Lifted from epinions.com:
How to fix your Mosquito Magnet, the last instructions you may ever need.
Personally I think this unit really works well on catching mosquitoes,
that is when it does work. The problem is that it is not that reliable
from season to season and from what I have read on the Internet, many of
you agree with this.
I purchased my unit two summers ago and after figuring out a good
location, I started catching bags of mosquitoes thus allowing my family
to enjoy our yard so much more. I have a very wooded lot, so I needed
something like this. After the first year of running flawlessly, I ran
the Freon through the system like the directions suggested and stored it
in my garage for the winter. The next spring it would not start for
anything. I tried everything, even working with the support team from
the manufacturer itself. Finally we figured the head was bad and since
they only replace the unit, this was my only option. At first they were
not going to warranty it, but after a little complaining they finally
said they would send me a refurbished head in exchange for my old head,
I only had to pay for shipping. After receiving the head, the unit
started and worked great all summer long. Again I winterized and stored
the unit as suggested by the manufacturer. The next Summer I went to
start it up and once again I was back to the same problem as I
experience the previous summer. The code on the unit indicated that my
Ignitor was out. I talked with the manufacturer and they would not
warranty a warranty. They would however send me a refurbished head for
$155 plus shipping to send in my old one or give me a number for a local
authorized repair center that would guarantee a repair for around $95.
Unfortunately both would only warranty their work for 90 days. With this
I figured I would be at this same place every season with an expense of
$100 or greater to have my machine again work properly.
After a few moments I figured I may be better off figuring this machine
out and fixing it myself. I am actually pretty handy and in most cases
can figure out and fix just about anything. With that being said, to fix
a Mosquito Magnet was not actually that hard. Since my Ignitor was the
component that was indicated as being out by the indicator lights on the
unit, I took the unit apart and then remove the ignitor to test this
itself. Without the gas being attached and the unit running, I
proceeding in testing the ignitor with my volt ohm meter. To be honest
however you can test the ignitor visually as well since it should glow
red when it is working properly.
Okay so I confirmed my ignitor is not working. I then proceeded in
trying to find a new one. Of course the manufacturer will not sell you
one nor tell you where they buy theirs from, so off to the Internet I
go. Unfortunately the Ignitor does not have a part number on it, so this
proved rather difficult. I did know however that it needed to be a 12
VAC unit and of course everyone I did find was 120VAC. So since I could
not find a 12vac unit similar in design, I proceeded in looking for a
similar one in size that was a 120vac. After checking a number of places
I did finally find one that also looks much more heavy duty and more
than likely will last much longer. It did cost $50 though, but if it
lasts several years, I think I will be much better ahead.
So on to how to fix it…
First off I have the Liberty unit, but I imagine most of the units
internally are much the same. So if these directions do not work for
yours, I guess you are on your own a little bit more.
Remember I am not warranting any of this nor liable for your efforts
here. You will assume full risk in making any changes to your system and
if you feel apprehensive at all, then I suggest you your work directly
with the manufacturer in obtaining a replacement unit.
For the brave at heart - Taking the unit apart:
First disconnect your propane tank and then slide the head off the
stand. Next remove the stand mount on your unit (unscrewing four big
bolts). Next remove the bell housing on the bottom of the unit where
your repellent goes in (two small screws). Now you should be able to get
at all the other screws out to remove the top off. Keep in mind that
once you do this, you will not be able to get any warranty coverage, but
more then likely you have already realized this.
Once you have the top off, you may notice the unit is fairly simple in
design. For the most part you have the control panel, the fan, and the
burner unit. Within the burner unit (the metal part where the gas lines
run into) you have two probes with wires going to each of them. The one
with the nylon bolt holding it in place is the heat sensor, the other
with the metal screw is the ignitor. Remove the screw and then remove
the ignitor out very carefully by pulling it straight out (you may need
to twist it back and forth a bit), it is actually somewhat fragile so
handle with care. Now with the gas disconnected, plug your unit in and
start it up. If the glow plug / ignitor does not glow red, then more
then likely it is not working (problem identified). Also remove the heat
sensor, mine had a lot of white corrosion on it so I would suggest using
your fingernail to not damage it and carefully scrape the corrosion off.
This to will also help your unit work better by sensing the heat level
correctly. Then replace it back in the burner unit and tighten the nylon
bolt very carefully. If you snap the nylon bolt which can be easy to do,
you will need to pick up a new one at your local small hardware store.
They seem to have a variety of these and they are very inexpensive. Make
sure it is nylon or it will melt. If you use a metal screw, you will
short it out. If your ignitor was working from this test, then try
putting the unit back together and see if it now starts. You may want to
also blow air through your gas lines to in case you had a vacuum or
water lock in them and preventing the unit from starting.
If the ignitor tests bad:
Now go and purchase your ignitor. I suggest the Norton ignitor kit
#47320937001, this seems to be a very nicely built unit and should work
well as a replacement.
I purchased mine at:
Dey Distributing Inc,
137 85th Ave NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
After I purchased it I did find it cheaper on the Internet, but since
Dey was so helpful in finding a replacement, I did not feel bad about
paying a little more. Here is another location if you want to look at,
however I am not 100% sure this is the same one.
Next cut the plastic connector off the end of the new ignitor, but make
sure you leave as much of the wire as you can still attached. This
ignitor is also slightly bigger around then the one you took out, so you
will need to take a 7/16 drill bit and carefully use this to enlarge the
hole for the new ignitor. Next make sure you use a vacuum or something
to remove all the shavings from within the burner unit. If you leave
these in here, my guess it that they will make hot spots within the unit
and might cause you problems later. Before you then put the new ignitor
in the burner unit, make sure you put a gasket between the ignitor plate
and the burner unit. I actually took a razor blade and removed the one
off the old ignitor and used this, but I am sure you can pick up thin
gasket material at any automotive store and fit it properly to.
Once the ignitor is in place, cut the off the old ignitor leaving enough
wire to cap or tape the ends off with some electrical tape. Make sure
the two ends do not touch. These wires will not be used, but to avoid
causing a short on your electrical board, you should protect the ends
with tape and move them away from the burner unit so they will not melt
To make your new ignitor work, you will need to pick up a short
three-prong electrical cord with one end open to connect to your ignitor
to and the other end to be able to plug into an extension cord outside
of the unit for 120volts. First drill a hole into the housing of your
unit away from the burner unit but open enough upon where you can feed
your wire in place. I would suggest tying a knot in the cord once you
have the wire fed in your unit, so it does not accidentally pull out
when handling it. Next connect the loose black and white wires of your
cord to your new ignitor leads (either is fine) and cap them
appropriately. Next run the green ground wire from your cord under and
around one of the screws holding your burner housing together to make
sure you have it grounded properly.
Now go ahead and put your unit back together. Make sure however you have
no wires laying across the burner unit or they will melt.
To start your unit:
First follow the manufacturers directions to prep your unit and also
plug in the ignitor. It may take more then once to start, it took two
times for mine. Once the green light starts glowing, indicating it is
working properly, unplug the ignitor cord. To keep the ignitor fresh and
working properly, I do recommend unplugging it otherwise you may end up
buying another $50 dollar ignitor next time you want to start it.
Let me know how this works.
The best to all of you and also to the hope of ridding that many more
mosquitoes from our lives.