Troubleshooting A Pellet Stove That’s Not Igniting: Common Causes And Solutions

If you own a pellet stove, you know how convenient and efficient it can be to heat your home. However, when it’s not working properly, it can be frustrating and leave you feeling cold.

One of the most common issues with pellet stoves is when it doesn’t ignite. The good news is that there are common causes and solutions to this problem, and you can troubleshoot it yourself before calling a professional.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps of troubleshooting a pellet stove that’s not igniting. We’ll cover the common causes of this problem, such as power supply issues, dirty stoves, faulty ignitors, and more.

We’ll also provide you with solutions to these issues, including cleaning your stove, adjusting the airflow, checking the fuel, resetting the stove, and more. By following our guide, you’ll be able to get your pellet stove back up and running in no time.

Check the Power Supply

You need to check if you’ve got power coming in – without it, your pellet stove won’t ignite and you’ll be left in the cold! The first thing you should do is check the circuit breaker to see if it’s tripped. If it’s tripped, reset it and try starting your stove again.

If that doesn’t work, check the power outlet to make sure it’s working properly. Try plugging something else into it to see if it turns on. If it doesn’t, you may need an electrician to fix the outlet.

Another thing to check is the power cord. Make sure it’s plugged in all the way and that there are no frayed or damaged wires. If you notice any damage, replace the cord before attempting to start the stove again. If the cord looks fine, try plugging it into a different outlet to see if that solves the problem.

If you’ve checked the circuit breaker, power outlet, and power cord and still have no luck, it’s possible that there’s an issue with the control board or igniter. These components are more complex and may require professional attention to diagnose and repair. Don’t attempt to fix these components yourself unless you have experience working with pellet stoves or have been instructed to do so by a professional.

Clean the Stove

Now it’s time to clean the stove. You’ll want to remove any debris or ash from the burn pot. This will help ensure proper ignition and burning of your pellets.

Next, clean the hopper and auger to prevent any blockages that could cause the stove to malfunction.

Finally, check the exhaust vent for any blockages that could prevent proper airflow and cause smoke buildup.

With a clean stove, you’ll be able to enjoy a warm and efficient heat source all winter long.

Remove any debris or ash from the burn pot

First things first, take a look inside the burn pot and make sure there’s no debris or ash clogging it up. This is a common cause of pellet stoves not igniting properly.

Here are some steps you can take to remove any debris or ash from the burn pot:

  1. Turn off the stove and unplug it from the power source.

  2. Once the stove’s cooled down, open the door and locate the burn pot.

  3. Use a small shovel or brush to remove any loose debris or ash from the burn pot.

  4. Dispose of the debris in a safe manner and wipe down the burn pot with a damp cloth.

By removing any debris or ash from the burn pot, you can ensure that the pellets have enough space to ignite properly. This simple step can save you time and frustration in troubleshooting your pellet stove.

If you find that your stove’s still not igniting after cleaning the burn pot, there may be other issues at play, and it’s best to consult a professional for further assistance.

Clean the hopper and auger

To properly maintain your pellet stove, it’s important to keep the hopper and auger clean to ensure efficient fuel delivery to the burn pot. A hopper that is filled with debris or pellets that have broken down can cause the auger to become jammed or clogged.

This can prevent the pellets from being delivered properly to the burn pot, causing the stove not to ignite. To clean the hopper and auger, first, turn off the stove and unplug it.

Empty any remaining pellets from the hopper and dispose of them properly. Use a vacuum or brush to remove any debris or dust from the hopper and auger. If the auger is clogged, use a long, thin object such as a coat hanger or screwdriver to carefully remove any blockages.

Once everything is clean, refill the hopper with fresh, high-quality pellets and restart the stove.

Check the exhaust vent for blockages

Before you start up your pellet stove for the season, make sure to check the exhaust vent for any potential blockages to ensure that your stove is running safely and efficiently. Blockages in the exhaust vent can lead to dangerous build-ups of carbon monoxide, which can be harmful to your health.

