How to Replace a Thermocouple: Advice for the Novice Homeowner

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Replacing a thermocouple is not a difficult job if you know what you are doing. However, this is not a task for the average homeowner looking for a do-it-yourself project.

Keep in mind that the thermocouple is vital piece of your home furnace (or boiler) that protects you and your family.

Making a call to a licensed professional to ensure that the proper parts are used and installed correctly is well worth any additional expense.

Your pilot light thermocouple is a vital part of a properly working home furnace. Without this piece, the health and safety of you and your family would be in jeopardy. You may be asking yourself, what does a thermocouple do that is so important?

The thermocouple is a part, near the pilot light of a gas furnace that determines whether the pilot light is lit. If it does not detect a flame, it shuts off the gas supply. A gas boiler thermocouple is used if you have a boiler system.

If you are set on replacing the thermocouple yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Locate the thermocouple next to the pilot light and disconnect the unit by removing the copper lead. Unscrew the gas line connection nut AND bracket nut holding the thermocouple in place. Slide in the new thermocouple, making sure that the steel tube is facing up and the copper tube is facing down. Be sure to tighten the bracket nut (which should be located below the bracket) to secure the thermocouple tube. Connect the copper lead to the gas line and hand-tighten the connection nut.

Make sure that everything is tight before turning on the gas line to test the system. If everything is working properly, you have successfully replaced the thermocouple.