Most people assume that fixing a broken water heater is a job for a professional. While its certainly a good idea to call in a pro if the problem is complicated, there are some smaller repairs that you can do yourself. One of these is replacing the thermal coupler on your water heater.
A thermal coupler is a safety device that is used to shut off the gas supply if the pilot light on your water heater goes out. The thermal coupler contains a heat-sensitive metal that melts if the pilot light goes out, thus preventing the risk of a gas leak.
If your water heater is not working correctly and you suspect that the thermal coupler might be the cause of the problem, you should begin by turning off the gas supply to the water heater. This is usually done by turning the gas valve on the side of the water heater to the off position. Once the gas is off, you will need to disconnect the gas line from the water heater.
Now that you have disconnected the gas line, you can begin to replace the thermal coupler. Generally, there is a small screw or clip that secures the thermal coupler to the gas line. If this is the case, you can simply unscrew or unclip the thermal coupler from the gas line.
Once the old thermal coupler has been removed, you can now attach the new one. There should be a small hole in the new thermal coupler through which the gas line can be threaded. Once the gas line has been attached to the new thermal coupler, you should re-secure the coupler to the gas line with the screw or clip.
Now that the new thermal coupler has been installed, you can turn the gas back on and re-light the pilot light. If the pilot light is lit, the new thermal coupler should be working properly.
Replacing the thermal coupler on your water heater is not a difficult job, but it is important that it is done correctly. If you are unsure of how to replace the thermal coupler, it is best to call in a professional. They will be able to replace the thermal coupler safely and ensure that your water heater is working properly.