How to Replace a Water Heater Thermocouple
Time Approximately one hour or less Complexity Cost for a beginner is less than $20.
A thermocouple replacement may be all that is required for a hot water heater that is not heating. Learn how to replace this low-cost component and ensure that your hot water heater continues to function for many years.
Remove the burner assembly and the thermocouple from the assembly. Wear and tear on the thermocouple is the most common reason for pilot lights that won’t remain lit for long periods of time. It’s simple to change, and a new one will cost you between $5 and $10. The entire burner and thermocouple assembly may be removed rather than attempting to unfasten the thermocouple from within the water heater’s burning chamber, which is less time-consuming. Then remove the thermocouple from the burner and bring it with you to a home center or hardware store so that you can make sure you get the correct replacement.
Disconnect the three bolts that connect the thermocouple and the two gas tubes to the valve and set them aside.
Repairing Your Own Hot Water Heater
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Cleaning the burner chamber, checking for water leaks, and removing dirt from the burner ports are all smart ideas at this time of year. Reattach the thermocouple and replace the burner component once it has been disconnected. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for lighting the pilot on the water heater. While the main burner is running, check for gas leaks by pouring soapy water to joints and searching for bubbles to indicate a leak. Instructions on How to Install a Hot Water Heater
Fix Your Water Heater with an Easy Thermocouple Replacement
A thermocouple, also known as a flame sensor, is a device that controls the flow of gas in gas water heaters. While the device is often known as athermocouple on older heaters with standing pilot lights, it is known as an aflame sensor on contemporary heaters with electronic ignition. The mechanism is essentially the same (or nearly the same) on both types of heaters. Both devices will be referred to as thethermocouple for the sake of this article. An external gas control valve is connected to a thermocouple as part of the pilot burner assembly, which is located on each side of the water heater.
It is made of a single piece of metal.
As a result, it is an extremely important safety component of your water heater system. A faulty thermocouple is frequently the cause of a water heater pilot not igniting or the burner failing to stay lit.
Thermocouple or Flame Sensor?
The method by which you replace the thermocouple will be determined by the type of ignition system installed in your water heater. The thermocouple is a component of the burner assembly in both forms of ignition, whether it is a standing pilot or electronic. Standing pilots have only a pilot and thermocouple linked to the burner assembly, while a running pilot does not. The pilot and thermocouple are both used in conjunction with an electronic ignition system. An electronic igniter is also coupled to the burner assembly in an electronic ignition system.
Before You Begin
When servicing an electronic ignition water heater or a standing-pilot water heater, the first step is to disconnect the connections to the gas control valve and then reconnect them. Turn the gas control valve on the water heater to the “OFF” position to turn the water heater off. The shutdown valve for the gas supply pipe to the water heater should be closed.
It is better to leave any work on water heaters and other gas appliances to the pros. Never undertake this job unless you have considerable experience dealing with gas appliances and all of the abilities required to perform it safely and correctly. Home-Cost.com
- Replacement gasket for the water-heater manifold (if necessary)
- A new thermocouple (if one is required)
- A combination of dish detergent and water
How to Replace the Thermocouple on an Electronic Ignition Water Heater
- Replacement gasket for the water-heater manifold (if necessary). Dish detergent and water combination
- New thermocouple (if necessary)
Remove the Burner Assembly
- Take hold of the burner supply tube and gently press it down to release the connections to the manifold, pilot tube, and thermocouple. Remove the manifold/burner assembly from the burner combustion compartment by gently pulling it out. Take care not to do any harm to the interior components of the vehicle. If the burner does not move easily, look around the base to see if there are any more screws keeping it in place there. Home-Cost.com
Remove the Cover Plate Gasket
- Take care not to damage the old gasket by removing it from around the manifold cover plate if it is still in excellent shape and you intend to reuse it. If this is the case, remove the gasket and arrange to purchase a new one. Clean the metal surfaces that are in contact with the water heater’s cover plate.
Remove the Thermocouple
Pulling and twisting the old thermocouple from its mounting bracket should be done slowly and firmly. If you apply hard pressure to it, it should come out easily. Make certain that the connection between the pilot and the thermocouple bracket does not get bent or deformed. Remove the old thermocouple entirely by drawing it through the rubber grommet seal on the inside of the burner assembly manifold cover or through the gap in the burner assembly manifold cover from inside to outside. If necessary, you can cut the old thermocouple to make it easier to remove.
- Take the old thermocouple to a hardware, home improvement, or plumbing supply store and purchase a replacement that is identical in size and shape. If you are replacing the old gasket on the manifold cover plate, you need also purchase a new one.
Install a New Thermocouple
- Take the old thermocouple to a hardware, home improvement, or plumbing supply store and purchase a replacement that is identical in size and function. When replacing the old manifold cover plate, you need also purchase a new gasket for it.
Reinstall the Burner Unit
- If necessary, replace the gasket on the burner manifold lid or reinstall the original one if it is still in excellent shape. Place the burner in the combustion chamber and tighten the unit down to the right setting. Replace the cover assembly in its original location. Make sure that you do not overtighten the screws or fasteners. Finally, reattach the gas control valve (as shown in the illustration below).
How to Replace the Thermocouple on a Standing-Pilot Water Heater
- Simply lift and remove the burner assembly from the bottom of the water heater once the pilot supply tube, burner supply tube, and thermocouple have been detached from the gas control valve (as described above).
Remove the Thermocouple
- Pulling and twisting the old thermocouple away from the thermocouple bracket should be done slowly and firmly. If you apply hard pressure to it, it should come out easily. Take care not to bend or damage any of the components.
