Monthly Archives: June 2006

Behold the power of geek…

Yesterday, I blogged about fixing my water heater. Today, I’m happy to report that, after a couple of days of trying, turning off the water and electric to the heater as needed, I *finally* managed to wrench the old TPR valve off of the water heater. I put on the new valve, using Teflon tape around the threads, and turned the water on and… Viola! Success!

I attribute my successful repair to being a geek. (well… that, and I couldn’t afford a plumber. Have you priced one lately?!) Being a geek, I knew that a little research into the symptoms I was having would turn up the problem. Once I knew the problem, the solution came quickly. Actually putting that solution to use was difficult (15 years of corrosion is hard to knock off the threads, ya know?), but persistence always wins. I now have a perfectly good water heater again. Yes, it’s well past it’s life expectancy. But I’ve probably just got several more years out of it by doing this $10 repair. And when it finally does die, it will cost me about $200 for a new heater because I now know how to replace it myself (it turned up during my research) instead of the $600+ it would cost me in parts and labor to have a plumber do it for me.

Water heaters…

When the water heater starts leaking, what’s a geek to do? That’s right! Learn everything he can about water heaters and fix it himself!

Yes, my water heater broke. I called around, and the cheapest model is about $200.00. They can be much, much, more expensive than that. And the minumum installation fee? About $250.00. Ouch! So I did a bit of research, and discovered that the part that’s leaking is called a TPR (Temperature & Pressure Release) valve. They’re *supposed* to be checked once or twice a year. I’ve lived here for 8 years, and never knew to check it once. I also discovered that they can go bad and start leaking after 4 or 5 years. The previous owners probably never knew to check it either, so I’m guessing that the thing is close to 15 years old. It would probably be close to the end of the water heater itself, but I’ve already had the element and thermostat replaced on it. So long as the tank itself doesn’t spring a leak, I should be good for awhile.

The problem I’m having is that I cannot seem to get the old valve off. It’s a simple screw-on part, but 15 years is a long time to be stuck in something without ever being unscrewed. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

Blogtipping Day

The first of every month is Blogtipping Day. Here are my three victims:

Easton Ellsworth
1 – I love the Blogtipping idea!
2 – Your blog is genuinely enjoyable to read.
3 – You and Liz Strauss are really the same person, aren’t you? I’ve never seen the two of you in the same room together.
Tip – I’m not a huge fan of your color scheme. The blue header and footer seem a bit bold in contrast with the rest of the colors you’ve selected. That’s more of a personal preference thing, and I’m sure as many people will disagree with me as agree.

Liz Strauss
1 – Creating the Link Leak Virus.
2 – The SOB thing is a great idea. Thanks for honoring me with it.
3 – You and Easton Ellsworth are really the same person, aren’t you? I’ve never seen the two of you in the same room together.
Tip – I just realized that you have no advertisements above the fold on your blog. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

Jason Scott
1 – I really admire your work.
2 – I like your blog’s design. I’m a huge fan of black backgrounds, so I’m a bit biased there, but it’s a nice, simple, layout.
3 – In the few times I corresponded with you, you’ve seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
Tip – Even though I haven’t seen you in the same room with either of them, I don’t think you’re the same person as Easton Ellsworth or Liz Strauss.