You can decide what you want to call him.  Anyway, Monday morning I went out to the garage to paint the shelves for the closet (see progress pictures below), and discovered water spewing out of the overflow pipe on the water heater. I knew that couldn’t be a good thing!

We replaced the valve with the yellow tag. Water was coming out of the pipe on the bottom right. Now it isn’t!

Fortunately, I was able to turn off the water supply before the garage got flooded. After a bit of research I figured out we probably had a faulty pressure release valve. It would cost about $200 to have a plumber come fix it, or I could buy the parts at Home Depot for about $25 and we could fix it ourselves.  Guess what we chose?

Anyway, after a couple of trips to the store (note: the gas tanks for the torch must evaporate over time – we had an opened one and a replacement so I didn’t get another one on the first trip) and about an hour of work, we had hot water in the house once again. In case you ever need to do this yourself, here’s the process:

  • Turn off the water supply to the hot water heater and either the electricity or gas.
  • Unscrew the brackets holding the overflow pipe in place.
  • Heat the soldered joint so the pipe can be removed, and remove it.
  • Remove the faulty valve. This took a pipe wrench and a sledge hammer.  Be careful!
  • Screw in the new pressure release valve.
  • Sand and sand and sand the old pipe so it can be reused (or buy new parts).
  • Re-attach the pipe and solder the new fitting in place.
  • Turn the power and water back on and make sure there aren’t any leaks.
  • Oh, and don’t forget to put all the tools away!

It worked! We’re so blessed to have our Handy Andy/Plumber Bob around.

And we’re making progress on the computer room closet makeover – 

The “support brackets” being painted.


Installing them.


Ready for the next step – the actual shelves!