Learn How To Replace A Gas Water Heater's Thermocouple

29 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If water remains cold when you turn on faucets in your home that are designated for hot water, the thermocouple that is connected to your gas water heater may need to be replaced. A thermocouple acts as a temperature sensor. When one malfunctions, a gas heater's pilot light will not stay lit. Learn how to replace this vital part with the following steps. Once the repair has been made, your hot water may work properly and provide you with access to plenty of hot water. 

Materials Needed

  • adjustable wrench
  • pliers
  • emery cloth
  • lint-free cloth
  • replacement thermocouple

Turn Off The Gas Supply And Remove The Thermocouple

Locate the gas valve that is connected to the water heater and turn it until the supply is shut off. The thermocouple is a long, metal piece that has two small gas tubes connected to it. The tubes will be located next to the pilot light. Grasp the end of each tube and gently pull them away from the pilot light until the clip that is holding each one in place releases. Use an adjustable wrench or pair of pliers to loosen and remove the bolts that are holding the thermocouple in place.

Slide the thermocouple through the bracket that surrounds it. Remove residue from the bracket's interior by wiping an emery cloth firmly over it. An emery cloth is similar to sandpaper, but is flexible and will easily fit into small areas, making it a suitable item to use. Wipe away any film that remains on the bracket's surface with a lint-free cloth.

Replace The Thermocouple

Slide the new thermocouple through the bracket. Place the bolts in the proper spots and tighten them with an adjustable wrench or pair of pliers. Be careful not to over-tighten the bolts, because if this occurs it could cause the new thermocouple to crack. Attach the clips that are connected to the end of each tube to the pilot light assembly. Adjust the gas valve until the supply is turned on.

Light the pilot light. Wait several minutes for the water in the tank to heat up. Turn on one of the hot water faucets in your home. If hot water comes out of the faucet, the problem has been resolved and you will not need to take any further action. If not, however, or if you have any additional problems with the hot water heater in the near future, have it inspected by a licensed plumber. 

Contact a service like Valley Plumbing Company for more information.