Water Heater Sparks at the wrong spot

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newbie420

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My water heater went off today, and I couldn't ignite the pilot. Finally, I found out that the spark occurs at the wrong location. Instead of at the tip of the electrode, it sparks from the area below the white ceramic to the enclosure that feeds the gas to the burner.
I'm gonna take out the burner assembly to see what's going on, but it seems like a grounding issue at this point. if it is, what can I used to insolate? I'm afraid that electrical tape may be melted

Any feedback is appreciated?
 

Reach4

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I suspect replacing the igniter would replace that area that is arcing over. But I have no relevant experience with water heater ignitors.

You could try removing any carbon trail and then slathering the area of the arc-over with automotive dielectric grease.
 
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newbie420

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I took the burner assembly out, and the insulation on one of the wires was completely burned out. I replaced the pilot assembly , and the igniter worked. I was able to light the pilot right away

However, the flame started to pulsate. See youtube link below for reference. it's not my heater, but the problem is identical.

it's been one day, and i have hot water. Is the pulsating sound a real problem? or is it normal? what would be the problem and solution?
 

fitter30

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That pulsing is the reason the wire burnt up. The flame should be smooth and not burning in the burner tube. Gas pressure on burner side needs to be checked also there should be a air shutter on the end of the burner where the burner meets orfice and tube feed feeding the burner. Turn thermostat down then back up see what happens caution burner is hot. Looks like it needs to closed a little. Is this lp or natural gas?
 
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