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Replace a Water Heater’s Thermocouple

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Replace a Water Heater’s Thermocouple

It’s very easy to change a thermocouple on a hot water tank. What we are going to do is we are going to loosen the nuts to the thermocouple, we’re going to loosen the nut to the burner too and also to the pilot tube. We are going to use an adjustable wrench with smooth teeth, that way we don’t do damage to the soft material. Once we loosen all three, we are going to pull out the whole burner assembly, once we pull out the burner assembly it’s easy to knock off all the rust and the deposits that built up.

What this will allow to happen is this will allow us to get a better flame also. Once we get the burner assembly out, we can then remove the thermocouple by just applying some pressure, there’s a fitting that holds it inside the bracket here. Putting in a new theremocouple it’s very easy, all we do is take a new thermocouple, we push it back into the bracket and there is usually some type of compression fitting that holds it. If it doesn’t have a compression fitting, some have a nut that pulls up and you put it in place like that.

Replace a Water Heater's Thermocouple 2But most will have a very simple compression type fitting, so it’s very easy to put a new thermocouple in place. Most thermocouples can be any length that really doesn’t matter if you excess, you can just curl it up and leave it in place like this. Putting in the burner assembly, what we are going to do is put it back in, we are going to take all the tubes and we are going to put them back into the gas control, like so and then we are going to take the nuts and screw them back in place.

Again, we are going to want to hand tighten them, because it’s very soft material. One we tighten them up, we are going to put another quarter turn or so on with our wrench and once they are tight, we are going to turn on the main gas valve to the gas control. One we have the main gas filled on, we are going to turn the knob to pilot, we’re going to press down pilot and hold the flame to the end of the burner tube and at the end of the pilot tube. Once to pilot lights, we are going to continue to hold down this pilot for about thirty seconds, to warm up the thermocouple.

Replace a Water Heater's Thermocouple 3Once the thermocouple is warmed up, it’s going to send a signal to gas control that it’s on, once the gas control is released, the knob is released, we turn it to “on” and it’s going to allow a flow of gas to the burner. Once the burner is sucking gas, what we want to do is we want to test these three areas on the gas control that we screwed down our nuts and we are going to put a solution of water with a little bit of soup in it and if there is any type of gas leak, it’s going to blow bubbles. And that’s pretty straightforward and that’s how we change a thermocouple.

Fixing a Toilet Fill Valve

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Fixing a Toilet Fill Valve

I’ve got a toilet with an old-fashion ball-cock that’s been running and what we are going to do is replace it with a newer style fill valve and we’ll go through the steps one by one. The first step is to shut the valve off that fills the tank. I had to put a wrench on it to break it free and you can hear the water stop. So we turned it clock-wise until the water stops. And the next step is going to be flushing the tank and letting out all the water.

I flushed the tank and I left the handle up, so we can get as much water out as we could, but you can see, there’s a little bit of water standing there, so we are going to have to put a bucket underneath the tank and as we take off the supply line to the tank it’s going to leak a little bit, so you want a bucket underneath there. Next we are going to use an adjustable wrench and we are going to loosen the nut right at the bottom of the supply line.

One we loosen the nut at the bottom of the supply line, we are going to use an adjustable pliers and we are going to loosen the nut right here at the bottom of the tank. And once we have those two nuts loose, we are just going to remove the supply line. Now that we’ve taken off the supply line, I am going to loosen this nut at the bottom of the old ball-cock and once I remove that, it’s going to be very easy just to pull the old ball-cock straight out of the tank.

So I’ve loosen the nut at the bottom of the supply line, the top of the supply line and remove the nut at the bottom of the ball-cock. Now I am just going to pull this straight up and we are going to be able to remove the whole assembly. See why we needed that pan underneath the tank? Now we are going to start putting together the new fill valve. This is the old ball-cock we pulled out of there and we’ll put together the new one.

toilet tankThis is a pretty typical set up of the new fill valves and what’s nice is rather than the float extending out here, the float is connected to the shaft, which really makes it mechanically much easier for this to shut off the valve when the water fills up in the tank. So you are going to take the washer off the bottom of this little group and you are going to push out this centerpiece, then you are going to take this washer and with the bevel down, you are going to put it on the bottom of the fill tube and this is what is going to keep it from leaking inside the tank.

The fill valve is held in place with just one nut underneath the tank, so we are going to put the valve in the tank and we are going to tighten it up. What’s nice about this fill valve is that we can adjust it from nine inches to fourteen inches by loosing this collar, we can adjust it for very high tank or drop it down for a lower tank. So for this toilet, we are going to leave it at right about ten inches and lock it in place and then we are going to put it into the tank.

So it’s really easy to put the new fill valve in place, we are just going to take it, it’s going to drop down into the hole, we’re going to point out the float towards the center on the tank and then we are going to go underneath and we are just going to attach it with this nut. From underneath the tank, I attained it by hand and now we are just going to put another three quarters of a turn on the nut, we are not going to over-tighten it too much, it’s all plastic.

Once we fill the tank, if it needs to be tighten a little but more, we can tighten it then. One we have the fill valve in place, we are going to connect the refill tube to the side of it and we are going to connect it to a fitting that keeps it just above the overflow pipe here. If we were to take the tube and just shove it down into this pipe, what it could do is siphon out water and then it will keep the fill valve constantly trying to fill the tank.

fix a toilet fill valveSo very simple here and now we are going to connect the supply line. Now we are going to connect the supply line to the shut off valve. Most shut off valves that you are going to see underneath your kitchen sinks or in the bathroom were connected to a toilet have a compression thread. So we are going to need a unique thread count on the bottom of the supply line and then we are going to have seven eights on top.

This is the old supply line that was connected to the tank and I am going to change it with a newer flexible supply line. I didn’t know the length of this, so I grabbed a couple different ones. And you can see that’s going to be very difficult to line this up with this height. So luckily, this longer one, what I am going to do is just put a nice soft bend to it and we are going to be able to line it up like this.

So if you are going to make a mistake, always get a supply line that’s longer, that was you can put a nice soft loop into it and you’ll be able to connect pretty much any size or any distance between the valve and the bottom of the tank. I just want to cover this supply line really quick. It’s very unique. If you don’t know the shut off valve that you have, whether is three compression or half inch compression, this has two fittings inside here that you screw on to the bottom.

So you can actually screw it on to an old-fashioned valve that’s half inch iron pipe and has two different compression fittings in here, one for three eights compression, which is probably the most common and also half inch compression. So if you are in a hardware store and you don’t know what size you need, this is a great one to grab, it’s a fit all. Okay. I connected the supply line to the shut off valve on the bottom with an adjustable wrench and I connected the top of the supply line to the fill valve with an adjustable pliers. Now we’ll turn it on and see what happens.

The fill valve did its job and fill the tank and we are going to want it to shut off just below the level of the overflow pipe and to make any adjustments, there’s a rod here that you can turn to adjust the float up or down and then the next thing we are going to want to do is check, just to make sure we have no leaks under the tank, we are going to check the valve and we are also going to check the connection, the fill valve to the tank and then the supply line to fill valve.Once all those are adjusted, you are done. So pretty straightforward if you need to replace a valve on a toilet.

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