Old Thermo Couple Technology
- Hi Guys,
Back in my plumbing days I used to work with mains gas Thermo Couplings
in domestic household ovens. They had gas regulators. which periodically
needed fixing. (usually the pilot probe was burned outand you could get
a universal kit that replaced from the burner back to the thermocouple.
Basically how they worked was you turned the gas on to light the pilot
light position usually you pushed the knob in which over rides the off
switch and supplied gas to the pilot probe. Clicked the piezo crystal
the spark light the pilot light then the flame proceeded to heat up the
probe. In the centre of the probe there is an insulated wire which when
heated hot will set up a very small electric field. as long as this
heat to the pilot light is maintained this electric current is
maintainedand so the main gas burners will stay lite
This current progressively gets stronger as it gets hotter but it's
still a small weak electric current that's being generated..This
insulated wire inside a bendable usually brass 2 or 3mm tube turn goes
all the way back and is connected to the thermo couple.
The thermo couple detects this weak electric field and when it get
strong enough, that's it's signal to open up the main gas burners.
The main burners continue to go flat out at the back of the oven until
the desired manually pre-set temperature is reached (or whatever
temperature you have set it at. Usually between 60C to 300C. The
temperature probe in the oven goes all the way back to the thermo
coupling which in turn will cycle the gas burner high or low to regulate
the oven temperature that you have it pre-set at (at a guess plus or
minus 10 to 15 degrees above or below the pre-set temperature)
In the 70's they had a Regulo' burner a set of 3 burners all set one
within the other. This could be set to various simmer settings or go up
to full heat as and when it was called for by the heat setting knob.
There was also a timer setting that could be set over a particular time
period and as far as I know that went via the thermo coupling.
OK I hear you say so what what the hell has this got to do with
stilling. Well this very old pre-WW2 technology could well be used to
regulate a still burner or with the temperature probe set in the column
or Lyne arm on a pot still (not owning a pot still I'm assuming the
Lyne arm is the narrowing part of the vapour take off space above the
wash in the boiler)
Anyway has this been tried or not? If any one has one of these old
cooker lying in the back of their garage or their parents garage (that's
if any of the old farts still have parents alive) dig it out and have a
look see it might just be a good cannibalization project there for ya.
All and Any thoughts on this one guys?