Install a New Thermocouple
- Insert the replacement thermocouple into the bracket from which it was previously removed until it is fully seated or snaps into place (see illustration). The thermocouple tip should be positioned so that the pilot flame encircles the top 3/8 to 1/2 inch of the thermocouple tip.
Reinstall the Burner Unit
- Reinstall the burner in the combustion chamber and reinstall the unit in the right position. Reconnect the gas control valve (as seen in the illustration below)
How to Reconnect the Gas Control Valve
For both electronic-ignition and standing-pilot water heaters, connect the pilot, burner, and thermocouple (as well as the electronic igniter if the water heater is an electronic-ignition type) to the gas control valve once the new thermocouple has been placed.
Reattach the Gas Tubes
- To connect the pilot, burner, and thermocouple (as well as the electronic igniter in the case of an electronic-ignition water heater) to the gas control valve after the new thermocouple has been fitted on both standing-pilot and electronic-ignition water heaters:
Turn On the Gas
- Turn off the gas supply by opening the shutdown valve on the pipe. Make sure that the gas control valve is in the “ON” position. When using a standing-pilot device, be sure to relight the pilot by following the manufacturer’s instructions before turning on the valve. Temperature of the water heater should be set to the required temperature.
Test the Water Heater
- Shut off the gas supply pipe by opening the shutdown valve. The gas control valve should be turned to the “ON” setting. Prior to turning on the valve in a standing-pilot unit, make sure the pilot is re-lit according to the manufacturer’s directions. To get the required temperature, adjust the water heater’s thermostat.
How To Replace A Water Heater Thermocouple
Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. If the pilot light will not stay lit while there is gas flow, it is likely that the thermocouple has to be changed or, at the absolute least, cleaned. A universal thermocouple is a low-cost component that can be found at most major hardware stores. It is less difficult than you would imagine to replace a thermocouple.
How Does a Thermocouple Work?
Typically found in gas water heaters, the thermocouple is a particular sensor tube that detects when the pilot light is lit and turns off the gas to the device when the pilot is extinguished. The thermocouple and pilot light tubes are both connected to the gas control valve and extend into the combustion compartment.
In order for gas to travel to the pilot and burner, it is necessary to generate heat at the end of the thermocouple when it is ignited. When lighting the pilot, you must hold down the button for the thermocouple in order to prevent it from disengaging.
Before you Replace the Thermocouple
Typically found in gas water heaters, the thermocouple is a particular sensor tube that detects when the pilot light is lit and turns off the gas to the device after the pilot light has been extinguished. Temperature sensors and pilot light tubes are installed between the gas control valve and the burning chamber. When the pilot is ignited, it generates heat at the other end of the thermocouple, which in turn allows gas to flow to the pilot and burner. When lighting the pilot, you must keep the button for the thermocouple depressed in order to prevent it from disengaging.
Replacing the Thermocouple
You should turn off the gas line that leads to your water heater. Most units will have an inline valve for the gas input, but if one is not accessible, you can switch off the main gas line by turning it off. To turn off the gas, turn the gas control valve to the OFF position.
Remove the thermocouple line, the gas line, and the line for the pilot light with open-faced wrenches or an adjustable wrench, and then replace them. The thermocouple is typically threaded on the left side, whereas the main gas line is threaded on the right side. According to the manufacturer, the pilot light tube is often a right-hand thread, although it might be either one, depending on the kind of water heater that needs repair.
Some versions, particularly those with a push button pilot igniter, have a protective cover over the burner chamber that must be removed before the burner may be used. If there is a cover, remove that as well.
The burner, which is equipped with a pilot light and thermocouple tubing, is placed loosely in the container. Depending on whether the burner component is difficult to remove, there may be clips that must be loosened before the burner will move. Remove the complete burner component from the water heater by sliding it out.
Take the thermocouple out of the burner and set it aside. In the vast majority of situations, no special instruments are necessary. Connecting the thermocouple to the pilot tube is made possible via the use of clips that keep it in the proper place. It may be necessary to detach the clips to ensure that the thermocouple can be readily removed from the pilot assembly.
Installing a new thermocouple is as simple as reversing the previous procedures. Keep in mind that one or more of the fittings has a left-hand thread and must be installed by turning the fittings counterclockwise. Make sure not to cross the threads and tighten all three fittings to the maximum degree possible.
Turn on the gas valve that leads to the water heater. To relight the pilot, follow the directions printed on the pilot and turn the temperature control valve to the appropriate temperature setting. Apply soapy water around the three fittings, keeping an eye out for bubbles that signal a possible gas leak. Please see the following video for instructions on how to replace your thermocouple.
How to Replace a Water Heater Thermocouple (6 Simple Steps)
When using a gas-powered tank water heater, have you ever found that the pilot light won’t remain lit for long periods of time? We’re here to provide assistance before you head out the door to seek for a new water heater.
It’s possible that a defective thermocouple is the blame. The replacement of a water heater thermocouple is a simple task if you have the correct expertise. It may be sufficient to simply wipe the thermocouple in some circumstances.
What Is a Water Heater Thermocouple?
A thermocouple is responsible for regulating gas flow in an agas-powered water heater. Flame sensors are another name for this feature, which is usually found in modern water heaters. The thermocouple is a component of the pilot burner. It measures temperature. It communicates with the gas control valve, which is located on the unit’s outside. The heat from a flame is converted into little electrical currents, which is the essence of what it does. This enables the thermocouple to function in a manner similar to a switch, regulating the flow of gas through the gas valve.
The gas feed to the burner will be stopped if it does not detect a flame.
