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Are thermocouples universal?

Are thermocouples universal?

Universal Thermocouples. Universal thermocouples, as the name implies work on most water heaters. They are available online and in home supply stores for a reasonable cost. The length and the thread type are the two concerns when purchasing one.

What is a RV thermocouple?

The thermocouple is an electo-mechanical safety device that senses if the pilot flame in an RV appliance is present. This micro current powers an electromagnet in the main appliance valve which holds open the valve that supplies the propane to the appliance.

What length thermocouple do I need?

Universal thermocouples come in lengths from 15 to 36 inches. An 18 or 24 inch will suffice for all residential water heaters using universal kits. Almost all older waters heaters and many of the newer style units with a sealed burner compartment and a viewing window will use this thermocouple.

What causes thermocouple to fail?

Changes in temperature can cause regular expansion and contraction in metal, which will cause thermocouples to weaken over time. After enough time, metal fatigue can cause a thermocouple to break. If thermocouples start to give out unusual readings, it may be suffering from metal fatigue.

Can I replace thermocouple myself?

It’s easy to replace and a new one costs $5 to $10. Rather than trying to unfasten the thermocouple inside the water heater’s burning chamber, it’s easier to remove the whole burner and thermocouple assembly. Then unfasten the three nuts that hold the thermocouple and the two gas tubes to the valve.

How do I know what thermocouple I need?

After about a minute, when you’re sure the probe has gotten hot, place one lead on the shaft of the thermocouple and the other lead on the connector. If the reading is less than 25 millivolts, the thermocouple is bad and needs to be replaced.

What does a thermocouple do?

The thermocouple is a thermoelectric device that shuts off the gas supply to the water heater if the pilot light goes out. Its function is simple but very important for safety. The thermocouple generates a small amount of electrical current when it has been heated by the flame.

Where is the thermocouple on a RV?

Inside the main burner there will be an assembly containing both the thermocouple and the pilot flame burner. The thermocouple is cylindrical and sits in the pilot flame; hence it will be the topmost of the pilot burner/thermocouple combination.

How do I know if I need a new thermocouple?

If you can’t get the flame to light at all, and you’re sure the gas is on, there’s probably an obstruction in the pilot tube. If the flame lights and goes out when you release the gas control knob after holding it in for the recommended 20 to 30 seconds, that’s the sign of a thermocouple malfunction.

Can thermocouple be too long?

The length of a thermocouple has no effect on its measurement accuracy or its ability to transfer the signal to the instrument. In other words, thermocouples do not experience “voltage drops” or power loss along its length as a high current power line might possess.

Can you fix a thermocouple?

A burned out or broken thermocouple should be replaced. To replace a thermocouple: Step 1: Unscrew the copper lead and the connection nut inside the threaded connection to the gas line. Step 2: Under the mounting bracket at the thermocouple tube, unscrew the bracket nut that holds the tube in place.