Readers ask: How To Change A Thermocouple On A Hot Water Heater?

Can I replace a thermocouple myself?

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. Then unfasten the three nuts that hold the thermocouple and the two gas tubes to the valve.

How do you know if you have a bad thermocouple?

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 much should a plumber charge to replace a thermocouple?

Thermocouple Replacement Cost Calling a professional plumber to install a new thermocouple should only be up to $150. If you do the work yourself, you will only pay the price of the part which is about $20.

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What causes a thermocouple to go bad?

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.

How do you check if a thermocouple is working?

If the thermocouple is working, you should be able to measure 30 to 40 millivolts of voltage at the connection end of the tube when the pilot flame is on. You can test this yourself using a multimeter, but you may need a helper to keep the pilot flame burning while you do it.

Why does pilot not stay lit on water heater?

Lack of Combustible Air. Another reason your gas water heater pilot light won’t stay lit could be due to not having enough combustible air. Your water heater requires air to keep the pilot light burning. Otherwise, the flame goes out.

Can you fix a thermocouple?

If the pilot lights but the flame goes out as soon as you release the button after holding it for 60 seconds, then the thermocouple is bad. It’s possible to replace the thermocouple without removing the burner assembly, and many repair people do this.

How long does a thermocouple last on a water heater?

All things considered, the question remains, “How long should my thermocouple last?” The answer to that question is that it depends on the application. In an ideal environment, that length of time can be indefinite.

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Can you clean a thermocouple on a water heater?

Cleaning the thermocouple You can use Emery cloth sandpaper to gently clean any debris or build-up from the end of the thermocouple. If present, you should also clean off any corrosion where the power wire connects to the thermocouple terminal.

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.

Will a pilot stay lit with a bad thermocouple?

What is a 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.

How much does it cost to fix 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.

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.

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