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Ideal Services Heating & Cooling Blog

What Happens When a Thermocouple Malfunctions?

A thermocouple is a sort of “co-pilot” to your pilot light, which allows the gas burners on your water heater to be lit. Here in Raleigh, NC, heating repair services must often deal with thermocouple malfunctions, in part because the device is so important to the proper functioning of your heater. What happens when a thermocouple malfunctions? In short, the heater needs help.

The thermocouple basically regulates the flow of gas to the furnace. It detects when the pilot light is lit, and allows gas to be released into the burners to start the water heating process. The thermocouple is usually placed very close to the pilot light and may even be a part of the same component, depending on the nature of your water heater.

Normally when the thermocouple malfunctions or isn’t working, it simply shuts off gas to your heater. This is important, particularly if the pilot light is out, because it prevents harmful gas from leaking into your home. Without that function, your water heater may pose a significant threat to your home’ safety, and may even instigate an explosion. (It also makes a handy way of signaling that there is a problem, since you’ll know about it the next tune you step into the shower or run a faucet.)

In a few cases, a malfunctioning thermocouple may allow gas to leak into your home, which is a major problem. That’s why, when you detect problems with your thermocouple, you should turn off the gas immediately before calling in an expert to help.

We offer Raleigh, NC heating repair services. Our experienced technicians have served the Raleigh area for over 20 years, and we offer 24 hour emergency services so you don’t have to wait any longer than necessary. Our staff acts with utmost concern for your home and well-being, and we can provide maintenance services to handle your water heater issues once repairs are complete. We know what happens when a thermocouple malfunctions, and will work overtime to get yours up to speed again. Give us a call today.

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