All burners need a source of ignition. Whether it’s a small burner that can light the main flame directly or a larger burner that requires a gas-fired pilot flame, electricity has to supply the initial spark to get the fire going. The ignition transformer is used to regulate the incoming voltage to the correct level to create sufficient spark.
An ignition transformer usually has a 120 volt AC supply coming in, which it increases to typically 6000 to 12000 volts. The new, higher voltage then travels through an insulated cable and passes through an electrode. The electrode has a porcelain insulator to prevent the current from shorting out between the transformer itself and the end of the electrode where the spark needs to take place.
The end of this electrode is positioned a short distance from a metal grounding surface near the fuel source for the pilot. The high voltage then creates a spark when it jumps from the electrode to ground, a spark which then ignites the fuel/air mixture.
This works just like a spark plug in a gasoline engine.
If you’re having any combustion problems with your boiler, or if you’re getting failed or delayed ignition with any of your burners, the professionals at WARE are here to help. We also have a huge selection of transformers, ignitors, and other ignition parts at our online store, Boiler Warehouse. Whatever you need, we’re here to help. Just let us know.