23 In (not so) Hot Water

>> Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Since moving into this house 8 months ago, I’ve been fortunate enough to bypass any major home catastrophes—I’m knocking on some serious wood after making this statement. But with an old roof, old HVAC, old furnace and old hot water heater, this is quite an accomplishment.

So when I woke up Monday morning to find myself without hot water, I just knew my time had come. Time to murder my savings account with the expense of a new hot water heater. I was sure of it. My good house luck was over…maybe.

Being the stubborn DIY-er I am, I wasn’t quite ready to give up on my friend here…

After a little research (God bless you, Google) and diagnosing my hot water heater’s symptoms (pilot will light but will not stay lit), I determined the thermocouple was needing to be replacesd

What’s a thermocouple, you ask? Allow me to diagram…


In a nutshell, the thermocouple shuts down the gas supply in the event that the pilot light goes out. Basically, the thermocouple keeps your house from exploding. Kind of important.

So naturally my next step was to call a plumber to replace my thermocouple…um, yeah right! Time to tackle this bad boy myself. After calling a few plumbing supply stores I found the part I needed for just $6.00…

IMG_7608 IMG_7606

After turning of the gas and triple checking to make sure all signs of gas had cleared away, I unscrewed the pipes connecting to the temperature gage and removed the inner workings of the water heater—not too scary. Once the pipes are disconnected, the other parts slide right out in one piece…

IMG_7623 IMG_7617
Removed and replaced the thermocouple and reattached the pipes.

I’m excited to say I’m back in the hot water game. No plumber. No crazy high bill…just this gal and a $6 fix…and my Mom standing nearby to make sure I didn’t set my hair ablaze. Who could blame her after the insanely overdramatic depiction on the side of the water heater…


That’s enough to give you nightmares.



Cara Beth October 27, 2010 at 9:49 AM  

OH my! I am seriously so impressed. I have to admit, I probably would NOT have tackled that myself. Gas and electricity scares me! Next time, I'll just call you to come over! :)

Kristen,  October 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

You're my hero. I would have called someone in because I would have ended up exactly like that picture!

sheryl,  October 27, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

are you kidding me? great looks, creative talent and home-repair savvy, too! i'm totally impressed.

ak,  October 27, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

You rock! I mean really!! Way to go!

Melissa October 27, 2010 at 12:34 PM  

Way to go! A few years ago I thought we would have to buy a new water heater but turned out we had the same problem. Love cheap and easy fixes.

Anonymous,  October 27, 2010 at 3:59 PM  

Oh wow, that's exactly what happened to us this morning! We're hoping that's the problem when we get home this afternoon, too! -Cara

Alycia Wicker October 27, 2010 at 7:36 PM  

Good job! I sure as hell would not have attempted that. At all. I am a wimp when it comes to anything gas. Maybe I died in a horrible explosion in a past life? Who knows, but you got some rocks on you girl!

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