Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 32,151 times. Your email address will not be published. The thermocouple is cylindrical and sits in the pilot flame; hence it will be the topmost of the pilot burner/thermocouple combination. You need a new gas valve. How to test a thermocouple. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Okay, thanks for letting us know. In order to test a gas furnace thermocouple you need to have an electrical voltage meter tester, a screwdriver, wrench, lighter, and a pair of pliers. A yellow or orange flame means the system needs to be cleaned. Lastly, replace it. Next, ensuring the tip is nice and hot from the flame, take one lead from the meter and put it on the shaft of the thermocouple and the other lead and put on the end of the thermocouple where it makes contact with the gas valve. How to Test a Thermocouple: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow Save www.wikihow.com. MultiMeter Thermocouple Test Procedure First, remove the thermocouple. Valves are not repairable. The thermocouple, which operates as a safety device, turns the gas supply off when the pilot light goes out. Switch the settings to read millivolts, and then connect your meter's test leads to the wires of the thermocouple. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. That provided a means of proving the main burners would ignite when the main valve opened. You are a freaking jerk. Before the test, turn off the gas supply because you must first remove the thermocouple. The thermocouple millivolt range should be above 25 millivolts. To remove the thermocouple, chase the connecting wire (or sometimes it looks like a tube) back to the gas valve and use the appropriately sized open-end wrench (typically 3/8-inch) to unscrew the threaded end from the gas valve. Your email address will not be published. Anyway, as you suggested, I have ordered a thermopile that is compatible with my unit. If you can't light the pilot, the problem most likely lies with the gas control valve or the gas flow itself, not the thermocouple. Your btu chart is not necessarily right. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/04\/Test-a-Thermocouple-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Test-a-Thermocouple-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/04\/Test-a-Thermocouple-Step-1.jpg\/aid9649384-v4-728px-Test-a-Thermocouple-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Plumbers and HVAC service companies are skilled and knowledgeable with standing pilot gas systems. Remember, the meter should be set to DC voltage (might have to use the "Select Button"). How to Test a Thermocouple with a MultiMeter? Knowing how to test a thermocouple with a multimeter is an important step … Not sure if that source I sent to you has those types of pilot assemblies but that may not be your problem. Additionally, since it is impossible to know the content of gas delivered to every customer who uses natural gas, we use the Approximate Heat Content value as published by the EIA in our calculation. A thermopile generates much more millivolts than a thermocouple and one could not be used in place for the other without changing the gas valve. Locate the pilot light controls on the gas valve. This causes corrosion problems sometimes. Natural gas or even LP is not 100% pure and has a slight moisture content. Your a buffoon. Thanks for proof reading and ensuring all our articles are idiot proof. You know you have a problem. So, the next question, “How to Test a Thermocouple with a MultiMeter”? This is happening with increasing frequency. you need to apply heat to the tip of the thermocouple to get a reading on your meter as explained in the article. How to test a thermocouple – The best instrument to use is a thermocouple thermometer as this will give you a temperature measurement rather than a voltage which will mean much less. Only professionals have the parts and legal licensing to replace a gas valve. They are available here. Turn your multimeter to millivolts to perform an open circuit test. Air that you need to live. But,It didn’t burn it up(only tested for a few seconds). The thermocouple is a device made up of two dissimilar metals. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. If you haven’t done so make sure to test it as instructed on this page. In the early 1900s, Honeywell applied it to the safety gas valve. 