Quick Answer: Can A Thermocouple Work Intermittently?

Can you clean a thermocouple?

The best way to clean your thermocouple is to use either a piece of steel wool or the coarse side of a sponge to gently clean off any soot or other remnants.

You can use a pencil eraser to clean between the threads of the screw that connects the thermocouple to the control valve of your system..

Can I replace a thermocouple myself?

The No. 1 cause of pilot lights that won’t stay lit is a worn-out thermocouple. It’s easy to replace and a new one costs $5 to $10. Rather than trying to unfasten the thermocouple inside the water heater’s burning chamber, it’s easier to remove the whole burner and thermocouple assembly.

How much does it cost to repair a thermocouple?

The thermocouple is an apparatus that senses whether the pilot light is lit and triggers the gas control valve. Repairs typically cost about $150 to have it done professionally, though a new thermocouple itself only costs about $20 on average.

Can you sand a thermocouple?

Water Heater Thermocouple Cleaning in 5 Steps Cut the fuel supply to the water heater. This is always the first step when working on a water heater. … Clean the thermocouple – using the emery cloth sandpaper, sand the ends of the thermocouple and then give it a finishing touch with the lint-free cloth.

Do thermocouples wear out?

Like the other component parts in your furnace, the thermocouple can wear down over time, producing lower voltage than it should when heated. And the worst part is that you can have a bad thermocouple without even knowing. Therefore, inspecting and testing your thermocouple should be part of your furnace maintenance.

Can you fix a thermocouple?

If the pilot remains lit, but the main furnace doesn’t stay lit, it’s time to replace the thermocouple. Replacement thermocouples are in stock at most hardware and home improvement stores. Because they come in different sizes, take your faulty thermocouple to the store with you so you can make a correct match.

Can you bypass a thermocouple?

So if you want to bypass the thermocouple you have to get rid of the spring mechanism. You can bypass the spring mechanism by simply using a screwdriver to pop out the little e-clip and take the valve off and problem solved.

How long should a thermocouple last?

one yearIn effect, new thermocouples were installed into contaminated tubes, causing the degradation of the sensors and generating greater than a 100°F shift in accuracy. In this scenario, thermocouple life, which should have been close to one year, was shortened to within a week.

What does thermocouple look like?

The thermocouple looks like a piece of metal tubing smaller than a soda straw. To find it, first locate the gas control box. This is the box that the main gas line enters, where you turn the gas on in the furnace. (On most furnaces, it also houses the button that you hold open or push to relight the pilot.)

What is the purpose of a thermocouple?

Thermocouples are sensors used to measure temperature. It is a device used inside a gas furnace in Kansas, to assist the pilot light in keeping your furnace running and safe. It works rather like a fail-safe to keep unburned gas from accumulating and burning, exploding or causing another type of health risk.

Why does my pilot keep going out?

1) Faulty Thermocouple. If your pilot light won’t stay lit, the thermocouple is very likely the culprit. … The thermocouple is the copper rod the pilot flame directly hits. Sometimes it’s referred to as the “flame sensor.” It’s a safety mechanism that shuts the gas off should the pilot go out.

Why does my thermocouple keep going out?

It’s Dirty. Soot buildup on the thermocouple may block the flame. Under constant exposure to a hot flame, a thermocouple wears down over time.

Are thermocouples universal?

Universal Thermocouples. Universal thermocouples, as the name implies work on most water heaters. They are available online and in home supply stores for a reasonable cost. The length and the thread type are the two concerns when purchasing one.

How do you check if a thermocouple is working?

Place one test lead on the side of the thermocouple and the other to the end that screws into the gas valve. If the thermocouple has proper continuity, a small resistance reading should be visible on the multimeter. Many multimeters also indicate continuity with an audio alert.

Can you overheat a thermocouple?

If the back end of your thermocouple bulb gets constantly overheated, it will fail. With excessive back pressure coming from the burner ports, thermocouples can get burned up quickly.

What’s the difference between a thermopile and a thermocouple?

The main difference between Thermocouple and Thermopile is their method of measurement. The thermocouple is a thermoelectric instrument, while the thermopile is an instrument that modifies thermal energy into electrical output.

How do I know if my thermocouple is bad?

If you can’t get the flame to light at all, and you’re sure the gas is on, there’s probably an obstruction in the pilot tube. If the flame lights and goes out when you release the gas control knob after holding it in for the recommended 20 to 30 seconds, that’s the sign of a thermocouple malfunction.

How do you tighten a thermocouple on a nut?

To adjust the thermocouple, you must tighten the thermocouple nut with a wrench. Take care not to apply too much pressure to the nut — just tighten it slightly. Then try lighting the pilot. If the pilot won’t stay lit, replace the thermocouple with a new one of the same type.

Why does my water heater pilot not stay lit?

If your gas water heater doesn’t stay lit, you may have a defective thermocouple. Most gas fired water heaters use a standing pilot to ignite the main burner. … The thermocouple is a heat sensing probe that is part of the pilot assembly and sits just above the pilot flame.

Should the flame touch the thermocouple?

The pilot flame should touch the thermocouple at a specific level. If the flame is blue and weak, and barely reaches the thermocouple, it needs to be stronger. If it extends well above the thermocouple, it’s too strong.