For starters, there is a little probe that is approximately one inch long and 14 inches in diameter that is placed right above the pilot opening.
The second component is a copper tube.
Known as the Seebeck effect, it was discovered in 1821 and named for the German scientist who discovered it. The Seebeck effect provided the inspiration for the development of the thermocouple we know today (1). The effect may be achieved by using any two kinds of metal. The metals most typically used in water heater thermocouples, on the other hand, are stainless steel and copel, which is a copper-nickel alloy that is utilized in water heaters.
Electronic Ignition vs Standing Pilot
In terms of ignition methods, there are two primary options: standing pilot and electronic ignition. The method by which you should replace the thermocouple is determined on the sort of system in your device. For a standing pilot system, the only components are the pilot and thermocouple, which are both attached to the burner assembly. Electronic ignitions feature the same components as mechanical ignitions, but they additionally have an electronic igniter. Checking for a pilot flame is a simple method to determine if you have a standing or electronic system in place.
Electronic ignition devices rely on a thermostat to determine when the burner should be turned on and when it should not.
How Do You Know If You Have a Bad Thermocouple?
Standing pilot and electronic ignition are the two most common types of ignition systems. Your unit’s kind of setup will determine how you should go about replacing the thermocouple. For a standing pilot system, the only components are the pilot and thermocouple, which are both connected to the burner assembly by means of a connector. In addition to the same components as mechanical ignitions, electronic ignitions feature an electronic igniter.
Checking for a pilot flame is a simple method to determine if you have a standing or electronic system installed. Always keep a tiny flame going in your standing pilot unit. The thermostat is used to determine when the burner should be turned on in electronic ignition equipment.
How to Test the Thermocouple
When in doubt about whether or not you need to replace the thermocouple, we recommend that you test it. Because the thermocouple generates only modest electrical currents, you may check to see if it is working with a multimeter. Start by removing the thermocouple from the gas valve and then starting the pilot – you may need a friend to hold the gas control knob in place while you do this. Select millivolts on your multimeter’s display and wait approximately a minute until the probe becomes heated.
A properly functioning thermocouple will typically produce a reading between 25 and 35 millivolts in most cases (2).
How to Replace a Water Heater Thermocouple
As soon as you have determined that the thermocouple is defective, it is imperative that you replace it. The process of replacement differs significantly for each system, but we’ll go through the changes in detail later.
1.Removing the Cover Panel
Turning off the gas control valve on the heater is critical before commencing the process. Regardless of whether you have a standing pilot or an electronic ignition, the procedure remains the same. It is now necessary to turn off the main gas supply line by closing the shut-off valve. Assuming you have a working pilot, you may begin to remove the cover panel to uncover the burner assembly underneath the panel. If your burner assembly manifold cover panel has an electronic ignition, you’ll need to remove it in order to service it.
Screws, nuts, and even specialty fasteners may be used, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
Then carefully press down to remove the pilot tube, manifold, and thermocouple circuits from the assembly.
It is possible to harm internal components of the burner combustion chamber when removing the manifold and burner pieces from the combustion chamber.
2.Disconnect the Control Valve
To disconnect the thermocouple connection from the control valve, use an open-end or adjustable wrench to pry it apart. In addition, you must disconnect the pilot supply line as well as the main burner supply tube. If you have an electronic ignition, you will also need to remove the wire that connects to the Piezo igniter.
3.Removing the Thermocouple
The malfunctioning thermocouple should be removed from the mounting bracket that it is attached to as soon as the burner assembly is removed from the burner assembly. Take cautious not to harm any of the components. Remove the thermocouple from an electronic ignition system by pulling it through the grommet seal. This will ensure that it is entirely removed.
4.Install the New Thermocouple
The malfunctioning thermocouple should be removed from the mounting bracket that it is attached to as soon as the burner unit is removed.
Caution should be exercised to avoid causing harm. Pulling the thermocouple through the grommet seal of an electronic ignition system will be required to entirely remove it.
5.Reconnect Gas Control
To begin, connect the pilot and burner supply tubes, as well as the thermocouple, to the gas control valve using the appropriate connectors. Make sure the thermocouple is only a quarter turn tighter than it would be by holding it in your hand. If you have an electronic ignition, you will also need to reconnect the Piezo igniter at this time. After that, open the gas shut-off valve and turn the gas control valve to the “ON” position. Using a standing pilot system, you will need to light the pilot before turning on the gas control valve to ensure that the pilot is lit.
6.Check for Gas Leakage
When dealing with a gas-powered water heater, it’s critical to ensure that there are no leaks in the system. The most effective method of checking is to use a water and soap combination. Cover all of the fittings with the soapy mixture, making sure there are no air bubbles present. If you do find bubbles coming from the leak, double-check and tighten all of the fittings. Check again and again until you’re certain there isn’t a leak.
How Much Is a Thermocouple for a Water Heater?
When dealing with a gas-powered water heater, it’s critical to ensure that there are no leaks in the appliance. Checking with a water and soap combination is the most effective method. Inspect all of the fittings for air bubbles after you have applied the soapy solution to them all. Re-check all of the fittings and tighten them down if you do see bubbles. Once you’re certain there is no leak, check it one more time.
Keep It Lit
If you’re having difficulties keeping the pilot light lit or even getting it to light, it’s possible that you have a blockage that may be readily cleared. If this is not the case, it is possible that the thermocouple has to be replaced. Have you ever attempted to repair a thermocouple that was no longer working? Please share your suggestions or thoughts in the section below – we look forward to hearing from you.
