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Website owner: 
Dave Harnish
CEO: Sadie
Dave's Repair Service
1911 Heath Hill Rd
New Albany, PA 18833

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The DRSNews
January 2006
Happy New Year!

Published by Dave’s Repair Service, All Rights Reserved  


In this issue:
1) Replacing Your Water Heater Element? Use Your WetVac!
2) How to Cure That Falling 'Shin-Killer' Dishwasher Door 

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 - see www.DavesRepair.com/DIYhelp/DIYwetvacuses.htm 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 its threads. 

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 instructions! 

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 Harnish
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 
This information may be reprinted and distributed freely only in its
entirety, including this message.




"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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