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Old 12-30-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
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Pilot Light Thermocouple


Tracked down why my furnace would not light. The thermocouple at the pilot was never closing the circuit to allow the gas valve to open. I bypassed it and furnace runs fine. Of course I can't let it run unless I verify the pilot light is on first.

The unit is an AutoMatic Pilot by White-Rogers Type 30A46-3.

Is this, and the tube to the pilot, something I can buy or do I have to be a complete pilot light assembly, or a pilot light assembly and gas valve?

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Old 12-30-2011, 04:35 AM   #2
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Pilot Light Thermocouple


How many wires running to it?

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Old 12-30-2011, 07:40 AM   #3
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Pilot Light Thermocouple


You could do yourself.Also make sure that the screws holding the little white w/r spark box is screwed tight.Loose screws will also affect pilot ignition series.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:14 AM   #4
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Pilot Light Thermocouple


Two wires in use. Closed when hot when working. There's a third unused terminal that I suspect is for closed when cold.

Found a local supply house that sells generic thermocouples. I'll go by and see what they have today.

After I re-warm the house.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:21 PM   #5
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Pilot Light Thermocouple


Oh, well. When I got there they had the thermocouple tube but not the switch/actuator/whatever you call it. The offered to send in a request to York asking them what my options were but told me to not be surprised if they came back with "buy a new furnace."

So I did some Googling and found the official replacement for it for $50 new in box on ebay for $50. Which beat out ordering this replacement for $130 from a distributor or the original unit for $180 or so.

So I get to have a manually operated furnace for another week.

Oh, well.

I may setup a web cam under the house till the part arrives so I can see if the pilot is lit before firing the furnace. But that seems a bit geeky even to me.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:23 PM   #6
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Pilot Light Thermocouple


I did a two minute search and found that the 30A46-3 is now a 30A46-5.
It is important because the contacts inside that black cube have to be srtrong enough to handle the current running through it.
It is a pilot sensor made only by White Rogers.It is not a thermocouple because it does not generate any current.There is a gas inside the tip and wire that expands when heated and pushes the right two contacts together.
I did not look any further and it is quite possible that there is even a newer replacement part number.There should be (is ) a cross referance in the White Rogers catalog.Good luck

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