7 Easy Solutions For RV Water Heater Igniter Not Clicking

Who doesn’t love access to hot water when RVing in cold weather? But it can be incredibly frustrating when your RV water heater igniter refuses to click. Yet, I’ve grown used to it and expect it at some point. Fortunately, this issue is easily resolved if you know the causes.

If a blown fuse, a faulty circuit board, or a bad power switch is responsible for your RV water heater igniter not clicking, replacing them can solve the issue easily. Likewise, if there’s air in the system or the igniter is clogged, you can bleed the system and clean the igniter respectively.

Let’s explore these solutions in more detail to better understand the issue and address it accordingly.


How to Fix RV Water Heater Igniter Not Clicking?

Learning to fix the RV water heater not clicking issue took me many trials and errors throughout my years of RV-ing around the country. But figuring out the underlying cause of the problem eventually helped me find the right solutions. Let me share those with you.

1. Check for a Blown Fuse

The first thing to do is check for a blown fuse, which is often the reason behind an RV water heater igniter not clicking. I find it often blows up during a power surge if I keep it on for a long period of time when traveling with my family. 

As the blown fuse disconnects the entire electrical circuit, it prevents the igniter from working. Replacing the fuse with a new one of similar amperage should solve your issue if this is the case.

2. Examine the Circuit Board and Power Switch

If the fuse is intact, you should check if there’s any problem with your circuit board. A multimeter does the job for me. To check, turn off the power to your water heater and disconnect it. Now, use the multimeter to measure the continuity between the circuit board’s pins.

When no readings appear at all, you should replace the circuit board with a new one. On the other hand, if the pins provide readings, yet the igniter won’t click, then check the power switch. It could be faulty if it’s cracked or burnt. If so, you must replace it with a new one.

Read Also: Where is the RV Water Heater Reset Button and How To Use It?

3. Check for Voltage Issues

Another reason for an RV water heater igniter, not clicking could be low voltage. Low voltage prevents the spark from reaching the gas and, thus, the hot water. 

Like my Coachmen Prism, if your RV’s electrical system works at 12 volts and the water heater requires more voltage to operate, you’ll have to use a converter to regulate the voltage.

4. Bleed the System of Air

Often, the air in the system is what causes the RV water heater igniter not to click. This is because air can be a barrier for the current flowing through the system and prevent it from reaching the igniter, thereby not allowing it to ignite. 

In my case, the system often has air because of my time in high-altitude areas. I first shut off the pressure relief valve, gas valve, and water faucets to get rid of it. Now open the drain valve and wait for all of the air in the system to come out before closing it.

When this doesn’t work for you, you can keep your RV’s burners on for 10-20 seconds to purge the air before attempting a retry. This method works for me more often than not.

Read Also: 8 Common Causes of a DSI Fault Light on RV Water Heater

5. Clean the Igniter

Your RV water heater igniter might not click if its power line is clogged with dirt or debris. This makes it impossible for the igniter to spark its flame. Fortunately, you can clean it using a small brush and rubbing alcohol.

Start by removing the igniter and soak it in rubbing alcohol for 10-15 minutes. Then, scrub away any dirt or debris on its surface and let it dry well. Once it’s free from any blockage, reinstall the igniter and give it a try.

6. Check If the Igniter Pilot is Faulty

Your heater’s igniter pilot ignites the flame. It’s not unlikely that it has given up and is not working anymore. Igniters wear out over time, especially when they are not serviced regularly. In such a scenario, you must replace the old one with a new RV water heater igniter.

You can check this by turning up the gas and igniting the heater manually. If it works manually, it must be the pilot that has failed.

Read Also: Why Does My Rv Water Heater Sound Like A Jet Engine?

7. Check the Thermal Cutoff

If nothing works to get the RV water heater igniter to click, check if its thermal cutoff switch has been tripped. You can check this by measuring the resistance on the switch. If it doesn’t measure continuity, it might be why you’re not getting any clicks.

When this happens, reset the thermal cutoff switch and see if it works. If it does, great. If not, you can bypass the switch by wiring a new one directly with the T-STAT (thermostat), which worked for me. 

However, professionals do not recommend it since it poses a massive risk of electric shock. In such cases, I suggest getting the unit serviced by an expert.

Read Also: RV Water Heater Drain Plug Size: Everything you need to know

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, I have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about RV water heater igniters not clicking.

How do I know if my RV water heater igniter isn’t working?

If you’re using your RV water heater and it doesn’t light up, there are several things to check. Is the thermostat working? Is there electricity going into the device? If you have them working properly, then it’s likely that your igniter may have the issues outlined above.

How do I reset my RV water heater igniter?

Resetting your RV water heater igniter is as simple as pressing the reset button. However, if yours lacks a reset button, you must do it manually. First, turn off the power and disconnect it. Then, find the thermal cutoff switch and reset it. There should be a clicking sound when it’s reset.

How much does it cost to fix an RV water heater igniter?

This depends on the parts you need and your RV type. On average, fixing an RV water heater igniter can cost anywhere from $20 to $150. It’ll be determined by the parts you need to replace and the cost of labor in your area.

Is it safe to use voltage boosters for RV water heater igniters?

Yes, voltage boosters are a safe option to help regulate the voltage of your RV water heater, provided that it’s designed to work with the device. This can ensure that there’s enough electricity to spark the igniter and keep it running correctly.

Read Also: Why Is The Dometic RV Water Heater Not Working On Electric?


While the RV water heater igniter not clicking can be annoying and frustrating, it’s seldom serious. But as with any issue, it’s important to troubleshoot it fully before jumping to conclusions.

You can use the solutions above to troubleshoot yours without further complications. And if you’re growing into a regular RV-er, you shouldn’t let your lack of expertise intimidate you from performing these simple tasks yourself. 

Last but not least, routine inspection and maintenance are critical for ensuring that your appliances work well and last for a long time. So, keep an eye out and have fun with your RV without any inconveniences.

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