to test if it works properly.


Hayward pool heater ignition failure can be a major from issue, but it’s possible to prevent and repair it with the right knowledge and tools. Regular maintenance checks, proper ventilation, and keeping debris away the heater are important steps to ensure it runs smoothly. Additionally, always seek professional help if you’re unsure about a repair or it’s too complex. Following these tips should help you avoid ignition failure in your Hayward pool heater and keep it running efficiently for years.


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