Tools are not just metal objects that you hold in your hands that turn screws or loosen nuts. You can also use videos as a tool to aid in fixing.

In this case, both were used to repair a major appliance at home and necessarily so. Without a good teacher, the pupil is unable to gain knowledge.

The project: Hot water heater unable to keep the pilot light lit. Apparently this is pretty common and some videos are available to detail how the problem is solved. Until I could build up the nerve to fix it myself, the manual starting of the flame got the family through for a week.

Knowing my ability to fix things is somewhat meager, I estimated about three hours to set aside to account for any and all circumstances. No matter that a trained professional could accomplish the task in about 30 minutes.

For me the experience was about two hours because of a couple unforeseen obstacles. The part in question is a thermocouple which costs about ten dollars, which is actually easy to fix. However with this water heater the factory installed edition included a fuse. Fortunately the fuse is optional and the new thermocouple didn’t have one which means I have an extra screw left over. The other flaw in the slaw is that the bracket is too small and the old unit is very hard to extract.

The solution: A little drilling to remove the old piece and then hollow out the space for the new one. Maybe not the most professional solution, but it turns out effective. That certainly wasn’t on the help video.

As the family waited patiently to get their daily cleansing, the payoff came with the enduring flame. I admit that my experience took money off someone else’s table, which I will likely find a way to spend in another capacity.


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