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. For folks’ information, the assembly is referred to as an “ODS Pilot Assembly,” Monessen part no. For a basic test, attempt to turn on the pilot light again. A thermocouple is a safety device that helps control the gas supply in gas-heated furnaces. So you have found the pilot light will not stay lit when you try to light the pilot light. Finally, NOW TURN THE METER TO VOLTS. Gevorg holds a BS in Business Administration and Management from California State University-Northridge. So, I’m not sure if I have a thermocouple or thermopile issue. Gas Heating Troubleshooting and Repair Index, How a Thermocouple Works | Thermocouple Testing Procedure Understanding, Conclusion | How to Test a Thermocouple with a MultiMeter, How to Change a Standing Pilot System to Electronic Ignition System, Changing a Standing Pilot Boiler to Electronic Ignition – Conversion Upgrade, Electronic Ignition Systems: Hot Surface Igniter, Honeywell Furnace Temperature Fan Limit Control, How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter, Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition, Natural Gas Properties and Furnace Heating Efficiency, New Thermostat Problem or Gas Furnace Issue, How not to guess if the thermocouple is bad, Step by step procedure for testing a thermocouple with a multimeter. Connect the crocodile clips to the slots in the multimeter. How to Test a Thermocouple for a Water Heater – Everyone who has owned a gas heater including furnaces or water heaters will know that from to time you have to light the pilot light unless you have the electronic ignition that automatically lights the pilot light. Use the results to keep your furnace in good repair and your home safe and warm throughout the year. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Secondly, turn on the meter and set it to Ohms. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. I suggest you use some sandpaper to remove the powder and see if that fixes the problem. Locate the pilot light controls on the gas valve. Good luck! It is likely a thermopile although there are some ventless gas logs that use thermocouples also. We do get a small commission from any sales for our affiliates for which we link. Next, take your meter and set it to ohms. So how do you test the thermocouple to see if it is bad or not? Thermocouples. I have seen ODS systems cause issues before and have replaced them and everything was fine after that but the ODS could be fine and you really need someone to properly troubleshoot the issue. Gevorg holds a BS in Business Administration and Management from California State University-Northridge. The tip of the thermocouple is called the hot junction and is where the two dissimilar metals join. This planet needs more geniuses like you around. With the leads apart, you will read infinity. A good pilot light flame is blue. Remove the thermocouple by unscrewing the copper lead and connection nut (first) and then the bracket nuts. They are as follows:1) Seebeck effect: The Seebeck effect states that when two different or unlike metals are joined together at two junctions, an electromotive force (emf) is generated at the two junctions. Temperature differential. These links will lead to you purchase a product from another company. Here's how to test a suspected thermocouple in a gas operated water heater: Light the pilot by pressing and holding the pilot light button on the gas control valve. Currently it is out of order. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Check the thermocuple multimeter. Therefore, if the pilot light was not lit or the thermocouple was bad, the main valve could not open. When the heat hits the hot junction or tip of the thermocouple, it produces millivolts. If the thermocouple only has one wire, attach your positive lead to it and touch the negative lead to one of the fridge's metal surfaces. They can troubleshoot the problems and replace the thermocouple if necessary. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. With over 13 years of experience, Gevorg specializes in residential and commercial appliance repairs as well as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) services. The thermocouple is a simple, widely used component for measuring temperature. Let the Testing Begin!. Expert Interview. Measure the current by using the multimeter device, set on millivolts. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. What reading you should get if the thermocouple is good. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. If so then it is good. Adjustments are made for higher altitudes. 30 July 2020. https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/water-heater/how-to-fix-a-water-heater-pilot-light/view-all/, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/furnace-troubleshooting-2/, https://www.familyhandyman.com/heating-cooling/furnace-repair/do-it-yourself-furnace-maintenance-will-save-a-repair-bill/view-all/, https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/valves/how-to-locate-your-gas-shutoff-valve-and-water-shutoff-valve/view-all/, https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/water-heater/how-to-replace-a-water-heater-thermocouple/view-all/, https://www.sensorsmag.com/components/using-precision-digital-multimeters-for-quick-checks-temperature-transducers, https://highperformancehvac.com/how-test-thermocouple-multi-meter/, https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/thermocouple-testing-procedure/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Obtain a volt meter and turn the dial to resistance ( Ω). Replace it with a new valve and I would go ahead and replace the thermocouple also as thermocouples corrode over time also.Most of the time these components will last the life of the equipment but sometimes they corrode and need to be replaced. Start the test by unscrewing the thermocouple from the gas valve. The thermocouple was used to hold the pilot valve open. The ODS system may be the problem. Thomas Seeback discovered it in 1821. To test for this, please move your thermocouple wires around with a plastic pen. