Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Celebrate The Small Things - Nov. 25, 2014


It has been crazy trying to catch up with everything since Halloween and Comikaze.

Our Whirlpool water heater has been giving us a lot of problems. According to all the complaints online, our water heater might be one of the defective ones. Yay for us.

The hose sprung a leak around the same time the pilot light went out. My uncle fixed the hose, but when he lit the pilot light, a loud hum came out of it. It turned out that the manifold was not properly designed. Go Whirlpool. My husband found the solution to getting rid of the noise online. It's kind of a Mickey Mouse solution, but it worked. You have to bend the manifold toward the wire on the right side of it until the sound goes away.

The next morning, there was no hot water. :o/  I have been re-lighting the pilot light at least twice a day for over a week. The good thing is that I'm an expert at lighting it now.  ;o)
I did more research online and discovered that there were a lot of defective Whirlpool water heaters from Lowe's where the pilot light will not stay lit like ours. Not what I wanted to hear. For a couple of years I thought the gardener was accidentally blowing out our pilot light with the leaf blower.

I found that although the thermocouple is usually the problem, it didn't help for a lot of people to replace it. One person said it was the gas control valve. When we went to Lowes, the thermocouple was only around $13, but the gas control valve was over $100 and there was only one on the shelf that looked like it had been returned because there was a blade of grass stuck to it. I decided to get the thermocouple and install it myself since I found a good video on YouTube on how to replace it. It was a cheap part, so it made sense to start with that first.

While my husband was at work, I got all the tools I needed and laid them out next to me. We had to buy a new set of needle nose pliers since my husband misplaced ours. It turned out our adjustable wrench was too big to get into the little space I needed to get into. *sigh* I knew we had a teeny tiny one somewhere. I took about a half hour looking for it and never found it, so I gathered up the kids and brought them with me to the hardware store. That 6" tool cost me $13! What a rip!

So, I removed the nuts and then discovered that all of our Allen wrenches did not fit the nuts that I needed to remove for the next step. Of course! We have about 7-10 Allen wrenches and they ALL didn't fit. I didn’t want to go back to the hardware store so I rummaged around the garage for God knows how long before I found a tool that would work.

After cutting my finger and popping a muscle in my hand, I replaced the thermocouple! It took me the whole day, most of which was spent looking for tools. I ended up finding the needle nose pliers, though. They were next to my husband’s computer.  :oI 

When I hit a roadblock, I posted the guy who made the YouTube video I was following and he actually wrote a post back to help me out. I was able to continue and was proud of myself when it was all done. The bad news is that the pilot light still goes out. :o(  I don't know if I want to try changing out the gas control valve after what I went through with the thermocouple.

After reading all the horror stories online, I'm afraid to call a technician out. The cost of paying him and paying for parts will probably cost the same as getting a new water heater. Now my husband is telling me that the only store that has people deliver and install the water heater for you is Lowe's where the defective Whirlpool water heaters are sold! There are no other brands there. God, I hope next year brings us better luck.

But hey, I’m celebrating the fact that I now know how to change a thermocouple and relight the pilot light on a water heater. I'm feeling more self-sufficient, albeit with a sore hand. (hee hee!)

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  1. You are so brave! I just love YouTube - it's my go-to for everything.

  2. Sorry for the late comment, but I hurt my thumb a couple of weeks ago and have been a bit MIA :( Anyhoo...your whole DIY adventure sounds like every time my husband has to fix something...with most of the time searching for the right tool! Imagine how much easier it would be if everything we bought came with matching tools, just in case it broke. Of course, we'd then spend half the day searching our garages looking for said tools :) At least YouTube is awesome! It's amazing the information we can find on the internet. Hope your past couple of weeks went smoother!

  3. Way to go you! Being all mechanically inclined and all! That's got to feel like a HUGE accomplishment in my book! LOL But Hey, you done good. Hopefully this will fix your issue with your water heater! I love reading all the good things people celebrate, no matter how small! Thanks for sharing! <3

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    Caring for My Veteran

  4. I see you haven't posted in a while, but I just wanted to let you know I’ve taken over hosting the Celebrate the Small Things hop, and we have a new linky for 2015. You can drop by my blog and sign up, so hop members can see your link and continue visiting you.