Happy New Year!
Published by Dave’s Repair Service, All Rights Reserved
Your Water Heater Element? Use Your WetVac!
2) How to Cure That Falling 'Shin-Killer'
1) I've ranted and raved
shamelessly before about that handiest of tools, the ol' wetvac, but I recently found yet another
really 'killer' use for one (I believe this is number 17 on the list -
for the current list, and let me know if you have
one to add)
Anyway, if you need to replace that lower water heater
element, or even the upper one, and just don't have the time, equipment, or energy to
drain the tank, try this. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised,
as I've been.
Turn off the heater's circuit breaker and incoming water
supply, and turn a hot faucet on briefly to relieve any residual
pressure in the tank and lines. Then make sure all the hot water
faucets in the house are turned off. If there's anyone at home, ask
them to please not use any water for a few minutes. (If you have
teenagers and they're in the vicinity, take them outside and duct
tape them all to a tree until this job's done. They'll turn the
hot water on just to see what happens <grin>)
Locate the pressure/temperature relief valve's outlet -
usually a vertical pipe that stops just above the floor - and
connect your shopvac's hose to it. Again, I recommend the smaller
vacs for appliance work, because you'll often fill them with
water, and 5 gallons weighs around 40 pounds. Also, the smaller
1-1/4" hose works best for the purpose at hand.
Use duct tape or electrical tape to seal the vac hose to
the pipe. This is just a temporary connection, so it doesn't have
to be fancy, just as airtight as you can make it.
Have the new element ready to go, lying beside you on
the floor, with its gasket in place and a bit of silicone grease on
Open the PTR valve by pulling its handle to the open
position, where it'll stay. Start the vac and let it run for a few seconds, then
unscrew the old element, quickly pull it out, and pop the new one in. If all
goes well, the vacuum from the wetvac will limit water leakage to a cup
or two, and you'll be done faster than it takes to type these
I don't do as much water heater service as I used to,
but I surely wish I would've thought of this many years ago. It's
saved me a lot of time and hassle just since I started using it. Hopefully it'll
save you some too.
2) Does your dishwasher door fall
down with a bang every time you open it? When you forget it's that way, it can
really get painful when it clobbers you on the shins.
The good news is, it's an easy problem to correct, and you may not
even have to buy any new parts.
Just pull off the dishwasher's bottom panel and you'll most likely see one of the hinge springs lying on the floor with one of its hooks broken off. Most
machines use two of these springs, one on each hinge, and when one of them
breaks, the other can't support the weight of the door by itself.
Note: most 'standard' (not tall tub) GE's use a slightly different
system, with their springs located horizontally across the bottom front and a
pair of cables transferring their energy to the hinges. With those critters,
the cables usually break or come off their pins, and they're a little easier to get to.
Most brands use two vertical springs that hook directly to each hinge. When one breaks, usually at one of the hooks, it's best to
replace both of
them. But if you're frugal (cheap <grin>), like me, you can often just bend a new hook on the spring and grease the hooks
liberally (like they should
have been from the factory), and you're back in business.
The steel used in the springs is pretty tough, but a ViseGrips® and pliers or wirecutter can be used to muscle a new hook onto the spring's business end.
Wishing all the very best to you and yours in 2006,
Dave’s Repair Service
New Albany, PA
"Marry your theology to today's 'science', and you'll
very likely be a widow tomorrow." 1 Timothy 6:20
Copyright 2006 www.DavesRepair.com
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