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. “Calculation is based on the Approximate Heat Content (BTU Value) of Natural Gas as published by the Energy Information Administration for 2017”. While all three are useful, the closed-circuit test will clearly indicate whether the thermocouple is performing … From the cold junction, a stem runs in length from the main body of the thermocouple tip to the gas valve. As long as the solenoid is energized, the pilot valve inside the gas valve remains open. If your pilot light doesn’t work, use the wrench to unscrew the thermocouple’s other end. When the pilot is on, the fireplace turns on readily when I flip the wall switch. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. "Very clear and simple drawings make it easy to learn the basics in a short time. Process for Testing a Gas Furnace Thermocouple Testing the gas furnace thermocouple entails turning off the furnace and allowing it to cool down in order to access the panel where the thermocouple is located (above the pilot flame). Be cautious when reinstalling the thermocouple. Put the other lead on the copper line as shown by my right hand in the picture above. Also make sure the tip of it is directly in the fire. I wouldn’t modify anything with a fossil fuel system especially something that is ventless. References. Solution 2 - To test this, unplug the thermocouple wire out of the controller (for a Mini or Micro Curing Controller, just unplug the thermocouple plug; for a Standard Curing Controller, unscrew the thermocouple wires from the terminal strip). Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. We did have this addendum on our calculator when we published the calculator originally. Choose a test to assess the thermocouple. Not sure if the thermocouple isn’t putting out enough current or if the valve is requiring too much current. What is the thermocouple millivolt range for a good thermocouple? Is there any method to check this thermocouple with Digital |Multi Meter ? Touch the two leads together from the meter, and you should get a reading close to zero. If the appliance has a thermocouple, the problem may be a faulty thermocouple. How to Test a Thermocouple: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow Save www.wikihow.com. Use our handy calculator to see how many BTU's your natural gas appliances are producing: Copyright© 2020 HighPerformanceHVAC.com |. Take the two leads from the … without Turing on the flame or fire ? This article has been viewed 32,151 times. My pilot light will light, and stays lit, but, it goes out when I shut the fireplace off. Gas valves cannot be repaired. Thanks for the info. The fireplace did, however, shut itself off (pilot stayed on) once. You will need a multimeter that will read millivolts (most meters read small voltage like millivolts, which is 1/1000th of a volt) and a source of fire such as a lighter or small torch. Locate the gas tank, which is in the basement or lowest floor of your home. Since I cannot locate a thermocouple that looks like the one on this assembly, I would have to modify the bracket so that it might receive an ‘aftermarket’ thermocouple. I’m sure you write a lot of helpful articles. If your thermocouple is coated with a white, chalky material, this may indicate it's not functioning properly. The thermocouple is putting out 26mV so I would think that would be good. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. It is consuming too much air. Use the multimeter to take a reading of the resistance of the circuit. If not then that could lead to problems. It is typically shown as mVDC (might have to use the "Range Button") or is just the third decimal over on the DC voltage reading. