Thermocouple

After all these arts & crafts posts, we need to get back to some serious home DIYing.

Except, we have a little problem.

This is our furnace.

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Prior to owning a home, I only had to deal with one other furnace. In college we rented a 1920’s home. The furnace was oil and original to the home. It could have been a nightmare but we only had to keep an eye on the water level. It was pretty painless.

A few weeks ago… ok… probably over a month ago we noticed it was really cold in the house. Playing with the thermostat didn’t trigger any response in the heat department.

I went down to the basement to investigate. Our pilot light was out.

Luckily, the directions to relight the pilot light are on the side of furnace.

pilot light instructions

We needed a long BBQ lighter to reach the pilot safely.

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2.5 weeks later – we finally remember to pick up said lighter.

I follow the instructions…. hold button down, light pilot light, hold button for an additional 30 seconds, slowly lift finger off gas release.

The pilot light goes out.

I do it again. Hold button down, light pilot light, hold button for an additional 30 seconds, slowly lift finger off gas release.

The pilot light goes out.

And again. Hold button down, light pilot light, hold button for an additional 45 seconds, slowly lift finger off gas release.

The !$(*&%# pilot light goes out again.

One more time. Hold button down, light pilot light, hold button for an additional 60 seconds, slowly lift finger off gas release.

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GAH!! The pilot light goes out AGAIN. BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP! Gah.

5th times got to be the charm. Hold button down, light pilot light, hold button for an additional 30 seconds, slowly lift finger off gas release.

Nope. Nothing different. The pilot light goes out AGAIN.

Frustrated, I head back upstairs and straight to my laptop. Google the symptoms. There I learn about this thing called a “thermocouple” and find this picture.

As described in the article, a thermocouple is basically safety device that prevents the gas from running if the pilot light goes out. A faulty thermocouple will just keep shutting off the gas, thus the pilot light won’t stay light and the furnace won’t light and you won’t have heat.

Without heat, you may find yourself spending your evenings after work snuggled on the heated mattress pad with the dog.

I don’t know if you’ve every tried to accomplish something while not leaving bed. It’s pretty much impossible.

We need heat. Therefore the thermocouple needs to be replaced. The first step is removing said faulty thermocouple.

Turn off the furnace and wait a bit {you want any lingering gas to dissipate}.

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Right near that, is the thermocouple connection {it’s the copper tube}.

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Unscrew it.

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Mine took a bit of muscle but eventually it came loose.

Next, find pilot light & thermocouple.

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Remove some of the burners.

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{You don’t need a screwdriver to take the burners out, they just pull out. Lesson learned.}

There she is!

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I’ll be honest, I had NO idea how to get the thermocouple out. So I mistakenly unscrewed the bracket from the burner it was attached too. Hopefully it’ll go back easily. Hopefully.

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detach a thermocouple

TA-DA!

thermocouple

Tools I used.

tools to remove a thermocouple

Now we just have to replace it. Cause there’s still no heat.

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6 Responses to Thermocouple

  1. Dad "A" says:

    7 fireplaces and no fire… 😦

  2. Lily says:

    …did you ever know…that you’re my hero?

  3. Melissa says:

    Only YOU would take your freaking furnace apart!! Carrie Grace, oy vey! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Escape from Hoth « brick city love

  5. Google says:

    When some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she needs to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over
    here.

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