Hot Surface Ignition systems use an 'M' or fork-shaped silicon carbide or silicon nitride igniter piece instead of a traditional spark igniter to light your gas flames. Low-voltage, but high-current electricity is sent through the hot surface igniter piece, heating it up to a glowing 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. After an approximate five second delay to allow the igniter to heat up, the gas valve opens to allow the gas to flow through. Since natural gas lights without a spark at around 1163 degrees and propane between 920 and 1020 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat from the electrical current will cause combustion in either gases and ignite the pilot system. Another five second delay allows the application to run a system check to ensure the pilot was safely lit and the gas is circulating appropriately. Once the flame sensing technology confirms the pilot is lit, it will allow gas to flow to the burner and ignite flames to the entire system. If the pilot does not light, the application will automatically shut-off the gas valve to avoid risk of explosion. These flame sensors use a thermocouple to detect the burner flame. An extremely small, alternating electrical current is sent to the sensor from the control module and in turn, the sensor converts it to a direct current. This signals to the control module that a flame is present. If a flame is not present, the system will attempt to relight the fire three times before shutting down the gas source.
Hot surface igniter operation is as simple as a flip of a switch! Simply turn on your electronic ignition system with the wall switch, remote, or timer installed with your burner application. This sends an electronic signal to the hot surface igniter to begin its safety checks and start the flow of the pilot gas. Once the thermocouple confirms that the pilot flame is safely lit, gas will flow to the main burner and light your fire!
The hot surface ignition system is always at work while your fire is burning to ensure your safety. While you are enjoying your fire pit, the thermocouple is constantly monitoring the status of the flame by testing the internal temperature, voltage, and other safety parameters. If anything seems to not be operating efficiently or your fire is accidentally extinguished, the electronic ignition will turn off all gas flow, and then restart by automatically commencing the START sequence. Three attempts to relight will be made before the system shuts down completely to minimize any safety risks.
Shut down is just as easy with a quick flip of your wall switch, remote control, or timer. The electronic system will receive a signal to shut down all gas sources and extinguish the pilot light, snuffing out your fire.