EI Flash Code Series – 3 Flashes – Thermocouple

HPC Fire Inspired strives to provide safe high quality outdoor fire inserts for our consumers. HPC’s Electronic Ignition fire pit inserts are they only designs on the market that are equipped with self diagnostic technology. Our engineers incorporate this technology to enhance the ease of use for our consumers. This technology is housed in the Electronic Ignition Control Module. In an effort to educate our consumers, this Tech Talk will decipher the meanings of the “3 Flash Code”. Consumers will gain a better understanding of the flash code significance enabling them to keep their fire appliance in optimal condition!

The 3 Flash Code

This is the most common flash code which detects potential issues with the Thermocouple, or the flame sensing side of the pilot assembly.  Understanding the role the Thermocouple plays for HPC’s Fire appliances will aid consumers in better understanding the action steps to rectify any potential issues.

What The Thermocouple Does

The Thermocouple is an essential component located in the pilot assembly and it senses heat measuring temperature from the pilot flame.

The Thermocouple is fashioned from two types of metal which are joined together at the end.  When all components are operational the metal sensor is heated by the pilot flame which generates an electrical current referred to as a millivolt. The millivolt is sent to the control module through the jacket which is connected to the control module by the other end of the thermocouple. The control module senses the millivolt and keeps both the main valve and the pilot valve open.  If the pilot flame is interrupted or blown out, the electrical current will be interrupted. In turn, the thermocouple will sense the change in temperature and send a message to the control module to shut the system down. This technology provides additional safety protecting consumers as well as the integrity of the unit.

Potential Issues With Thermocouple

Over time, thermocouples can become damaged kinked or overheated causing them to no longer to function. When there is an issue with the thermocouple the control module will sense the issue and prevent the unit from igniting. When these conditions are present the hot surface igniter will not heat even when power is applied to the unit. When the control module senses that the thermocouple is no longer functioning properly it will trigger a 3 flash code which will be displayed on the control modules’ LED. This issue is easily rectified by replacing the thermocouple.

How To Access The Thermocouple

The LED display is located on the control module that is located in the valve box below the pan and burner. The control module is easily accessed by removing one screw from the valve box. Once the LED is located simply apply power to the unit and watch the LED, it will flash 3 times indicating a bad thermocouple and will not even attempt to ignite the pilot. Thermocouples cannot be repaired they must be replaced.

Once the thermocouple is replaced and power is applied to the unit, the module will detect the good thermocouple and display a single flash code. This indicates that the issue has been corrected and will allow the unit to trigger the ignition cycle of the unit. The units’ functioning will be restored and will be reflected on the control module LED display.

Customer Satisfaction

HPC ensures customer satisfaction is willing to service all your fire appliance needs. Our service doesn’t end after you have made your purchase. If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call at 937-436-9800. Let our NFI certified technicians provide guidance for your appliance. Want to learn more about HPC’s Electronic Ignition? Schedule an online or in person training with Chuck Parsons, HPC’s training and education manager.