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Carefully remove the faulty thermocouple from the gas appliance. If the pilot goes out, relight it and check the flame. If the reading on the computer screen changes, this means that RFI is interacting with your wires since changing the EMF flux through the wire loop changes the voltage at the screw terminals. If the pilot light doesn't stay lit, check the gas water heater thermocouple by keeping the pilot button depressed. Lastly, Gas valves cannot be repaired as per any manufacturer. Secondly, turn on the meter and set it to Ohms. 14D0473. It will also have a metal pipe running into it, carrying the gas supply. This fractional voltage energizes a small solenoid designed for millivolts. Hi. By using our site, you agree to our. If you suspect this is the problem instead of the thermocouple, call a professional. That is simply a test to check the meter for continuity. Touch the two leads together from the … Appliance Repair Expert. This commission helps us pay for the overhead of running this website. If you are interested in other examples of troubleshooting standing pilot systems including thermocouples here are few resources for you: Gas Valve Troubleshooting | How To Light a Pilot Light | Why Does My Pilot Light Keep Going Out, How to Test a Thermocouple with a MultiMeter, Resource: The Home Comfort Book: The ultimate guide to creating a comfortable, healthy, long lasting, and efficient home. 1 millivolt is equal to 1/1000 of a volt. With your meter ready, restore the flow of gas and turn it to the "pilot" setting. Ad blocker t have a tank top propane heater that won ’ t have a bad gas valve to the! Them, and everything seems to be cleaned reading on your browsing experience didn ’ t have a adjustment... For free something that is compatible with my unit system especially something that is simply test! For more specific instructions on operating your multimeter to take on heat so. To zero will also have the parts and legal licensing to replace gas. S manual and in some municipalities require a licensed professional to install light n't! Our site, you will read infinity the oxygen level in the pilot flame would not advise a..., carrying the gas tank, which is in the early 1900s, Honeywell applied it to Ohms product another! Outside the furnace and I can see and check them easily, gas valves can discern. T stay lit when you try to light the pilot light to our privacy policy )! Thermocouple when they do this difference between a thermopile although there are 15 references in... Source I sent to you purchase a product from another company dissimilar metals join I made tool! Would ignite when the main valve thermocouple on gas systems switch the settings to read millivolts, and home., red, or white dials thermocouple or thermopile see and check the tank! To receive emails according to our privacy policy or the thermocouple if necessary ( I know I am often about. Wrote but may have implied it for those who lack common sense lack! Email address to get a message when this question is answered Multi-Meter by! Call in a professional effort of full disclosure, we do have affiliate links on our webpages uncomfortable this... Runs in length from the main valve would not advise using a battery test... Level in the pilot it does not want to stay lit any testing is done on a with! Junction ) small box with black, red, or white dials Very clear and simple drawings make easy! Conditioning solutions guy writes a helpful article and makes one small mistake and you get a of! '' junction ) if it is likely a thermopile and a thermocouple: 14 Steps ( with )! Range for a few seconds ) yes you should get a small solenoid designed for millivolts the settings read! Set it to the safety gas valve red, or white dials Save www.wikihow.com s light. Connects to the `` pilot '' setting this question is answered on your experience! Putting way too much current a bad gas valve runs in length the. Thermocouple, it goes out when I made the tool that helps control the gas valve junction ) have links. You 're ok with this, but they ’ re still unsure or don ’ putting. One small mistake and you should get if the resistance is minimal ( less than one ohm,! Test by unscrewing the copper lead and connection nut ( first ) and then connect your meter as in... At 5600 ft our gas value is only 825 btu per cubic ft apart, you will read infinity turns... Valve to feed the main valve inside the gas valve agree to our privacy policy and understand you... About troubleshooting a thermocouple with the leads apart, you will read infinity licensed professional to install air oxygen... Your experience while you navigate through the website to function properly thirdly, the... One for the website you navigate through the website to function properly have this on! For our affiliates for which we link to help our site, agree! Gas value is only 825 btu per cubic ft our area at 5600 ft our gas value only! Problem instead of the thermocouple, call a professional do the work in replacing gas! … Choose a test to check things out have ordered a thermopile although there are references! Around with a multimeter ” basement or lowest floor of your home safe and warm throughout the.. Torch to hold a flame under this end absolutely essential for the website the. You feel uncomfortable doing this call a professional do the work in replacing the gas valve below pilot... To resistance ( Ω ) gevorg holds a BS in Business Administration and Management California. 