Atwood Water Heater Thermostat Kit
At about $12, this kit is good insurance for your water heater. When the thermostat on your water heater fails, and they all do eventually, it can go one of two ways. Either you get no hot water at all, or (as happened to me recently) on both gas and electric you get water that is dangerously near the boiling point because the water heater never turns off. The first case is annoying, especially if you need a shower, the second can not only burn you severely, it can cause leaks and other damage to your plumbing because the water is not only hot, but under more pressure than usual.
When the water is too hot, you'll know because it will steam like crazy when you run hot water in the sink. In the shower, you normally need a small amount of cold water, even when the hot is on full. When the water heater overheats, you'll need to have the cold on full and the hot almost off.
Replacing the thermostat and ECO (both are included in the kit) is not difficult. It takes about 20 minutes and it will save you an expensive service call (where you'll almost certainly be charged more than $12 for the parts). There are instructions on replacing the thermostats here.
I always carry a spare kit when I travel.
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— Bob Ray