What Affects the Service Life of a Thermocouple Sensor?

When it comes to thermocouples, the longer the service life, the better. Unfortunately, a long, healthy service life isn’t always a reality. 

There’s always a chance that a thermocouple can go bad and fail earlier than expected, causing costly downtime that can hurt your business in several ways. To limit the potential for thermocouple issues and extend part life, it’s important to understand some of the factors that affect a thermocouple’s service life.

Mechanical Damage

Natural wear and tear or accidental damage to any of a thermocouple’s parts can lead to a shorter part life. Damage to any of a thermocouple’s elements, such as the protection tubes, sheathes, and the wire itself, can lead to mechanical wear, vibration, and other effects that’ll put an end to your thermocouple earlier than expected.


There is such a thing as too much heat for a thermocouple. Whether you accidentally use a thermocouple that isn’t meant to operate at your applications temperatures or your processed run hotter than they should, exposure to overheating can damage the elements in a thermocouple. This can wear down on your parts and result in a shorter life than normal.

Human Error

Mistakes happen, and sometimes your thermocouples pay for those mistakes. There are a variety of ways that human error can contribute to a thermocouple’s early demise. For one, poor installation is a recipe for thermocouple failure. If a person doesn’t correctly install a part, it can create undue pressure that damages the part and significantly shortens service life.

A person may also accidentally contaminate the part. Careless handling of a thermocouple can lead to harmful chemicals and other contaminants to come in contact with your parts. This can accelerate issues like metal fatigue and oxidation, both of which spell out a shorter life span for your thermocouples.

Improve Thermocouple Service Life

When it comes to preventing thermocouple failure, a proactive approach is better than a reactive one. Regular maintenance will help you catch certain issues, allowing you to adjust your applications or thermocouples themselves before you experience a period of unexpected downtime.

Another key way to improve the service life of your thermocouples is to invest in quality parts that are designed for your applications. GeoCorp can work with you to manufacture the parts that are made for your needs and last longer as a result. Contact us today to talk to a GeoCorp expert about your thermocouple needs.

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