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Old 01-02-2011, 05:53 AM  
sweets
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Default 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, 09:20 AM  
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Performing annual maintenance with periodic inspections on all equipment in your home will certainly make things last longer. Unfortunately, many of us are lazy and we will put repairs on the "back burner" until completely necessary.



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Old 01-02-2011, 10:27 AM  
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Performing annual maintenance with periodic inspections on all equipment in your home will certainly make things last longer. Unfortunately, many of us are lazy and we will put repairs on the "back burner" until completely necessary.
What is the annual maintenance and inspection on a boiler consist of?
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:05 AM  
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Since we don't use boilers in my part of the country, my knowledge is limited. I would make certain the area is clean, no accumulation of nests or cobwebs, vacuum the areas around the burners, check for any leaking pipes, and make certain the duct work is clean of dust and flows good, with no separation of the pipes in the exhaust vents which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Old 01-02-2011, 07:16 PM  
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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?
Running the pilot all summer will help keep things dry and you will have less rust. Some aerated pilots burn so hot that they burn up thermocouples faster.
Slant/Fin boilers had a pilot assembly that burned them up in one year.
When i tested a thermocouple in there pilot it would test 38 to 40 millivolts, so i would reduce the gas pressure on the pilot to get the test down to 28 to 32. thermocouples last longer.
In the fall check your water pressure, turn off water feed valve for a couple of days and leave boiler cold. This will let you know if you have leaks in the system that you can't see. The reason for this test is, if you have leaks and your feed valve keeps putting new water in the boiler you will get a lime build up in the bottom of the boiler and then it will be firing on dry cast iron. This will crack your boiler, and it will need to be replaced.
This can happen in less than two years. I have seen boilers cracked out and replaced in three from new. Later Paul
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:38 AM  
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This Burnham Series 2 boiler is almost 28 years old. If the worst thing I have to do is replace a T-couple every 3-4 years, I'd consider myself lucky. Several years ago I replaced the circulating pump with a Taco model I bought in Home Depot and that's it. I will check for rust buildup in the bottom pan and clean the burners more often. However based on most of the suggestions here I think I'll continue to run the pilot throughout the year as I have for the life of the boiler. Any other suggestions?



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