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What is a Thermocouple?

What is a thermocouple? In the shortest possible terms, it’s a vital component in your gas heating system, controlling the flow of gas into your system. In some cases, it’s actually a part of your pilot light or electric ignition system: bound in a single unit. It serves as a key safety feature which can literally render your heater inoperable. Here in Fairfield, OH, heating repair services can fix or replace a broken thermocouple, but that still doesn’t explain how, exactly it does its job.

The thermocouple begins with two wires, usually made of differing metals and joined together in a circuit. A voltmeter or similar measuring device is often attached to the wires. One end is placed in a position where the temperature does not vary (such as an ice bath or a sealed container), and the other end is placed in close proximity to the pilot light. When the light comes on the voltmeter detects the differences in temperature (usually requiring a certain specific difference), and signals for the thermocouple to release the gas and start the heating process.

The purpose of this is to ensure that the gas isn’t released when there’s nothing to ignite it, preventing your house from flooding with gas (which can create a serious safety hazard). Most heaters will shut the gas off automatically if the thermocouple becomes damaged, another safety step to keep the gas from flooding your home. (As frustrating as it can be, the heater’s inability to turn on without a functioning thermocouple is a good thing.)

On the other hand, it still won’t heat your home, which means you need a reliable repair service to come in and deal with the problem. If you need Fairfield, OH heating repair services, call Bartels Heating & Cooling, who has the expertise to repair or replace your thermocouple quickly. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, and won’t rest until you’re completely satisfied with our work. If you’re having trouble with your furnace, then pick up the phone and give us a call!

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