Replacing a Thermocouple on a Hot Water Heater
They are seldom this pristine, but this is the general appearance of all of the gas hot water heaters I have seen thus far. The first thing that comes over me when a renter calls to report hot water problems is fear. There are two causes for this fear. First and foremost, renters become quite irritable very fast when there is no hot water, so getting the problem resolved as soon as possible is critical. Second, this might become prohibitively costly very rapidly. This time, we were able to swiftly detect the problem as being caused by the thermocouple and replace it in record time.
How do Thermocouples Work?
Thermocouples are remarkable pieces of technology that were first introduced in 1821. It is practically common on gas water heaters and hasn’t changed much in the previous 30 to 50 years, despite technological advances. It functions as a result of a clever little physical chemistry trick. When two metals are alloyed together, a small quantity of electricity can be conducted when the metals are heated to a high temperature. Because of the electrical current, an electromagnet is activated, allowing the gas to flow.
As soon as the pilot light goes out, the electricity ceases to flow and the magnet activates, cutting off the gas supply. It’s a pretty ingenious method to make sure we don’t accidentally blow ourselves up with something so innocuous.
How Do Thermocouples Stop Working?
As a result of being in the flame of the pilot light, thermocouples stop operating. The flame gradually oxidizes the metal, causing it to deteriorate. Due to the degradation of the thermocouple’s form and composition, the amount of energy generated decreases until it is no longer sufficient to activate the electromagnet, which is responsible for maintaining the open gas flow passage. In a nutshell, the pilot light will not remain illuminated. What ever you try, the damned thing continues to fail on you time and time again.
How Do You Replace a Thermocouple on a Hot Water Heater?
When placed in the flame of the pilot light, thermocouples cease to function. With time, the metal oxidizes and degrades due to the heat of the flame. Due to the degradation of the thermocouple’s form and composition, the amount of energy generated decreases until it is no longer sufficient to activate the electromagnet, which is responsible for maintaining the open gas flow. It comes down to this: the pilot light will not maintain its brightness for very long. Whatever you try, the darn thing continues to fail on you time and time again!
- Make a mental note of the thermocouple at the gas valve, as well as the path it takes
- Remove the shields from the area around the water heater’s access door. It is possible that a screwdriver will be required. Turn off the water heater if it is not already off. Allow it to cool down if it was on when you started, perhaps for 10 minutes
- Remove the thermocouple from the gas valve body by loosening and removing it with an adjustable wrench. Turning it both ways will reveal which direction it has to be threaded because it is upside down and maybe threaded in reverse. This is something to keep in mind to prevent irritation when reconnecting the cable. Slowly pry the sensor end of the thermocouple out of the mounting position using channel locks or a vice grip to prevent it from slipping. Some squirming may be necessary, but a moderate, constant rearward pressure should be sufficient to gradually release it from the clip that is holding it in place. Replace the thermocouple’s mounting hardware with new hardware. These deteriorate at the same rate as the unit, so changing them is a smart idea. When I went to pick it up, it collapsed. The sensor end of the thermocouple should be inserted into the new mounting hardware. Make an attempt to position the end of the sensor in the same location as the last sensor was placed
- The lead should be rerouted to the gas valve body, and then attached to the valve body. Keep trying to spin it both sides until it catches the thread
- Patience is essential. Relight the pilot to check whether it will continue to operate. Pay attention to the position of the sensor tip
- The tip should be 12 inches into the flame of the pilot light. Allow it to sit for a time and check to see if the hot water heater is functioning correctly. If that’s the case, congratulations. You’ve just saved $500 by not replacing the device, or at the very least a $100 service call fee.
To be quite honest, I am not a professional in this specific repair. Although I found it simple to pull off, I didn’t bother checking in with YouTube University to be sure I was doing everything correctly. Taking a glance at the following videos, it appears that the majority of users advocate removing the entire burner assembly in order to replace the Thermocouple. On older models, repairing it this manner is suggested, but it is not always required to do so. Parts List: (This includes everything you’ll need to complete one of these projects!) Affiliate links assist us in furthering our mission.
- This set includes a Honeywell Replacement Thermocouple for Gas Furnaces, an 8-inch Crescent Wrench, and a MegaPro 15-in-One Screwdriver.
If nothing else, I hope you found it informative, or at the very least motivating enough to help you identify it yourself. Diagnostics can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if you don’t have the means to outsource all of your maintenance to a professional. Good luck with your rentals, and remember to keep them in good condition. Please let me know if there is anything clear that I have overlooked in the comments area below. Cheers!
How to Replace a Thermocouple on a Hot Water Heater
It is most often a malfunctioning thermocouple that causes the pilot light on a gas water heater to fail to stay lit when the water is turned on. If you have a pilot light turned on, the thermocouple delivers an electrical signal to the gas valve, which allows the pilot valve to remain open. It also instructs the valve to shut when the pilot is turned off in order to prevent unburned gas from leaking out into the atmosphere. Fortunately, changing the thermocouple, which is located close to the pilot, is a straightforward task.
- Turn the red gas control knob to the “Off” position and close the gas-supply valve to turn off the gas supply. When the handle is aligned perpendicular to the gas line, the supply valve is closed. Remove the cover from the outside of the heater in order to see the burner chamber within. In addition, if your water heater has a second cover, remove that as well. Remove the pilot tube and thermocouple lead from the burner assembly by removing them with a 7/16-inch wrench from the burner assembly. It is common for the pilot connection to be on one side of the red control knob and the thermocouple lead to be on the other side. Using a 3/4-inch wrench, remove the burner supply tubing from the burner. It should be located precisely beneath the knob. Remove the burner assembly by pulling it out. Remove the thermocouple tube from the fitting that keeps it close to the pilot tube and remove the probe out of the fitting that holds it adjacent to the pilot tube. The probe of a new thermocouple should be inserted into the fitting and adjusted such that it sits 1/8 to 1/4 inch past the pilot tube. Snap the hose onto the burner assembly, and then push the burner assembly back into its original position beneath the heating element. Reattach the burner, pilot, and thermocouple tubes
- Turn on the gas valve and check for leaks by squeezing a little amount of dish soap over the connections for the burner and pilot
- Turn off the gas valve and remove the thermocouple tubes. If you detect bubbles, you should tighten the connections. When you are certain that the connections are not leaking, light the pilot.
