Is there really any difference in the piezo igniters used on water heaters? My Maytag has a bad one and they are not available any more, but it and its bracket look exactly the same as this Rheem one.

Is it likely that this Rheem one would damage my igniter if I used it? Can it put out a spark so much more powerful that it would somehow damage the sparker?

  • 1
    I don't know offhand, but it might help if we knew the model number of your water heater.
    – Moshe Katz
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 22:48
  • I would think that there would be a difference depending on the quartz crystal and wire size. If they look the same size it should work.
    – ojait
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 1:00
  • I'll buy it and try it. From looking at other parts for the units, I would swear the Maytag units were built by Rheem.
    – simpleuser
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 1:27

1 Answer 1


The piezo spark has no real current just high voltage so there is no chance it can damage the material around it. If the one you found will fit and the spark is in the gas flow you should be golden.

  • Interesting more about the high voltage. We actually have two identical water heaters, so I just moved the working igniter to the unlit unit, but didn't actually clip it on, just plugged it in and held the piezo in my hand. With my left hand I held down the gas, then pressed the piezo held in my right hand. Sparked from my left hand to the body of the heater, and the spark lit the pilot. But, boy, I felt it. I stupidly thought the wire I plugged was a double connector with inner and outer conductors bla bla, but the return path is actually through the piezo body clip and ground.
    – simpleuser
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 1:25
  • fyi, replacement worked exactly as original
    – simpleuser
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 15:26

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