You can check the vent by visually inspecting it for any debris or obstructions. If you notice any blockages, you can use a brush or vacuum to clean them out. Another way to check for blockages in the exhaust vent is to monitor the amount of smoke coming out of the chimney. If you notice an excessive amount of smoke, this could be a sign of a blockage.

In addition, if you hear a hissing noise coming from the stove, this could also indicate a blockage. If you do suspect a blockage, it’s important to address the issue immediately to prevent any potential safety hazards. By checking the exhaust vent regularly, you can ensure that your pellet stove is functioning properly and safely.

Check the Ignitor

To check the ignitor, you need to make sure it’s clean and free of debris that may prevent it from working. Use a multimeter to test the ignitor and see if it’s generating an electrical current. If the ignitor fails the test, you’ll need to replace it with a new one.

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Make sure the ignitor is clean and free of debris

Check if your ignitor is clean and free of debris to ensure your pellet stove ignites properly. Over time, the ignitor can accumulate dust and other particles, which can prevent it from working correctly. Here are some things to check for when cleaning your ignitor:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris from the ignitor. Be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate component.
  • Check the ceramic insulator for cracks or other damage. If it’s damaged, it’ll need to be replaced before the ignitor will work properly.
  • If the ignitor still doesn’t work after cleaning, it may need to be replaced altogether. Contact a professional to help you with this task.

Taking the time to properly clean and maintain your ignitor can go a long way in ensuring that your pellet stove ignites properly and runs efficiently. With a little bit of effort, you can keep your stove in good working order for many years to come.

Test the ignitor with a multimeter

If you’re experiencing issues with your pellet stove ignitor, you can test it using a multimeter to determine if it’s functioning properly. To begin, turn off the power to your stove and remove the ignitor from the stove.

Then, set your multimeter to the resistance setting and touch the probes to the ignitor’s two metal prongs. A properly functioning ignitor will typically have a resistance reading between 40-400 ohms.

If your multimeter reading falls outside of this range, it’s likely that your ignitor is faulty and needs to be replaced. However, if your reading falls within this range and you’re still experiencing issues with your stove igniting, there may be other issues at play.

It’s important to consult your pellet stove’s manual or a professional technician for further troubleshooting steps.

Replace the ignitor if necessary

Ready to give your pellet stove a new spark? Replace the ignitor if it’s necessary! If your multimeter test confirmed that the ignitor isn’t working properly, it’s time to replace it.

Here are some steps to follow:

  • First, make sure you have the right replacement ignitor for your stove model. Check your stove’s manual or manufacturer’s website to find the specific part number.
  • Turn off your stove and unplug it from the wall to ensure your safety while replacing the ignitor.
  • Locate the ignitor in your pellet stove. It’s usually located near the burn pot and is connected to the stove’s power source.
  • Disconnect the old ignitor from the power source and remove it from the stove. Pay attention to how it was installed so you can install the replacement ignitor correctly.
  • Install the new ignitor by following the instructions in your stove’s manual. Make sure it’s securely connected to the power source and properly positioned near the burn pot.
  • Plug in your pellet stove and turn it on to test the new ignitor. If it ignites, you’re good to go. If not, it’s time to troubleshoot further.

Replacing the ignitor can be a straightforward solution to getting your pellet stove up and running again. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper safety precautions when handling electrical components. If you’re not comfortable replacing the ignitor yourself, consider contacting a professional for assistance.

Adjust the Airflow

One thing you’ll want to do is make sure the airflow is adjusted properly, as this can greatly affect the ignition of your pellet stove and, ultimately, your warmth and comfort.

The airflow is crucial because it allows the pellets to burn properly and create the necessary heat. If the airflow is too low, the pellets won’t ignite, and if it’s too high, the pellets will burn too quickly and won’t provide enough heat.

To adjust the airflow, start by checking the settings on your pellet stove. Most models have a control knob that allows you to increase or decrease the airflow. If your stove doesn’t have a control knob, you may need to adjust the damper manually.

The damper is usually located on the back of the stove and can be adjusted using a lever or knob. Make sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.

In addition to adjusting the airflow, you’ll also want to make sure your stove is clean and free of any obstructions. A dirty or clogged stove can affect the airflow and prevent your pellets from igniting.