Why Your Water Heater’s Pilot Light Keeps Going Out & How to Fix It
The date is May 13, 2021. When the pilot light flame on your gas water heater goes out, it is an annoying and frustrating situation to have to deal with. When your water heater’s pilot light fails to stay lit, you’re left without hot water, which makes even the most basic of tasks such as taking a shower a chore. Naturally, you question, “How did this happen? What happened?” Is there anything you can recommend to help you get things going again? What should I do to have it repaired? “May you tell me about the costs I can expect?” Fortunately, if your water heater pilot light goes out, you should be aware that this is a frequent problem that many homeowners have and that the time and effort required to repair it is low.
Please allow us to guide you through some of the most frequent reasons why your water heater isn’t heating and how to resolve this issue if your water heater pilot light won’t stay lit and you are unfamiliar with water heaters.
Why does the pilot light on my water heater keep going out?
Because of problems with the heater’s thermocouple or owing to access to combustible air, your water heater’s pilot light continues going out repeatedly.
Because of problems with the heater’s thermocouple or availability to combustible air, the pilot light on your water heater keeps going out.
Lack of Combustible Air
Another reason why your gas water heaterpilot light won’t remain lighted might be that there isn’t enough combustible air in the room where it is located. To keep the pilot light on in your water heater, you’ll need to blow air into it. Otherwise, the flame will be extinguished. Take precautionary measures to ensure that the water heater is not surrounded by material, such as litter or lint, which might increase the quantity of combustible air present. Maintain as much cleanliness as possible in the surrounding region.
What do I do if my water heater pilot light keeps going out?
The lack of sufficient combustible air in your gas water heater might be another reason for the pilot light on your gas water heater not to stay lit permanently. To keep the pilot light on in your water heater, you’ll need to blow on it. The flame will be extinguished if this happens. Make certain that the water heater is not surrounded by clutter, lint, or debris, since this will increase the quantity of combustible air in the vicinity. Maintain as much cleanliness as possible in the immediate vicinity.
- Locate the gas shut-off knob and turn it all the way to the “Off” position. The gas flow is halted as a result of this. Allow for a few minutes for the gas to dissipate before continuing. To get access to the burner, remove the access panel. To begin the flow of gas, turn the knob to the “Pilot” position. You’ll want to press and hold the knob down for a few seconds. While still holding the gas knob, ignite the pilot with a long lighter while still holding the gas knob. To ignite your gas water heater, use the button on the side of the tank that says “ignite.” As soon as the flames have been extinguished, turn the gas knob to the “On” position and wait for the main burner to come on.
If you are unable to relight the pilot or if your pilot light keeps going out, it is possible that you have another problem, such as a faulty thermocouple, to consider. Please refer to the owner’s handbook for your water heater equipment for further information.
Can I replace a thermocouple myself?
Yes. In the event that you are handy with tools, you may be able to change the thermocouple yourself. It is easier to accomplish this by turning off the gas valve and removing the entire burner and thermocouple assembly. In the case of minor repairs, it is preferable and safer to hire someone who is knowledgeable in the field of repair. A specialist may also evaluate your water heater for other faults and provide advise or ideas on how to deal with any existing or future difficulties that may arise.
Call BGE HOME
Please contact BGE HOME at (410) 918-5600 if your water heater pilot light will not light or continues going out. You may also contact us online. Our licensed specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to come out and inspect your water heater and make recommendations on how to get it running safely and effectively again. This item was posted on Thursday, May 13th, 2021 at 4:09 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Commenting and pinging are temporarily closed for this post.
How To Replace a Water Heater Thermocouple – Plumbing Repair Guide
When it comes to gas water heaters, the thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether or not the pilot light is lighted. The heat generated by the pilot light flame generates millivolt current in the thermocouple, which in turn energizes a magnet, which in turn allows the gas control valve to function. If the pilot light fails to illuminate, the thermocouple will not generate any power, and the magnet will close the valve, preventing the gas from flowing. Before beginning any maintenance, installation, or repair work, please review our safety guidelines.
Inspect to ensure that the thermocouple connection to the gas valve is secure and that the thermocouple’s other end is correctly positioned in or near the pilot light flame. If it looks to be correctly installed, it may not be necessary to replace it.
- Disconnect the gas supply to the water heater
- And Remove the exterior and interior doors
- The pilot tube, supply tube, and thermocouple connections should be loosened in order to disconnect the burner assembly from the gas control. The burner assembly should be removed from the combustion chamber. Remove the old thermocouple from the bracket by bending it backwards. Depending on the situation, tension or a screw may be used to secure it. Remove the thermocouple from the bracket by loosening the screw, if there is one, and pulling hard and twisting it out. Install the replacement thermocouple in its place. The thermocouple tip should be positioned so that the pilot flame warms the upper half inch of the tip. In the combustion chamber, replace the burner assembly. Make that the main burner supply tube, the pilot burner supply tube, as well as the thermocouple connection to the gas control valve, are all securely fastened. No more than a quarter turn beyond hand tight should be applied to the thermocouple. Start the gas supply by turning it on. Gas leaks at the gas control valve should be checked using a soap and water solution applied to the main supply tube and pilot supply tube. A leak is indicated by the presence of bubbles. If a leak is discovered, tighten all of the connections. Start by turning on the pilot light. Check that the thermocouple tip is positioned in the flame by 1/2 inch on each side
- Inner and outer doors should be replaced.
