How to Clean Thermocouple and Oxypilot on Gas Fireplace? 

Your fireplace is an expensive piece of equipment, and it’s only natural that you want to keep it in top shape. Fortunately, a little maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your unit in good shape and functioning at its best. 

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Thermocouple & Oxypilot

Both the thermocouple and the oxy pilot play important roles in a gas fireplace. They monitor the temperature and oxygen levels of your home, which is crucial for your safety and comfort. 

They work together to ensure that your pilot light remains lit and that the flame stays consistent. They do this by detecting the amount of heat from the pilot flame and using that information to control the flow of gas to your pilot burner. 

Thermocouples are insulated copper tubes with 2 wires made of different kinds of metals that are joined at the end. When the tip of the thermocouple senses heat from the pilot flame, the 2 wires split and create an electric current. This current is measured in millivolts. 

If the temperature difference between the 2 metals is great enough, the electrons will migrate from the hot end of the tube to the cooler one. This occurs because of the Seebeck effect. 

A properly operating fireplace should have a blue pilot flame, which is what sends an electrical signal to the thermocouple and tells it to turn on the main burner. If the pilot isn’t blue, it could indicate that your air intake holes are clogged or there’s a problem with the oxy pilot or thermocouple. 

Before you begin cleaning your thermocouple, make sure that it’s still in contact with the pilot flame and that there isn’t any carbon buildup on it. Then, use a scrap of fine sandpaper to gently rub it back and forth until the metal looks like it has a shine again. 

Once you’ve inspected and cleaned your thermocouple, close the fireplace access panel and relight the pilot burner. If it’s still not working, call a technician to repair or replace your fireplace. 

Clean Out The Pilot Burner

If you notice a lot of soot or oxidation on your pilot burner, it’s time to clean it out. It’s easy to do, and it can get rid of the soot and oxidation that are slowly wearing down the pilot burner assembly. 

You may need to do this multiple times before you can completely remove the soot or oxidation. If it’s really stubborn, you can try sanding down the pilot burner with grit sandpaper and then reinstalling the flame. 

Next, inspect the oxy pilot to see if it needs to be replaced. If it’s damaged, you will need to replace it before you can relight your fireplace. 

The oxy pilot in a gas fireplace keeps an eye on the oxygen percentage in your home and signals when the air supply is low. If the oxygen level in your home drops too low, the oxy pilot will lift away from the thermocouple and the flame will be lost.