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Old 07-16-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 21

Ahoy , Has anyone had problems with a Force 10 stove, thermocouple not functioning ?

There seems to be more than one type of thermocouple. There is the mili volt kind, described in Nigel Calder's book, and this other, non-electric, kind.

I can't figure out how this non-electric thermocouple works . Yes , I understand that when the flame upon start-up, heats the thermocouple head and that transmits a signal to the stove valve, to remain on, feeding propane to the burner.

When the burner won't stay on , after the thermocouple head has been heated , I expect a problem with the thermocouple.

This thermocouple only has a small copper tube attaching to the head, then the tube goes to the valve .

Looking at the valve, I can't see how it receives or reacts to the signal from the thermocouple head, can anyone explain this to me ?

I suspect that the small copper tube is filled with a liquid or a gas ,,,, can this be recharged in the field ?

This malfunctioning thermocouple hasn't just started this problem , instead that burner has never stayed on, since the unit was new.

We have had very slow email replies from Force 10 in Canada .

What to do ?

Douglas , S/V Calliste , Singapore

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Old 07-16-2009, 01:48 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067

Is the copper tube an integral part of the Valve? - resulting :- heat the tube = gas expands = valve opens = sends gas to burners?

Here's a pdf note from Force 10:-


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Old 07-16-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 21

[QUOTE=MMNETSEA;34564]Is the copper tube an integral part of the Valve? - resulting :- heat the tube = gas expands = valve opens = sends gas to burners?

Here's a pdf note from Force 10:-

Attachment 1001

Ahoy MMNETSEA ,,,,, T Y , for your reply and the PDF file .

Is the copper tube an integral part of the Valve? Answer : NO , the end of the copper tube has a brass acorn soldered on to it, and a brass gland nut compresses that acorn into the aluminum valve housing .

For clarification,,,, the thermocouple head at the burner looks like the illustration in the PDF file, that you listed and also, saw, too .

The other end of the small copper tube , has a brass acorn , soldered on to it , a nut screws into the aluminum valve body , and compresses the acorn , to make a positive contact between the end of the copper tube, and a spot inside the aluminum valve body .

There is no observable green corrosion in either end of the connection,,, all connections are bright brass .

Just why it never worked from the initial installation, is still a mystery ,,,,,, as the right side burner works just fine .

My next step, is to remove the thermocouple from the working, right burner, then replace it with the left burner thermocouple, to see what happens ?????

I think that if the good right burner fails to stay lit, with the left burner thermocouple installed,,,, I would suspect a faulty thermocouple .

Do you know if all thermocouples use electricity (mili volts) or could thermal pressure activate the valve in some way ,,, to stay on ?

Do you know what the small copper tube contains ? Is it a liquid or a gas ? How can that tube be recharged, if needed ?

There is no electrical wire conductor , to either burner, thermocouple or aluminum valve , only the small copper tube .

Have I missed something, in my observations ? Remembering the right burner works just fine, with only that small copper tube , no wires .

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Old 07-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 130

Just looked it up and - - -"What appears to be a capillary tube which goes from the thermocouple end (which is immersed in the pilot flame) to the gas valve is actually a coaxial wire with the copper exterior being one conductor and the inner insulated wire being the other. Most Thermocouples connect to the gas valve with a hex nut and if you look closely you will see that the "button" type end has a piece of insulator disk to separate it from the flared copper exterior. When the nut is tightened the electrical connection is made firm to the internal circuitry of the gas valve. "

So the copper tubing is actually "two wires" made to resist heat and breaking. As mentioned it is important that the metal to metal connections at the business end of the sensor at the burner be clean and good. Maybe some debris, grease, etc. is not allowing a good connection. Also the burner to stove chassis must be electrically good. Then the Control valve to stove frame needs to be electrically good and finally the little "acorn" on the end that inserts into the control valve must be good. Probably like the end of a small light bulb there is a section of the acorn for each of the two conductors. So there are multiple places for error/problems.

Switching the thermocouples to another burner/control valve should allow you to see if the thermocouple is bad or the control valve is the problem. then clean and repair or just buy a new control valve or another thermocouple. Sounds like it might not be a bad idea to have a spare of each anyway. Having a spare magically seems guarantee that the original will always work and you will be carrying those spares around forever unused.

One related subject on "spares" I purchased one of those kitchen vacuum packer units and several rolls of the different sized bags. I put my spare in the bag and "vacuum pack" it which preserves the spare part from water, salt air and corrosion, rust, whatever. When I do need the spare part it is fresh and ready to use.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:59 AM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 21

Problem Found, but was not the thermocouple or the valve.

When turning on a burner you have to depress the knob turn on, then depress the piezo ignition button and the burner lights,,,, then still holding the knob down, wait a bit until the thermocouple heats up and keeps the gas flowing thru the valve.

Our problem turned out to be, that the knob skirt was bottoming out on the stove top dial, and not allowing the knob stem-shaft to plunge to full depth.

We found an adjustment for valve stem height, and adjusted that so the knob skirt didn't bottom out on the stove top dial anymore ,,, that solved the problem.

Don't understand why this check and valve adjustment proceedure wasn't mentioned in the trouble shooting guide.

We needed all 3 sources of information to sus out this problem ,,,, TY to Nigel Calder's book, the Force 10 owner's manual, and of course the replies above on this forum.

Thank You , everyone ,,,,, Douglas S/V Calliste, Singapore
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