Handyman Wire

Who's Online
1 registered (RipCord), 132 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Welcome Newcomers
Unregistered users may only post in the handyman forum. If you register, you may post in any forum and use of CAPTCHA code is not required.
Topic Options
#9528 - 10/18/01 12:54 AM Thermopile vs. thermocouple

I think I got ripped off by the plumber -
He came today and fixed my heater which had the problem of the pilot going out when the heat was turned on. He told me it was the thermocouple, I thought, but then he wrote "thermopile" on the service sheet. I read here somewhere that a thermocouple goes for ten dollars - it took him 20 minutes and then charged $287!!!! If I had know, I would have done it myself.

#9529 - 10/18/01 04:10 AM Re: Thermopile vs. thermocouple

A thermocouple is one single unit that produces about 40 milivolts or so a thermopile is many thermocouples tied in series which produces about 500 to 750 milivolts, it's like putting batteries in series.
I have not purchased a thermopile for some time but I can't believe they would be over $20.
Is that all he did?

#9530 - 10/18/01 04:44 PM Re: Thermopile vs. thermocouple
Harold_hydronicnetwork.net Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 6122
You are correct in your description of the difference between thermocouple and thermopile, and less than $20 is usual for them. You would want to ask the plumber how he arrived at the billing charge. Some plumbers have very high regular hourly rates, even higher off-hour and holiday rates, and may be worth their expertise. That proof will come in time.
Harold Kestenholz

#9531 - 10/18/01 11:00 PM Re: Thermopile vs. thermocouple

Thank you both for replying. It does sound like a thermocouple - and I have the old one to prove it (just two wires leading from a black small plasic piece on one side and the other side has one wire that leads to a single solid cylinder that sits at on the pilot light.
The Plumber I used if from a company that has fixed rates, no hourly rates. The thermocouple is clearly designated as $99. I can't believe, even if it is a thermopile, that it would be much more than that.
Thank you both again for replying


Moderator:  CabinConnection, Ernie 

Experts | Email Us | Disclaimer | HandymanWire home
Articles | We welcome your feedback.| Privacy
Handyman Wire
your resource for advice on home improvement and repairs.
Copyright ©1999-2016, Handyman USA LLC.
All rights reserved.