Came home today to no hot water. The snow is deep enough that it's within an
inch of the tops of my galoshes (probably 16 inches). Stomped out back to
have a look, figured I could relight the pilot out.
Wrongo! The tank is leaking quite a bit. The only shutoff is the main that
shuts off the entire trailer, and that's behind the skirting, and 16 inches
of snow. It's also within a foot or so of the water heater -- and is
probably in a big puddle of water.
I'm going to deal with it tomorrow. It's 11:24 PM now. Can't get another
water heater tonight anyhow.
The faucet at the bottom of the water heater clogs easily, the WH is so
full of calcium scale, it's really pathetic. I tried to drain it a couple
times to drain the sediment. No such luck. The valve jams up with little
particles of sediment.
That's going to be an interesting use of my day, to find a new WH, get it
here, and drag the new WH out back. Figure out how to drain the old one, and
hook up the new one.
It's a natural gas fired tall 40, if that's any help.
Anyone done this kind of thing, and any ideas how to make the job go easier?
I know the easy way is to call a plumber. I've changed out several WH in my
day, and I had this one out a couple years ago to reinforce the floor under
it. I know I can do it, the challenge is to do it more easily.
I'm considering draining the tank by drilling holes along the bottom. I'm
not saving the tank for anything, what do I care if it has a few holes in
Now, as a courtesy to all the folks who would like to call me a dumb home
owner and tell me to call a pro, let me ask some dumb H.O. questions. Should
I used a cordless drill, or should I bring out an extension cord? Should I
use high speed bits, carbide, or a hole saw? Can I just replace the
thermostat? My Aunt Myrtle says the only thing that is wrong with the WH is
the thermodoohickey, and that anyone who wants to replace it cause it's
leaking is trying to rip me off. Can I get a new thermodoohickey at Home
Depot? Would a plumber sell me one for wholesale? Do I have to turn off the
gas when I move the gas line over? Should I use electrical tape on the
threads? Can someone mail order me a new thermodoohickey? I don't have the
make or model number or serial number of the tank. Is that important?
Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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