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How to clean, reposition, or replace the ignitor/thermocouple

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Disconnect the power source. Using a Q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol, wipe the front of the ignitor/thermocoupler

Posted on Apr 18, 2014

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We replace the thermocouple and cant get the pilot t stay lte.its on a 40 gal hot water heater


Sometimes, when DIYers install a new thermocouple they over tighten it. The correct way to install a thermocouple is to finger tighten the connection into the gas control valve and then, with appropriately sized open in wrench, tighten it only 1/4 turn more. Over tightening it, can cause the control valve to lockup. Also, check the positioning of the thermocouple. The pilot flame should engulf the tip of the thermocouple. If it doesn't reposition the thermocouple and clean the pilot. Especially clean it, if the pilot flame is curling upward, instead of being straight out.

Hope this helped you troubleshoot and solve the problem.

Apr 20, 2011 | Heating & Cooling

7 Answers

Warming drawer


Its either a bad electronic control board (http://www.repairclinic.com/referral.asp?R=1265&N=244804),
or a bad bake igniter (http://www.repairclinic.com/referral.asp?R=1265&N=1990).

Jul 08, 2008 | Kenmore 95172 / 95174 / 95179 Electric...

1 Answer

Can't light a vulcan heritage gas heater, the pilot light lights, but as soon as I try to lift my finger off the button to ignite the heater, the pilot flame always goes off.


Hi and welcome to FixYa, I am Kelly.

What you are experiencing is the lack of a signal from the thermocouple to the gas valve. I.e. the thermocouple is not passing heat information at all. This is caused by either a defective thermocouple, a dirty mating area where the thermocouple connects to the gas valve or... an improperly positioned thermocouple that is not "in the flame" with the pilot lit.

  • First make sure the FIRE end of the thermocouple is in the flame when lit. (reposition if necessay)
  • Next disconnect the thermocouple by unscrewing the fitting on the top of the gas valve. (No gas will come out) Clean the metal mating area as best you can and then re-install the thermocouple. Just a good snug fit. Once you feel it come snug add 15 degrees of tightening motion with a wrench.
Attempt to light the pilot... wait 45 seconds to 1 minute while holding the pilot button down before letting it up. If it stays lit.... GOOD JOB. If it goes out the next step is to replace the thermocouple. If after replacing the thermocouple it does not stay lit the remedy is to replace the gas valve. There are no short cuts and the sequence of repairs is just as I stated in order.

You can remove your old thermocouple and walk in to almost any appliance parts supply or Plumbing and heating supply to purchase the correct thermocouple without a part number. They will match it up with yours.

Thanks for choosing FixYa,
Kelly

Feb 20, 2011 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Valor uniflame 480 ignitor problem.On start when I press down the flame control switch and the ignitor I have a flame,but when I release the flane control switch the flame goes out.Ive been told the fire...


I also would assume the same. This is all that keeps the pilot light lit, is the thermocouple sending signal to the gas valve saying hey I am on and hot so turn on the gas and lets get things hot. Try cleaning the thermocouple with steel wool and make sure it is on the top of the flame for best results.If this does not do it replacing the thermocouple is next, they are cheap and easy to replace.

Dec 21, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

My gas logs will not come on. the pilot is lit


You can try cleaning the thermocouple and repositioning it directly over the pilot flame, if this does nothing the replace the thermocouple. The job of a thermocouple is to sense heat from the pilot and upon demand from a thermostat turn on the gas valve and ignite the gas burners.

Dec 20, 2010 | Vanguard International Blue Flame - Medium...

1 Answer

I have a readyheater model 65-85 the flame will not stay lit im thinking thermal couple is there a way to test this part? or could it be another problem?


If your pilot light will not stay lit when you release pilot light button then chances are that your thermocouple is bad. Make sure that the tip of thermocouple is directly in line with pilot light. Tip of thermocouple should be cherry red if it is properly placed. If pilot will not stay lit then replace it. If you aren't sure about placement of thermocouple you can heat thermocouple with a seperate heat source. If you do this and pilot light stays lit then reposition thermocouple in pilot flame. If it still won't keep pilot burning then replace thermocouple. Hope this helps. Thanks.

Nov 19, 2010 | Reddy Heater-30-55,000 BTU Variable

1 Answer

Maytag dryer runs but doesn't heat up


1. Open the small access door in front of the dryer and start the heat cycle. The ignitor must glow a bright orange so that it is hot enough to light the gas. If there is no orange glow, then the ignior needs replacement.
2. If it glows then cuts off, then glows, again and cuts off, the thermocouple sensor wire is out of position. It needs to be very, very close to the ignitor. This thermocouple sends a temperature signal when it senses that the ignitor is hot enough to ignite the gas. Unplug the dryer. Re-position the thermocouple wire mount so that the thermocouple wire is almost touching the ignitor. You may also "bend" the wire. Plug power back on and heat.
3. If it still does not heat, then the automatic gas valve that is controlled by the thermocouple sending unit is broken. The automatic gas valve cannot be safely "fixed" and must be replaced.
Hope it's just the thermocouple wire.

Oct 05, 2009 | Maytag PYE2300AY Electric Dryer

1 Answer

GE Gas Dryer (Model DQSR 483) Drum works but does not heat


There are three things besides what you aleady checked:
1. Open the small access door in front of the dryer and start the heat cycle. The ignitor must glow a bright orange so that it is hot enough to light the gas. If there is no orange glow, then the ignior needs replacement.

2. If it glows then cuts off, then glows, again and cuts off, the thermocouple sensor wire is out of position. It needs to be very, very close to the ignitor. This thermocouple sends a temperature signal when it senses that the ignitor is hot enough to ignite the gas. Unplug the dryer. Re-position the thermocouple wire mount so that the thermocouple wire is almost touching the ignitor. You may also "bend" the wire. Plug power back on and heat.

3. If it still does not heat, then the automatic gas valve that is controlled by the thermocouple sending unit is broken. The automatic gas valve cannot be safely "fixed" and must be replaced.
Hope it's just the thermocouple wire.

Oct 01, 2009 | GE DBXR463EBWW Electric Dryer

1 Answer

My Heater kicks on but doesn't light. The AC Works fine, and the heater seems to work fine but won't light. It doesn't seem to be getting any Gas. I've checked the gas and it is turned on, I leave it...


One of three things, in this order:

Open the front access door and turn ON the heater.
Does the electronic ignitor turn a bright orange?
If not, then it is the ignitor.
If it does turn bright orange, check the thermocouple.
The thermocouple looks like a bare copper wire that is supposed to almost touch the ignitor.
It senses if the ignitor gets hot enough to ignite the gas.
If the thermocouple is loose or not mounted close to the ignitor, then re-position the thermocouple (it is not electrified; however, unplug power cord before doing this). It is also ok to bend the thermocouple if you are unable to loosen its mountiing bracket.
Plug power back on and turn on heater again.
If it fails to flame, you must call for service. The automatic gas valve is stuck. The valve cannot be safely "fixed", it must be replaced.
I hope its the thermocouple out of place.

Sep 29, 2009 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Ignition will ''glow'' but gas won't ignite.


You will have to clean, reposition, or replace the ignitor/thermocouple

Mar 27, 2009 | Dryers

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