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Old 01-02-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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replace thermocouple on boiler


I notice that about every 3-4 years I need to replace the thermocouple on my boiler because the pilot light keeps going out. At the same time, I remove the 3 burners, tap and clean out all the rust and debris, and put them back as well.
I'm wondering if it's a good idea every year to turn the pilot light on the boiler from the ON position to the OFF position after the heating season, say around April or May, turn the thermostat from Heat to Off, clean the burners at this time and then again in the Fall, around October or when I think I may require heat, to relight the pilot on the boiler. Would I increase the life of the thermocouple and is this a good idea? Any other recommendations?

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #2
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replace thermocouple on boiler


you may increase the life of the t-couple. but those are not designed to last forever. Shutting the pilot off in the off season is a good way to conserve gas, not to mention depending on your gas cost it could save you up to $10 per month.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
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replace thermocouple on boiler


Thanks,
Someone else told me if the thermocouple needs to be replaced every 3-4 years, there's something wrong with my boiler.
Do you have any other recommendations for boiler maintenance? I do no other cleaning and startup on the system, it is over 25 years old, a Burnham system I believe
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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replace thermocouple on boiler


You should service the burners and heat exchanger every year. Remove burners and empty out debree. Clean heat exchanger, remove debree, knock down scale on walls. By keeping the pilot light on year round is benificial because it evaporates any condensation in the heat exchanger, prolonging the life of the metal.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:55 AM   #5
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replace thermocouple on boiler


You can buy/order a special High Temp thermocouple from a heating company. They are quite expensive but last a LOT longer in boilers/commercial gas ovens etc. You will not notice any huge savings in $$ shutting off the pilot as most gas co charge you a minimum monthly charge for gas service/meter etc and it burns very little anyway. Better to leave it on IMO and keep the insides of the boiler dry and prevent rusting etc.
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