The thermocouple should be replaced in order to restore electricity to operate the gas valve and keep the flame burning. If the problem persists, it is possible that the fault is with the gas valve itself. Because of the high expense of replacing the gas valve, it may be more cost effective to replace the complete water heater, particularly with older models.
How to Replace a Thermocouple for A.O. Smith Water Heaters
Home-Interior AO Smith gas water heaters are fitted with a thermocouple for safety purposes. The thermocouple’s duty is to shut off the gas valve on the water heater if it detects that there is no flame present in the pilot light of the heater. It is possible that a worn thermocouple will prevent the pilot light from keeping lit, in which case it will be necessary to replace it with a new one. Remove the old thermocouple and bring it with you to the hardware store in order to confirm that you get the proper size.
The shutdown valve for the gas supply to the water heater can be found on the gas line that supplies the water heater. To ensure that the shutdown valve is perpendicular to the gas line, turn the handle clockwise.
Locate the access panel for the pilot light, which is located at the lower front of your A.O. Smith water heater. Remove the retaining hex nuts with a nut driver and shift the panel to the side to avoid snagging on anything.
Identify the thermocouple, which is a device that has one end linked to the pilot light and the other end attached to the gas line that supplies the pilot light with electricity.
Using an adjustable wrench, unscrew the fittings on both ends of the thermocouple until they are loose. Remove the thermocouple by turning the fittings counterclockwise to release them. Remove the thermocouple.
Insert the bigger end of the new thermocouple into the gas line where the old one was removed using the fitting on the larger end of the new thermocouple. The other end should be threaded onto the pilot light assembly. Using the adjustable wrench, tighten both of the fittings. After you’ve lighted the pilot light, turn off the gas and replace the access panel with a new one.
Water Heater Thermocouple Replacement
You may have seen the jokes about “first world issues” that have been spreading on the internet recently. Showering in a hot shower is one of those modern-day conveniences that we tend to take for granted. Cold showers are a first-world problem in this country because we see them as the worst thing that can happen. However severe, when you’ve become accustomed to contemporary comforts, the last thing you want to deal with is a malfunctioning water heater. We will go through how to replace a thermocouple on a water heater in this section.
What Do I Do If the Pilot Light Is Out?
If the pilot light on your gas water heater goes out, the water heater will not operate. If you know how to turn on a water heater, the repair is straightforward. You could have a defective thermocouple if your pilot light is going out on you all the time. In order to allow gas to flow to the burner, a thermocouple must detect the heat from a pilot light.
It will cut off the gas supply to the pilot and burner when the thermocouple has failed due to wear and tear. If this is the cause of your pilot light not working, you will need to replace the thermocouple with a new one to fix the problem.
Water Heater Thermocouple Replacement in 5 Steps
You will need to locate a replacement thermocouple that is compatible with your old thermocouple. One that is the same width and length as the other. If it’s an enclosed pilot light, it’s generally best to consult with an expert because it may be a tough problem to solve. Once you have acquired your new thermocouple, you can then remove the old thermocouple and replace it with the new thermocouple by following the instructions outlined below:
- To begin, close the GAS CONTROL VALVE and turn it off. After you’ve switched off the valve, you may remove the coverings that cover the burner access holes. Remove the nuts that may be located on the gas, pilot, and thermocouple lines
- Next, remove the thermocouple. Remove the thermocouple from the circuit and set it aside. It’s often held in place by a couple of clips, with the end of the rod put into the pilot assembly. The procedure for installing your new thermocouple is the same as the one for installing your old one. Re-open the control valve by turning it back on. Put it through its paces. If all goes according to plan, your water heater should be up and operating as good as new. To resume operations, just re-ignite the gas engine
If you are still having trouble getting your pilot light to operate after installing a new thermocouple, you may need to seek expert assistance. If you prefer to see a video instruction, you can check out thisDANDLINC walkthrough.
Enjoy Your Repaired Water Hater
Repairing a thermocouple that has failed is typically a simple procedure that can be completed in a short period of time, allowing you to have your system back up and running in no time. If, for any reason, you are experiencing difficulties with the installation or detect the scent of gas, stop the installation immediately. While repairing a water heater pilot light, if you are doing everything correctly, you should not be able to detect any gas. If you are feeling concerned or have a query regarding your installation procedure, it is usually a good idea to seek for assistance in repairing a water heater pilot.
Keep in mind that we offer all of the water heater parts and accessories you may possibly want!
As a complement to your current tank system, or even as a replacement for your complete home’s hot water demands, tankless water heaters are a fantastic option.
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7 Reasons Your Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out
There is nothing more inconvenient than stepping into a frigid shower to begin a chilly day. It’s possible that you’ve recently found that the pilot light is constantly going out. Thousands of consumers are dissatisfied with their water heaters, which fail to function properly only a few months after installation. Is it usual for your water heater to go out on you in the middle of the night? No! Your heater should be able to easily reach the 10-year milestone without experiencing any serious problems.
Take a look at these beautiful water heaters in Phoenix.
What Is The Pilot Light?
