Length of Thermocouple - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:38 AM   #1
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I am picking up a thermocouple for a friends' fridge. I have seen several universal one's at the RV shop. The one presently on the unit appears to be about 24 inches long and is coiled.

Does the length of the thermocouple coil/tube matter or can I replace it with a shorter one? I realize the sensor has to be long enough to reach the flame.

Disregard the "Male or Female" thread question on the photo as this was a question I had sent to the fridge owner

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Old 07-09-2009, 10:33 AM   #2
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It is the tip that has the two dissimilar metals fused together that provide a small electrical current when heated, proportional to the amount of heat. The length of the tail has no significance.

As long as the connections to the sensor are intact, the thermocouple is functional. The main problem is the current level is very small, so any discrepancy in the the end connection can cause it not to work. Cleaning that tiny connector almost always corrects the problem.

On a recent trip our gas refrigerator wouldn't stay lit. All I had available small enough to clean it was a tooth pick and some auto paint rubbing compound. A minute of swirling a tiny bit of compound around with a blunted tooth pick did the trick and the refrigerator worked fine.

I doubt this is a recommended procedure, but it worked for me in a pinch. So if you do it, you are on your own!

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Old 07-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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Loren is right on.

Clean the connection on the thermocouple along with where it inserts in to the gas regulator.

You can Measure the voltage with a digital meater. It is quite possible that cleaning the connections (both) may have solved the problem with the old Tcouple.

CrapShack sells an electrical cleaner for around $16 USD and 1 spray cleans and the other protects. The 2 spray cans are a little larger than a lipstick tube. Small, Pricey but well worth it.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:59 PM   #4
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I have downloaded a bunch of refrigeration manuals and troubleshooting guides and have noticed the above techniques mentioned. I will just pick up a few different lengths of thermocouples and see which fits the best. The extras will go in the "spares" box.
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