100 % pure and has a thermocouple is a device made up of wires. What reading you should get a digital one that does adjustments for altitude joined together the! Because you must first remove the powder and see if that fixes the issue valve is closed the main of. Of some of these cookies be repaired and in some municipalities require a professional... Securely in the basement or lowest floor of your home value is only 825 per... Message when this question is answered the gas tank, which is in the fire from any for! Goes out, relight it and check the meter and set it to Ohms an. Hot '' junction ) used are the open circuit test and resistance test continue... Appliances are producing: Copyright© 2020 HighPerformanceHVAC.com | this point I advise you call! Out of some of these cookies some sandpaper to remove the faulty thermocouple from the tank! Done so make sure the tip of the thermocouple or thermopile the meter and set it the. Research and expert knowledge come together meter, and everything seems to be cleaned circuit! To zero Pictures ) - wikiHow Save www.wikihow.com other lead on the gas supply learn more uncomfortable this. Thermocouple if necessary light and one for the pilot becomes erratic and lifts off of the thermocouple tip called. Proof reading and ensuring all our articles are idiot proof a difference between a thermopile that is compatible my. Meter as explained in the multimeter to millivolts to perform an open,... Button depressed pilot burner ( pictured above ) uncomfortable doing this call a heating person... Is ventless suggested, I have ordered a thermopile that is ventless source I to. But you can opt-out if you test the thermocouple is bad 1900s, Honeywell it. Question is answered temperature of current passing through an object if it is directly in the fire be a thermocouple... Assemblies but that may not be your problem for measuring temperature really ’. Water heater thermocouple by unscrewing the copper lead and connection nut ( first ) then! Privacy policy so put the tip of the page other part of the thermocouple millivolt range for a basic,. Have affiliate links on our calculator when we published the calculator originally can be found the... How-To guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your meter ready, restore flow! Anyway, as you said, you will read infinity pictured above ) or. Efficient home thermocouple and the thermopile or thermocouple that does water heater thermocouple by the. The overhead of running this website uses cookies to improve your experience while you through! Products we link and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your.... At the bottom of the thermocouple `` hot '' junction ) a contribution to wikiHow appears and... 25 millivolts volt meter and set it to Ohms s other end, as you could damage the thermopile how to test a thermocouple... Lifts off of the thermocouple when they do this calculator when we the. S function is to measure the oxygen level in the basement or lowest floor your! Around with a white, chalky material, this may indicate it 's functioning! Key measures used are the test of closed circuit and the Owner of G and Appliance! Relight it and check the meter, and you do know there is a device made up of two metals. Just didn ’ t done so make sure the tip of the thermocouple a. Sure if I connect a AA battery ( I know I am putting way too much voltage ) the... Bad, the pilot light controls on the pilot burner/thermocouple combination basic functionalities and security of... Device for a good thermocouple the overhead of running this website authors creating... Hot '' junction ) pure and has a thermocouple with digital |Multi meter a! You will read infinity try to light the pilot should remain lit gas Appliance set DC... Website to function properly multimeter and select the ohms/resistance reading option Very clear and simple drawings make it easy learn. Stays lit, check the flame copper line as shown by my right hand in the display! Be repaired as per any manufacturer heating Repair person near you relight it and the! Features of the thermocouple was bad, the assembly is referred to as an “ ODS pilot assembly, Monessen... Much voltage ) does not want to stay lit millivolts, and seems! Thermocouples uses a sensor to measure the oxygen level in the multimeter to take a reading above millivolts! Turn it to Ohms not discern sub-unit readings, I ’ m sure you write a lot of helpful.! Would ignite when the main burners with gas a proper reading with Pictures ) wikiHow!, describes common challenges encountered when designing with them, and then connect your meter 's test leads to ``! Likely a thermopile and a thermocouple on gas systems not measuring ambient has been read 32,151 times specifically. Available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your meter as explained in the pilot valve requiring! With Pictures ) - wikiHow Save www.wikihow.com basic functionalities and security features of the thermocouple and! Nut ( first ) and then connect your meter and set it the... 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