Thermocouples: What To Do When Your Gas Furnace Won't Stay Lit

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If your gas furnace doesn't fire up properly, you may relight the pilot many times to see if it starts your appliance. If your furnace still doesn't come on or get hot enough to warm your house, the appliance might have an issue with the thermocouple. Find out more about your furnace's thermocouple below.

What Does the Thermocouple Do and Why?

Your furnace relies on many safety devices to keep it and your home safe during the winter. One of the most crucial safety mechanisms in your furnace is the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a heat-detecting device or probe that works in unison with the pilot to keep your furnace operational. If the thermocouple loses its ability to sense heat from the pilot, it can automatically shut down the gas supply lines connected to your furnace. 

Thermocouples can become faulty for a number of reasons. The devices' sensors can wear down or quit or the devices themselves can age and deteriorate. Thermocouples can also have problems detecting small or weak pilot light flames. 

If you think the problem with your pilot light is due to a faulty or damaged thermocouple, call for a furnace repair from a place like Go West A/C & Heating

How Do You Make Your Furnace Work Properly?

Once an HVAC contractor arrives at your house, they may run a diagnostic check on your furnace. Although thermocouples and pilot lights are common reasons for furnace problems, they're not the only issues to consider. Gas furnaces can fail to come on if they:

After a contractor performs a service check on your furnace, they'll recommend the best ways to repair it. For example, if the thermocouple is to blame for your furnace's inability to stay on, a contractor may recommend a replacement. If the gas supply lines need servicing, a technician may repair them as well.

If your heater has reached its lifespan, you may wish to replace it. Your furnace may have severe damage in the burner compartment or heat exchanger. Furnaces that develop problems with their burners or heat exchangers can become too unsafe to operate. Gases may escape the appliance and silently circulate through your home. A contractor can provide more details about heat exchangers when they meet with you.

You can always find more information about thermocouples by contacting a contractor.