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How long does the igniter on the Noritz NR98 DVC typically last, and are there signs it needs replacement?

The igniter in a Noritz NR98 DVC tankless water heater is a crucial component responsible for igniting the gas burner to heat the water. While the exact lifespan of the igniter can vary depending on factors like usage, water quality, and maintenance, it typically lasts for several years. On average, you can expect the igniter to have a service life of 5 to 10 years. However, some igniters may last longer with proper care, while others may require replacement sooner if subjected to adverse conditions.

Here are some signs that indicate the igniter in your Noritz NR98 DVC tankless water heater may need replacement:

Failure to Ignite: The most obvious sign that the igniter needs replacement is if the water heater consistently fails to ignite when you turn on the hot water tap. If you hear the clicking sound of the igniter but don't see the burner flame, it suggests a potential issue with the igniter.
Intermittent Ignition: If you notice that the water heater's ignition becomes intermittent, with occasional successful ignitions and other times when it fails, this could be a sign of igniter wear or damage. Inconsistent ignition is a clear indication that the igniter may be struggling to function properly.
Delayed Ignition: Another sign is delayed ignition, where there is a noticeable delay between turning on a hot water tap and the burner actually igniting. This can be a safety concern, as delayed ignition can lead to the buildup of unburned gas, potentially resulting in a small explosion when the ignition does occur.
Flame Sensor Errors: Modern tankless water heaters often have built-in diagnostics that display error codes. If you see an error code related to the flame sensor or ignition system, it may point to a problem with the igniter or its associated components.
Sooting or Poor Burner Flame: A malfunctioning igniter can lead to an incomplete or inefficient combustion process. If you notice sooting on the burner or an uneven, yellowish flame instead of a steady blue one, it may indicate an issue with the igniter.
Increased Energy Consumption: A failing igniter may result in longer heating cycles or the heater working harder to maintain water temperature. This can lead to higher energy consumption and, consequently, increased utility bills.
Audible Clicking Sounds: While the igniter is supposed to produce clicking sounds during the ignition process, if you hear excessive or unusual clicking noises, it could be a sign that the igniter is struggling to function properly.
Age of the Unit: If your Noritz NR98 DVC water heater is approaching the 5 to 10-year mark and you've experienced any of the above symptoms, it's a good idea to consider replacing the igniter preventively.

When you encounter any of these signs, it's advisable to consult the user manual for your specific water heater model and contact a qualified technician or the manufacturer's customer support for guidance on diagnosis and replacement. Igniter replacement typically involves turning off the gas and power supply, removing the old igniter, and installing a new one following manufacturer instructions.

In conclusion, the igniter in a Noritz NR98 DVC tankless water heater typically has a service life of 5 to 10 years, but its actual lifespan can vary. Signs that it needs replacement include failure to ignite, intermittent ignition, delayed ignition, error codes, sooting, poor burner flame, increased energy consumption, and unusual clicking sounds. Regular maintenance and prompt replacement when needed can ensure the continued efficient operation of your tankless water heater.
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