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Troubleshoot hot surface igniter
Back to 14 things for troubleshooting gas water heater
11) Ignition of fuel supply 
by pilot light or hot surface igniter ... issues: pilot light,
Flame rod sensor
Location of flame sensor and igniter vary by model and brand of water heater.
Sand carbon deposits off igniter.
Avoid touching igniter
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Hot surface igniter troubleshoot
Hot surface ignition basics
Troubleshoot hot surface ignition
Hot surface igniter troubleshoot
Power vent hot surface ignition

Tip of flame sensor must be directly in front of burner port.
Use a nickel to set 7/64 gap.
Natural gas flame sensor will be bent, while propane will be straight.
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Intellivent troubleshoot Manual
Power vent surface ignition
Gas burner without piezo igniter
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Burner flame is yellow
Check the pilot flame. make sure it is blue, steady, and envelopes 3/8" to 1/2" (10 to 13 mm) of the flame rod.Look at the flame sense rod and lightly sand it with fine sandpaper (like 400) to polish it a bit
Additional links
gas water heater timer Gas water heater timer
Fits Honeywell, White Rodgers, Robert Shaw
Both Propane and Natural gas models

Resource:
Gas water heater timer

14 things needed for gas water heater & .pdf resources
What you need for operation of gas water heater.
General troubleshoot
1) Basic parts and operation
2) Adequate incoming air supply ... issues: closed doors, tightly insulated house, very hot attic.
3) Adequate air supply getting to burner... issues: dirty vent screen, dirty environment, maintenance.
4) Thermal cutoff  ... TCO ... issues: failed part, maintenance, vent.

5) Flammable vapor lockout .... issues: exposure to vapors, bad FV sensor, failed FV system,
6) Fuel supply to gas valve thermostat ... natural gas and propane are different ... issues: wrong gas, low pressure, moisture in pipe, undersized gas meter, supply line too small for BTU rating.
7) Gas valve thermostat regulates fuel supply ... issues: not enough gas, failed thermostat, failed gas control valve.

8) Fuel supply from thermostat to burner ... issues: maintenance, thermocouple-thermopile, gas control valve.
9) Clean and replace burner ... issue: periodic maintenance requires burner inspection, cleaning, and possible replacement

10) Functioning thermopile-thermocouple-pilot light ... issues: misalignment, failure of part.
11) Ignition of fuel supply by pilot light or hot surface igniter ... issues: pilot light, piezo igniter, electrode.

12) Power vent water heater troubleshoot ... issues: pressure switch, blower, blower sequence from gas control, outlet polarity
13) Venting combustion byproduct .... issues: vent in disrepair, other vents in house drawing air

14) Misc troubleshoot manuals
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
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Resources:
How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Point of use water heaters
Resources:
Troubleshoot Gas valves with manuals
Icon gas valve

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Point of use water heater
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