Common Thermocouple Problems

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The thermocouple is a safety component placed near the ignition or pilot light in your heater. It regulates the flow of gas into the system: when the heat from the pilot light is detected, the thermocouple releases the gas. If the heat isn’t detected, it cuts off the flow of gas, keeping your household safe. If the thermocouple is broken, the entire system usually won’t start. That’s a good thing since it keeps your home from being flooded with gas, but it also means you won’t have access to your heat until it’s fixed.

Here is a brief list of some of the most common thermocouple problems.

  • Gas flow. The thermocouple may be hampered by a clog in the gas line or some other issue which prevents the gas from reaching it. This means it won’t work even if every other aspect of the heating unit is functioning as it should.
  • Sudden loss of heat. A faulty thermocouple will often “cut out” when it’s experiencing problems, meaning that it misinterprets the pilot light’s temperature and shuts off the gas. This can lead to your heater turning off unexpectedly, even though there’s nothing wrong otherwise. The issue can usually be solved by recalibrating the thermocouple to more accurately measure the pilot light’s heat.
  • Loose wires. The thermocouple wires need to be screwed into their terminals in order to accurately read the pilot light’s temperatures. Otherwise, the unit won’t turn on. The wires also need to be placed in the proper screws (not reversed, a common error among laymen attempting to fix the problem themselves) and properly tightened in order to do their job.

The good news is that a Jacksonville, FL heating repair company is standing by to help you with common thermocouple problems. AC Designs Inc. offers 24-hour emergency service and has a trained staff of professionals on hand to get your heater up and running again quickly. If you need expert help to handle your heating problems, pick up the phone and give us a call today.

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