I seem to have a working spark ignitor although I can not see it when installed. When installed outside of the furnace for testing it sparks when it should when the gas valves clicks open. I can always (so far) light the the gas burner with a BBQ lighter when the gas valve clicks open. However, about one time out of ten when the thermostat calls for heat the furnace will try to ignite but fail and must be reset, After reset the furnace will ignite about one out of three time. After not lighting on a cold night I resort to the BBQ lighter when I hear the gas valve click in it's sequence and the main burner lights every time.
I've checked all the obvious items like the flame sensor and ignitor device itself and all the safety air switches and condenser switch; clogged filter and exhaust. The blower motor and purge motor.
The unit runs fine when it runs. The frequency of not lighting seems to be increasing. I hesitate to call an expert as the problem is intermittent.
Is there a possibility the furnace control board is not providing a strong enough spark? Could the spark gap on the ignitor (brand new) be too large/small? The gas outlets from the manifold pipe seem all clear and I vacuumned the burners. As I said when it works it works fine...
I ran a separate ground wire from the main gas supply pipe to the ignitor mount to assure (?) a good ground.
The present gap for the spark to jump is about 1/8". I'm old and do not hear well so I don't know if the spark "cracks" or not; I'd say the spark when tested, is about the same as on our gas range burners.
Thanks for any help. Unit is a Rheem RGRA-09EZANJ 90 plus upflow Classic about 15 years old; since our home was new. I'm a long time home builder. The installer is long retired. This is our first problem. There is a electronic air cleaner and power humidifier and a/c.