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Thread: Can Thermocouple Touch Metal?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    cold new york

    Default Can Thermocouple Touch Metal?

    Hello all,

    On a gas hot water tank, I placed the small metal cover that covers the hole into the pilot and realized it was touching the thermocouple, could this cover pull heat from it, and prevent the flame from turning off at the proper temperature?


  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    200 miles south of Little Rock


    The thermocouple at the pilot only keeps the gas coming as long as the pilot is burning and keeping the thermocouple hot. If your heater is running too hot, the problem would be elsewhere ... such as possibly at the thermostat or gas valve. If you suspect your heater is running too hot, put a meat thermometer in the flow of a nearby faucet for a minute or so and compare that reading to the thermostat setting.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default t'couple

    No. The thermocouple is a selfcontained generator and the current is carried by the internal wire. If the tip gets too hot, or not hot enough, that will disrupt the current and cause the pilot to go out, but it has nothing to do with when the thermostat turns off or on.


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