Some thoughts on thermocouples… (long) - Posted by Tom – IN
Posted by Tom – IN on August 08, 2001 at 02:33:28:
Consider the lowly thermocouple before the heating season begins. I keep a separate tool box for working on furnaces and water heaters. One major tool in this box is a box of 18" wooden matches, commonly sold for lighting the fire in a fireplace. If you have a lot of properties, buy one thermocouple of each length. They are only a couple of bucks each, and there’s really no reason to go out to a house on a Friday night and have to wait until Monday to get to the heating supply house to get a thermocouple. Any time you’re having pilot light problems, change the thermocouple. It’s a cheap way of narrowing down the problem. I also carry a cheap VOM, a tubing cutter, a spare kit to make up a pilot tubing, and a set of drill bits for cleaning out the pilot orifice, a #87 is most freqently the right size. Lots of time when the tenant turns off the pilot for the summer, a spider will lay eggs in the pilot line. Pipe dope, teflon tubing, a few 1/2" to 34" bushings. I also carry a Honeywell generic combination gas valve replacement unit for natural gas, 24 V. I like the one where the output bushing is held on with screws. Real handy if you don’t have room to turn it. Of course, this reflects the most common furnaces * I * have in my houses, and may not reflect what you have in yours. Also, a couple of spare thermostats, and a length of thermostat wire, and a collection of jumper cords with alligator clips, from Radio Shack. Another really handy piece of test gear is a 24 V neon test light. A box of 15 Amp slow blo fuses, electrical tape, and who knows what else. A few screwdrivers and an assortment of smaller wrenches for unscrewing the pilot light line and the thermocouple nuts.
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