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08:29PM | 11/11/13
Member Since: 11/11/13
1 lifetime posts
I have cast iron radiators/Talcon/Telcon blue/green oil converted boiler to gas. How often should I change thermocouple?

Moderator

10:15PM | 11/11/13
Member Since: 10/05/98
25 lifetime posts
Sweets53,
There are varying opinions on whether to turn off the pilot light.
My recommendation depends on where the boiler is installed, if located in a unconditioned space such as a garage or basement and is vented in a masonry chimney I recommend that you keep the pilot on, this will help to keep the combustion chamber at a stable temperature and humidity level and above the dew point, thus keeping the corrosion to a minimum. This can also deter birds and other small animals from creating nest in the chimney.
If the Gas boiler is located inside the house in a conditioned space you can turn it off if you like.
The age of the boiler also comes into play, some of the old boilers of 30 + years require their temperature to be above ambient ( room temperature) to prevent small water leaks from forming around the boiler and circulator. As the boiler cools to room temperature the gaskets and fittings can contract causing small water leaks.
As far as the thermocouple is concerned it depends once again where it is installed and how clean the surround area is, the more dirt and chemicals are around the more you will have to change it.
You are doing a great job by cleaning the burners every year. Small powdery rust is normal, however; larger flakes are not. I also recommend that you lubricate the circulator pump with 10 drops of non-detergent oil in the three ports that are visible, there is one located in the middle and one on each end of the motor. This type of pump will typically be a Bell and Gossett brand, most of the smaller pumps such as tyco do not have oil ports.
I hope this information helps.

Duane Cotton
Bobvila.com expert moderator
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