Looking for information about a thermocouple for a(n antique?) gas oven.

Product research is not my strong suit. There’s probably a whole “old stove” community out there. If so, somebody please point me in that direction.

I have a very old Gaffers & Sattler propane stove.


I have no idea how old it is – Ian scrounged it from somewhere in the city more than ten years ago; I cleaned the rat nests out of it when I outfitted the Lair in 2011 and it has mostly worked fine ever since, but for several years the oven has occasionally been reluctant to light. The pilot works fine and I have reason to believe that the gas valve works fine…

Gas valve off…


When the gas valve is on, the pilot flame spreads to heat the thermocouple.


And that pretty much leaves the thermocouple as the culprit. My experience with water heaters tells me that thermocouples do eventually fail, and this one is old enough not to really owe me anything.

Yesterday I ended up baking bread on my outdoor grill – quite imperfectly – because I couldn’t get the oven to light at all.

To be honest, the oven seems to pull this trick intermittently. When I took these pictures this morning I neglected to turn the oven back off, and the oven eventually lit just fine – but it left me high and dry yesterday. I believe that tiny little thermocouple needs replacing, but I have no idea where to look for a compatible replacement. Anybody have ideas?

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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20 Responses to Looking for information about a thermocouple for a(n antique?) gas oven.

  1. Cookie says:

    Take it off next time you go to the hardware store and try to match it up with what they have.

  2. Jim Price says:

    Those thermocouples haven’t changed in seemingly forever, and they are essentially all the same except for length. Nearly any hardware store should have several lengths. Or go somewhere like Amazon and you should be able to get any length you want. It doesn’t matter if it’s longer than you need as long as you have room to coil up the excess. And they’re cheap. Last one I bought was about $8.

  3. Paul B says:

    If you are looking for parts for Gaffers and Sattler equipment check with Maytag. Separately a Gaffers & Sattler appliance company still does business in Murray UT. )

    found this if it helps

  4. Anonymous says:

    Haven’t had to look for a TC in years but I love the sign on the door.

  5. Mike says:

    The Thermocouple is the tenth item as you pan down the page. Simply measure the length for the one you need.

    http://www.antiquegasstoves.com/pages/parts/gas.html

  6. Mike says:

    Sorry, eleventh item… My bad.

  7. Jim Price says:

    Mike,
    There is no need to pay the outrageous prices for “antique” thermocouples. They haven’t changed any, and the same thermocouples sold by that outfit can be bought elsewhere for less than half what they are charging. The 48″ they’re selling for 42.95 can be found for about $10 elsewhere.

    https://www.amazon.com/Robertshaw-Invensys-1980-Snap-Fit-Thermocouples/dp/B008HOXAIA/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=robertshaw+snap+fit+thermocouple&qid=1604609624&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011&rnid=2470954011&rps=1&sr=8-3

  8. Miike says:

    Good call Jim.

  9. Joel says:

    Okay, I know for a fact that I can buy a “universal snap fit” thermocouple at the local Ace. I have serious doubt that I can get it to fit in my particular stove, though.

  10. Cookie says:

    I don’t think it’s the TC. If it was the pilot wouldn’t stay on.

  11. Beans says:

    Well, if the ‘universal snap-fit’ thermocouple from Ace is reasonably cheap, then buy it. Worse that happens is it doesn’t fit and you may be able to take it back as long as you don’t thrash it trying to make it fit. (as long as you kept the receipt.)

    Of course, you could always remove the thermocouple when you go to Ace and compare. The Ace people might actually surprise you and help you.

  12. The Neon Madman says:

    I’m going to agree with Cookie. If the thermocouple was bad, the pilot would go out. I think that the problem is elsewhere.

  13. Joel says:

    I’m open to suggestions.

  14. Jack says:

    The thermocouple’s job is to enable main valve operation by proving pilot flame. If the thermocouple is bad it won’t produce enough voltage to keep the pilot flame burning and therefore won’t enable main valve operation upon a call from the thermostat. The thermocouple should be enveloped within the pilot flame to produce that voltage. I think you have a bad main valve but from 850 miles away that’s just an opinion. That old range is sweet and parts are available.

  15. Some random reader says:

    Try lightly sanding the old thermocouple where the pilot flame touches, a lot of times the thermocouple gets a oxide coating that interferes with its function.

  16. Ben says:

    Can the TC be moved slightly so that it is more in the pilot flame? Is it possible that the pilot is slightly clogged, making the flame too small?

  17. tweell says:

    That thermocouple looks a lot like the one my Lennox heater has. Gas and propane is very mature technology, chances that the stove manufacturer made that part custom are low. I would yank it and take it for reference when you go to the hardware store.
    That is what I did when my TC went out. I had the heater manual, but the part number no longer corresponded to the right part. Instead I grabbed one that looked the same, installed it, and my heater was working again.

To the stake with the heretic!