gas water heaters

I have a gas leak in the gas regulator of my 50 gal water heater. I plan to replace the gas regulator on the water tank as the most cost effective fix, something I have never done before. I shut off the gas, disconnected the gas line, and burner, pilot, thermostat assembly. I am now ready to remove the regulator/thermostat.
I assume I need to shut off the water and drain the tank first. Is this correct ?
Does the regulator/thermostat just screw in like a pipe thread ? that is do I just unscrew the regulator to remove it ?
Thanks for any help.
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snipped-for-privacy@fhcrc.org wrote:

Yes, yes, and yes.
It's 3/4" pipe thread. Drain tank to about level of the control. It may take a big pipe wrench to loosen. Coat threads of new control with ______________ of your choice. See lengthy discussion on thread sealing over the past weeks.
You may have trouble getting the flare gas fittings to seal again. Check carefully for leaks.
Leave T&P valve open as tank refills to exh air.
Jim
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how olds the tank? if its more than 6 years old your probably better off just replacing the entire tank, since the gas valves are pricey...
be prepared to replace the tank drain valve, many are plastic or so cheap if you get them open they will never close again....
open the T&P valve to let air in so the tank can drain, be prepared to replace that valve too, once disturbed they often dont shut good and drip.
have a piece of pipe to put on the end of the wrench to remove the thermostat it may be near impossible to get lose.
short and long start first thing in AM on a day part stores are open, since this job may expand repeatedly:(
If your lucky it might be a snap
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's what I was thinking too. These heaters generally have a life of 10-13 years. I'd carefully evaluate what it costs to fix vs replacing the whole thing.

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