Burner assembly

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.

Also question is, what is the difference between a thermocouple and a thermopile?

The main difference between Thermocouple and Thermopile is that the Thermocouple is a thermoelectric device and Thermopile is a device that converts thermal energy into electrical energy.

Beside above, how do you know if you have a bad thermocouple? If you can‘t get the flame to light at all, and youre 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.

Also question is, how does a thermopile work?

A thermopile is an electronic device that converts thermal energy into electrical energy. It is composed of several thermocouples connected usually in series or, less commonly, in parallel. Adding more thermocouple pairs in series increases the magnitude of the voltage output.

How long does a thermopile last?

Thermocouples can last several years, but they don't typically last as long as the furnace itself. If the pilot remains lit, but the main furnace doesn't stay lit, it's time to replace the thermocouple.

Related Question Answers

How many millivolts does a good thermopile produce?

The normal millivolt output is 25 to 35 millivolts; on some, you may even get up to 35. The other part of this safety pilot system is the electromagnet (power unit). It is if you will the LOAD and we can say the thermocouple is the SOURCE.

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.

What does a 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. The other end of the thermocouple sits in the flame of the pilot light.

What does a fireplace thermopile do?

If your pilot light stays lit, but the fireplace won't start, then the problem is likely related to your thermopile, a metal probe (round and slightly smaller than your pinky finger) that converts heat from the burning pilot light's flame into a tiny amount of electricity — just enough to open the gas valve when a

Can you replace a thermopile with a thermocouple?

A thermopile will generate more electricity than a thermocouple and usually has a different type of electrical connection. You should use a replacement with the same specifications as the original or your gas control may not function properly.

How do you clean a thermocouple?

Remove Thermocouple from pilot assembly, using steel wool or emery cloth to lightly clean the tip removing any soot or build up that might have accorded due to an improper pilot flame. Using an eraser from a pencil; clean the threads of the nut that connects the Thermocouple to the control valve and then re-tighten.

What is a Powerpile?

A power pile is simply a thermocouple that produces much more power than a thermocouple. This greater electrical output is enough to operate the gas valve and thermostat without using an outside power source ( hooking the unit to your house power).

What is thermopile sensor?

Thermopile Infrared (IR) Sensors

Thermopiles are designed to measure temperature from a distance by detecting an object's infrared (IR) energy. The thermopile sensing element, composed of small thermocouples on a silicon chip, absorb the energy and produce an output signal.

Can you bypass a thermocouple?

Bypassing the thermocouple would make it no more dangerous than any propane grill. It's not going to make it explode. The only thing it would prevent is losing a tank of propane into the atmosphere if the flame happened to go out because the valve wouldnt close.

How close should the thermocouple be to the pilot light?

about 1/2 inch

Where is a thermocouple used?

Applications include temperature measurement for kilns, gas turbine exhaust, diesel engines, and other industrial processes. Thermocouples are also used in homes, offices and businesses as the temperature sensors in thermostats, and also as flame sensors in safety devices for gas-powered appliances.

How does a millivolt system work?

The most common type of gas fireplace uses a millivolt ignition system. The piezo ignitor is usually connected to a button that generates a spark when depressed. The pilot flame heats both the thermocouple and thermopile sensors. These sensors contain material that creates a small amount of voltage when heated.

What causes a thermocouple to fail?

Changes in temperature can cause regular expansion and contraction in metal, which will cause thermocouples to weaken over time. After enough time, metal fatigue can cause a thermocouple to break. If thermocouples start to give out unusual readings, it may be suffering from metal fatigue.

Will a pilot light stay lit with a bad thermocouple?

A thermocouple senses the heat of the pilot and allows gas to flow to the burner. A bad thermocouple will shut off gas to both the pilot and the burner so the pilot light won't stay lit.

Can a pilot light flame be adjusted?

Adjusting the Pilot Flame

If the pilot flame is too small, you may be able to make it larger by turning the pilot adjustment screw on the valve control counterclockwise with a screwdriver to open it. The cause of a weak flame may also be an obstruction in the pilot tube.

Can you test a thermocouple?

MultiMeter Thermocouple Test Procedure

First, remove the thermocouple. Secondly, turn on the meter and set it to Ohms. Touch the two leads together from the meter, and you should get a reading close to zero. With the leads apart, you will read infinity.

Why does my pilot light go out when I release the pilot light knob?

The most likely of those is that the thermocouple needs to be replaced. The button you press to light the pilot bypasses the thermocouple. When you release the button, the thermocouple ensures that unburned gas doesn't get released by shutting off the gas when it's not heated by the burning pilot light.

How do I test my thermostat?

Thank goodness it is much less expensive to replace a thermostat than your central heat and air unit.
  1. Check your thermostat to make sure it is in the “On” position.
  2. Stand at the thermostat while an assistant stands at the furnace.
  3. Raise the thermostat heat settings slowly.
  4. Turn off the breaker to your furnace.