The Pilot Light is the heart of your water heater, and it controls the flow of water. Essentially, it is a little blue flame that produces heat by burning petroleum gas. There would be no heat and, hence, no warm water if this flame were not present.
So, What Are The Reasons Your Water Pilot Light Keeps Going Out?
Not only will we identify the potential issues, but we will also provide you with solutions to those issues. Please take notice of the following: Check to see whether your water heater is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
If this is the case, it should be returned to the supplier or manufacturer for repairs or complete replacement. Precautionary measure: To begin, shut off the main gas supply valve to prevent potentially fatal gas leaks. Wait 5 minutes for the heat and gas to dissipate before continuing.
1. An Unclean Pilot Tube
It’s a problem that practically all water heaters have at some point. Please don’t be concerned, your heater is in perfect working order. It’s simply a buildup of dirt. The Pilot tube is responsible for supplying gas to the pilot light in order for it to burn. if the tube becomes blocked with dirt or other particles, the flame will go out. It is possible that the tube is partially blocked and only supplying a little amount of gas for combustion—which explains why your pilot light keeps going out.
To gently clear the tube, use a thin needle to poke it with.
You must be patient during this process.
Place the container back where it belongs and turn on your water heater.
2. A Dirty Thermocouple
It’s an issue that practically all water heaters have at some point in their life cycle. Please don’t be concerned, your heater is in perfect working condition. Just a layer of dirt has accumulated on top of the rust. Gas is sent to the pilot light through the pilot tube, which ignites the gas. If the tube becomes blocked with dirt or debris, the flame will go out. If your pilot light continues going out, it’s possible that the tube is partially blocked and only providing a little amount of gas for burning.
- Hopefully, a thorough cleaning would suffice.
- Make sure the path is clear till it is.
- Occasionally, pilot tubes can get quite dusty, necessitating repeated cleaning.
3. A Kinked Thermocouple
As soon as you’ve finished cleaning, double-check the location of the thermocouple. Also, look to see whether it’s a little bent. The thermocouple must be placed close to the pilot light in order for it to receive heat and activate the gas valve. As a result of being too far away, heat will not be received and an electric current will not be generated. The thermocouple will determine that the pilot light has been turned out and will seal the valve, cutting off the gas supply to the house. The answer is as follows: First, turn off the gas and turn off your heater, and then wait for the thermocouple to cool down before proceeding.
To be effective, the blue flame must be placed close enough to the pilot light so it contacts or wraps around the blue flame.
4. A Broken Thermocouple
So, you’ve cleaned and straightened your thermocouple, but your water pilot continues to fail despite all of your efforts. You should be prepared to accept the possibility that your thermocouple is faulty at this point. Perform a diagnostic test with a multimeter on your thermocouple first, though, before you give up on it. If the voltage delivered by your thermocouple is significantly less than 20MV, then the device is almost certainly damaged and should be replaced immediately.
The Solution: If the multimeter reading is near to, but not exactly at, 20MV, you can adjust the thermocouple closer to the pilot light to save energy. If the measurement is significantly lower than 20MV, you will have no alternative except to replace the broken component.
5. Flex Tube Issues
Despite the fact that you’ve cleaned and straightened your thermocouple, your water pilot continues to fail. Your thermocouple may have suffered a malfunction, and you should accept this truth at this point. A diagnostic test using a multimeter should be performed before giving up on your thermocouple. Obviously, if the voltage delivered by your thermocouple is significantly less than 20MV, the device is defective and should be replaced immediately. The Solution: If the multimeter reading is near to, but not at, 20MV, you can relocate the thermocouple closer to the pilot light.
6. A Faulty Main Control Valve
It’s possible that you’ll never run into this situation again. We recommend that you examine the pilot tube, thermocouple, and flex tube before attempting to modify or repair this piece of equipment. The Main Control Valve Unit has a very low failure rate. However, don’t count it out just yet; it’s possible that it’s the source of your water pilot’s incessant failure. Main Control Valve: This valve is in charge of regulating the gas and water pressures of the water heater. Your water heater’s heart and soul is the thermostat.
When the gas is ignited, the main valve is fully opened, allowing for a consistent stream of gas to be provided.
The following are signs of a defective main control valve:
- A malfunctioning pilot button that does not illuminate after being pressed
- A malfunctioning control knob
- When the water temperature exceeds the stated range, you will feel extremely hot water.
Unresponsive pilot button that does not appear to respond to the push of the button. Control knob that is not working properly. When the water temperature exceeds the stated limit, you will feel extremely hot water;
7. Poor Electrical Wiring
When it comes to electric water heaters, this is generally a concern. The fact that you should always engage a professional to install your water heater is one of the main reasons for this. If your water heater suddenly stops working, this is the first indication of a defective electrical system. The Solution: Turn off your water heater as soon as possible and contact a professional. Please do not tamper with the electrical wiring system.
Our Final Word
If all of your methods fail and your pilot light continues to go out, it’s time to call in the heavy guns (the professionals). We’re aware. We’re aware. The services of technicians are not cheap, but at the very least you will have greater confidence in the repairs. In addition to that, we are all aware of the dangers associated with electricity and natural gas. Your safety is of the utmost importance. Did you find this information useful? Check out Why Are Trane HVAC Units So Popular? for more information.
Gas Water Heater Thermocouple Replacement Guide
How to replace and install a gas water heater thermocouple and a gas pilot light assembly on a tank-type water heater is demonstrated.
What is the best way to test a thermocouple? Instructions for the most basic installation. Problems that commonly occur and troubleshooting techniques. Get Quotes from Highly Qualified Water Heater Professionals! Get Free Estimates on Your Project!
What is a thermocouple?
