You depend on your water heater to provide you with hot water whenever you need it. If you keep your water heater in good condition, it should last you for quite a few years. Unfortunately, sometimes water heaters break down. The thermocouple is one component of your water heater that can go out quite often. Luckily, they're easy to replace. Here is a step-by-step guide for replacing the thermocouple on your water heater. Before you begin, there are a few supplies you'll need to get.

  • New thermocouple
  • Wrench – be sure to check your thermocouple for the proper size
  • Plastic bowl
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

Turn The Water Heater Off

The first thing you'll need to do is turn your water heater off. Begin by turning the gas off. You can do this by turning the pilot light to the off position. Next, you'll want to turn the temperature control knob to the off position. This will ensure that you won't have hot water in the tank while you're working.

Remove The Burner

The burner is located on the outside of the water heater. Once you've located the burner, you'll use a wrench to loosen the gas line and the thermocouple. As soon as you have those loosened, you'll want to remove the gas lines from the valves. Now that the gas lines are out, you'll be able to remove the old thermocouple.

Replace The Thermocouple

Once the old thermocouple has been removed, you'll be ready to install the new unit. Simply take the new thermocouple in your hand and slide it into position inside the burner. It should slide right into place.

Reinstall The Burner

With the new thermocouple in place, you'll be ready to reinstall the burner. Push the burner into place and use your wrench to tighten the gas lines and valves. Be sure to tighten all the nuts until they are secure.

Test The Lines

Before you start using your water heater again, you'll want to test the gas lines for possible leaks. Fill your spray bottle with water and add about ¼ cup of dish soap. Spray the gas connections with the soapy water and watch for bubbles. If you see bubbles, you'll need to tighten your connections a little more. Repeat the process until there are no bubbles.

If your thermocouple has gone out on and you have no hot water, follow these simple instructions to get your water heater back to working order. If you run in to problems, be sure to contact a professional water heater repair technician.