Regular maintenance, including cleaning the stove and replacing any worn-out parts, can help ensure your pellet stove operates efficiently and provides the warmth and comfort you need.

Check the Fuel

Before using your pellet stove, always check that there is enough fuel in the hopper to provide heat for the desired amount of time. You may think that the hopper has enough fuel, but it is possible that it is clogged or empty. Make sure you clean the hopper and remove any debris that might have accumulated. Check the fuel level and refill if necessary.

To help you determine if your fuel is causing the problem, below is a table that shows the common types of fuel used in pellet stoves, their characteristics, and the problems that might arise if they are not used properly.

Type of Fuel Characteristics Possible Problems
Hardwood pellets Clean burning, high heat output Clumping, poor quality pellets
Softwood pellets High heat output, lower ash content Clogging, low-quality pellets
Corn pellets Lower cost, renewable Clogging, inconsistent burn
Wheat pellets Renewable, high heat output Clogging, inconsistent burn

If your fuel is not igniting, it could be due to poor quality pellets, clogged fuel lines, or a dirty hopper. Make sure you are using high-quality pellets that are appropriate for your stove. Check the fuel lines for obstructions and clean them if necessary. Finally, make sure the hopper is clean and free of debris. By following these steps, you can troubleshoot your pellet stove and get it working properly again.

Remember to always perform regular maintenance on your pellet stove to avoid issues in the future. While troubleshooting a pellet stove can be frustrating, it is important to stay calm and follow these steps to get it up and running again. By doing so, you can ensure that your home stays warm and comfortable during the colder months.

Reset the Stove

Now that you’ve checked the fuel and made sure that it’s not the cause of your pellet stove not igniting, it’s time to move on to the next step: resetting the stove. This is often a simple solution that can fix the problem without the need for a professional repair.

To reset the stove, start by turning off the stove and unplugging it from the power source. Wait at least 15 minutes before plugging it back in and turning it on again. This will give the stove’s computer time to reset and fix any glitches that may have been causing the problem.

If resetting the stove doesn’t work, there may be a more serious issue with the stove that requires professional attention. However, it’s always worth trying to reset the stove first before calling in a repairman, as this can save you time and money.

Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when resetting your pellet stove to ensure your safety and avoid damaging the stove.

Call a Professional

If resetting your stove doesn’t work, it’s best to call a professional for assistance. Trying to troubleshoot the problem on your own could lead to further damage or even dangerous situations. A professional will have the necessary tools, knowledge, and experience to accurately diagnose and fix the issue.

Before calling a professional, make sure to do some research and find a reputable company or technician. Look for reviews online, ask for referrals from friends or family, and check for proper licensing and insurance. It’s important to find someone who is trustworthy and qualified to work on your stove.

Once you’ve found a professional, they may use a variety of techniques to troubleshoot the issue. One common method is using a multimeter to test various components of the stove, such as the igniter or control board. They may also clean or replace certain parts, depending on the cause of the problem. By calling a professional, you can ensure that your pellet stove is functioning safely and efficiently.

Common Causes Solutions
Dirty or damaged igniter Clean or replace igniter
Clogged air intake or exhaust Clean air intake or exhaust
Faulty control board Replace control board

Remember, attempting to fix a pellet stove on your own can be dangerous and may cause further damage. It’s best to call a professional who can accurately diagnose and fix the issue. By doing your research and finding a reputable technician, you can ensure that your pellet stove is functioning properly and safely.


So, you’ve gone through all the steps of troubleshooting a pellet stove that’s not igniting. Maybe you’ve checked the power supply, cleaned the stove, checked the ignitor, adjusted the airflow, checked the fuel, and reset the stove.

However, if none of these steps have resolved the issue, it may be time to call a professional. A professional technician will have the expertise needed to diagnose and fix the problem with your pellet stove. They can also provide maintenance and cleaning services to ensure your stove is running efficiently and safely.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re still experiencing issues with your pellet stove. With the right care and attention, your stove can provide reliable heat for years to come.