Home / Tundra's Tech Talk / Commonly Asked Questions: Thermostats, Thermocouples & Thermopiles—oh my!

Commonly Asked Questions: Thermostats, Thermocouples & Thermopiles—oh my!


Anyone can sell restaurant equipment parts. Part of what makes Tundra Restaurant supply special is that many of our customer service representatives are also service technicians themselves—that gives you the piece of mind in knowing that when we talk about DIY projects, we know what we’re talking about.

Many of you contact us on the blog, our social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest) or by phone. Check to see if any of these questions sound familiar!

Question #1 – Testing trouble
“I have a gas oven with a thermocouple, but it has 2 copper tubes coming out of it with electric connections on the ends, I cannot find any info on testing this type?”

Answer: Measure twice
If you have a nice millivoltmeter you can hook it to that and measure the electric output. If it is a thermocouple, the output should be around 40 mV. If what you have is a thermopile, then the output should be more around 750mV.

– Paul
Tundra Team

Question #2 – Careful cleaning
“I have an American Range fryer and I sprayed water near the pilot and burner to get some of the soot out of there. Now the pilot stays lit but the burner keeps going on and off… What should I do?”

Answer: Collateral damage
You might have damaged the electronic thermostat. Turn the pilot knob off. On the top of the thermostat there is 2 wires. Take one off and put it on the other connection so they are both on the same side. Now when you light the unit and turn the knob from pilot to on the burners should fire right away and stay on. If it runs for 2 minutes without doing the problem you described then your thermostat is bad. If it still does the problem then your Combination safety valve is bad. Be sure not to try to run the unit in this way, because it’s now running without a thermostat.

– Paul
Tundra Team

Question #3 – Quick Replacement
“Hi there I have a small commercial bottle cooler with a coiled bulb at the end of the thermostat but it was placed under the evaporator not in it. So, I replaced it with a straight bulb but fridge cuts in and out every 5 min.”

Answer: Buy a new part
It sounds like the first one was an air-sensing thermostat and below the coil where the air is first introduced to the coil was the correct place for it. I would suggest getting the Make, Model and Serial number from inside the unit and give us a call at 1-888-388-6372 to buy the correct thermostat for your unit.

– Paul
Tundra Team

About Natalie Fauble

Natalie Fauble is the Online Marketing Manager - Content & SEO for Tundra Restaurant Supply. As a digital marketer with a passion for the restaurant industry, Natalie helps companies shape their brand through thoughtful, fun and innovative content strategies. When she isn't blogging for Tundra Restaurant Supply you can find her in her vegetable garden or in the kitchen whipping up one of her favorite dishes.

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  1. hotpoint sy23k oven gas burner only lights on 1 side when you spark it up but the other side lights with a match burns ok its not clogged up why do,s that happen

  2. Have a pitco mod 14s fryer ,it’s an older unit and has started to have a big pilot flame and larger burner flames with carbon build up. Any adjustmention I can do ?

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