Capillary thermostats are widely used devices in various applications, ranging from household appliances like ovens and refrigerators to industrial processes and HVAC systems. These thermostats are crucial for maintaining a desired temperature range, and one of their essential components is the capillary tube. In this article, we will dig into the role of the tube in a capillary thermostat and its significance in temperature regulation.

The Basics of a Capillary Thermostat: A capillary thermostat is a type of temperature control device that operates based on the principle of thermal expansion. It consists of three main components: a temperature-sensitive element (usually a bulb), a diaphragm or bellows, and a capillary tube. The temperature-sensitive element is placed in the environment whose temperature needs to be controlled. As the temperature changes, the element expands or contracts, which in turn causes the diaphragm to move. This movement is transmitted through the capillary tube to the switching mechanism that controls the heating or cooling element. 358W-136 Capillary Thermostat

The Role of the Capillary Tube: The capillary thermostat tube serves as a bridge between the temperature-sensitive element and the switching mechanism. It is a thin, flexible tube made of a material that is highly responsive to temperature changes. Typically, the tube is filled with a temperature-sensitive fluid, often a gas or a liquid with a low boiling point. When the temperature changes, the fluid inside the tube expands or contracts, causing the tube to elongate or contract accordingly.

How It Works: Let’s take an example of a capillary thermostat used in a household oven. The temperature-sensitive bulb is placed inside the oven, and the capillary tube extends from the bulb to the control mechanism located outside the oven. As the oven temperature increases, the fluid inside the bulb expands, causing the capillary tube to elongate. This elongation transmits the mechanical force to the diaphragm or bellows, which eventually triggers the switch to turn off the heating element. On the other hand, if the temperature drops, the fluid contracts, leading to a contraction of the capillary tube, and the switch is triggered to turn the heating element back on.

Advantages of Capillary Thermostats:

  1. Accurate Temperature Control: Capillary thermostats offer precise temperature regulation due to the direct connection between the temperature-sensitive element and the switching mechanism.
  2. Remote Sensing: The capillary tube allows the sensing element to be placed in a different location from the control mechanism, enabling remote temperature monitoring and control.
  3. Reliability: The mechanical nature of capillary thermostats makes them robust and less prone to electronic failures that can occur in digital systems.

Considerations: While capillary thermostats offer numerous advantages, it’s important to consider the length and diameter of the capillary tube. These factors can influence the thermostat’s responsiveness and accuracy. Proper installation and maintenance are also crucial for optimal performance.

As you can see, the capillary tube plays a vital role in translating temperature changes into mechanical motion that triggers the switching mechanism. Its ability to accurately transmit the effects of temperature fluctuations ensures that the controlled environment remains within the desired temperature range. Whether in household appliances or industrial processes, capillary thermostats with their capillary tubes are essential for maintaining consistent and controlled temperatures.

Send us your application details today!

Bulb & Capillary Thermostats

Original equipment manufacturers worldwide use thermostat switches designed and manufactured by STEMCO, a Division of Senasys. No matter which style or model you choose, all of the capillary thermostat switches operate using the same physics. A fluid is encapsulated in a metal and when the temperature changes the fluid either expands or contracts. This fluid change moves a diaphragm which is in touch with a snap action switch and either opens or closes a circuit.

Ambient Compensation

Our capillary thermostats can be ambient compensated to offset the differential in temperature which keeps our thermostat controls more accurate as it’s environment changes.

Custom Options

Capillary thermostat switches built by Senasys can also be built to customer specifications. This insures you get the exact control you want without paying for features you don’t need.