A thermocouple is a heat-sensing safety device that is put in the pilot light burner assembly of natural and propane gas appliances and is used to detect excessive heat. Its purpose is to provide a signal to the gas valve, causing it to open and allow gas to flow into the system, allowing the pilot light and main burner to be started.
How thermocouple works
A pilot light with a thermocouple or electrodes (electronic ignition) may be used in a gas water heater to ignite the gas on the main burner and in the combustion chamber. It is also necessary to employ the electrodes as safety components in order to notify the gas valve/electric board that the gas burner has been ignited. Unlike the electrical ignition which creates sparks only when there is a requirement for hot water, a standing pilot is always on and operating, day and night, heating the thermocouple continuously.
The gas burner assembly on storage tank water heaters is made up of numerous vital components, the most important of which are as follows:
- To ignite the gas on the main burner and in the combustion chamber of a gas water heater, the pilot light may be combined with a thermocouple or electrodes (electronic ignition). When the gas burner is lighted, the electrodes serve as a safety feature by signaling to the gas valve/electric board that the burner has been lit. Unlike the electronic ignition which creates sparks only when there is a requirement for hot water, which is always on, the standing pilot is always on, day and night, heating the thermocouple on an ongoing basis. In most tankless water heaters, electronic ignition is used instead of the thermocouple, which makes sense. Gas burner assemblies for storage tank water heaters are composed of a number of critical components, which are as follows:
A thermocouple for a water heater has two terminals. It contains a detecting probe at one end, which is immersed in the pilot flame, and another end, which has a gas regulator linked to it on the other end. The thermocouple’s one-end temperature is controlled by the pilot flame. As it heats up, it creates a little electrical current that is sent to the gas regulator to regulate the flow of gas. The current powers the magnetic placed in the gas valve, which keeps this safety valve open as long as the pilot flame is heating the thermocouple, which is approximately one minute.
- Because the pilot flame is no longer generating energy, there is no signal travelling via the thermocouple and to the gas regulator, and as a result, the system shuts down.
- When the joint is heated, it generates an electric current that flows through it.
- As a result, the gas regulator is kept closed at all times.
- It takes some time for the thermocouple to become hot enough to convey the signal to the gas regulator, allowing the gas regulator to be opened.
- If this is the case, you must test it for adequate voltage output and replace it if it is found to be broken.
When the temperature in the combustion chamber rises significantly over the intended level, it is utilized to cut off the main and pilot burner gas flows, respectively.
Replacement guide and how to
It is important to note that only a certified professional should be working with gas appliances and their components. A manufacturer’s user guide, which includes this page, should only be utilized as a source of information. The replacement of a thermocouple is a straightforward procedure. Continue reading to learn how to replace a damaged thermocouple on your own.
- It is possible to turn off the main gas valve on the unit, however this is not required. Gas from the mainline will not be able to travel through the regulator and out. As long as the thermocouple is not functioning properly, there is no signal to open the gas port. You will need to remove an access panel from the bottom of your tank water heater in order to make room for the damaged element
- This panel is located at the bottom of your tank water heater. Remove the thermocouple securing nut that is attached to the gas regulator by unscrewing it and removing it from the gas regulator
- Using the pliers, remove the flame-sensing component. Take care not to damage the copper tubing throughout the process. Pulling it out will allow you to disassemble it from the pilot assembly. To reinstall the new water heater thermocouple, simply follow the procedures outlined above, but in the reverse sequence of the procedure. Upon completion of the replacement procedure, the ignition process will be able to be successfully completed.
However, it is not required to turn off the main gas valve on the unit. There is no way for the mainline gas to get via the regulator and out the outlet. There will be no indication to open the gas port if the thermocouple is damaged. An access panel is located at the bottom of your tank water heater, and it must be removed in order to gain access to the damaged element. It is necessary to remove the thermocouple from the gas regulator by removing the fastening nut that is attached to it. Pry open the pliers and remove the flame-detecting portion.
Remove it from the pilot assembly in order to disassemble it.
Upon completion of the replacement procedure, the ignition process will be able to be completed successfully.
Problems with the thermocouple and troubleshooting
If the pilot light does not remain on after pressing and releasing the red button, the thermocouple is either loose or faulty. The remedy to this problem is either to tighten the loosened security nut or to replace the entire component. If the thermocouple is not entirely engaged in the pilot assembly bracket, adjust the tip of the element, and if the pilot flame is not completely surrounding the thermocouple hot junction, verify the item and confirm that it is properly placed before continuing.
It is possible that the thermocouple has failed, or that the tip of the tube is not in touch with the pilot flame, in which case you should simply reposition it so that the pilot flame may come into contact with it if you have the pilot outage.
Testing the thermocouple voltage output
When checking the hot water heater thermocouple, it is advised that you use a closed-circuit testing method. Light the pilot and leave it on for a few minutes to ensure proper operation. If the pilot light won’t remain on, press and hold the pilot button for a few seconds while checking the thermocouple. Measure the voltage output with a multimeter set to millivolts using the millivolts preset. Connect one of the multimeter’s leads to the copper sheath of the thermocouple and the other lead to the top terminal of the gas control valve to measure the temperature.
If it is less than that figure, it should be replaced.
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- Gas valves, mixing valves, and heat traps are all included.
How to replace the drain valve; Testing and replacing heating components – a buyer’s guide Setup, issues, testing, and replacement of thermostats are covered. Replace an anode rod in the following manner: Replace a thermocouple in the following ways: Changing a TPR valve; repairing a TPR valve How does a dip tube operate, and how do you change the tips? Heat traps; Gas valves; Mixing valves;