Sunday, November 11, 2012


Sunday, November 12 – What a day! On Thursday, Paul replaced the burned-out heating element in the hot water heater. We were able to heat water with propane but not electric. This isn't a big job if you have the correct tool. Unfortunately, Paul did not have the socket wrench necessary to remove the element. After searching Lowes, Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Sears and Northern Tools, he finally took Marsha's suggestion and went to PPL, a large RV consignment dealer and parts store here in Houston. Yep, Marsha was right again, they had one, and Paul picked-up the heating element while there.

Paul had to practically take the entire front off the tank to get to the element, but he was successful. We now had hot water via electricity, which is included in our $15/night price here at the Houston Elks. (If staying a month it's only $300/month – that's $10/night!)

Wish we could say that was the end of our hot water issues! After cleaning up and putting everything away, Paul noticed water on the concrete slab. No, the element wasn't leaking. After removing panels under the kitchen sink to expose the entire hot water tank, Paul found a soaked floor and a leaking hot water tank.....DANG!

leaking hot water tank

So, Saturday morning it was back to PPL to purchase a new Suburban hot water tank. Never having replaced a hot water tank, Paul was a little worried, but luckily the neighbor has done a replacement and encouraged Paul that the job is pretty straight forward. Of course, Marsha was there with plenty of encouragement also!

hot water tank

He started by removing the old tank which involves detaching hot and cold plumbing lines, 110 volt electric lines, 12 volt electric wires, propane lines, and exterior trailer moldings. It requires some contortionist positions under the kitchen sink as well! OUCH!

replacing tank



After removing the old tank, Marsha helped hold the new tank in the hole while he reconnected wires and propane lines.

Marsha holding tank

The new tank slid in fairly easily, and Paul crawled back under the sink to complete the plumbing connections.

new water tank


new tank

After filling the tank and finding no leaks, Paul fired up and tested the propane heating element. Finding it working correctly, he then tested the electrical heating element and was happy to see it working correctly. And most importantly, we have hot water with NO LEAKS!!! Yeah!

SIDE NOTE #1: Paul checked the service desk at PPL, and they wanted $240 for installing a hot water tank and couldn't get to it until late this week!

SIDE NOTE #2. Regardless what Marsha might tell you, Paul was not stressed-out, didn't swear, and completed the job with a smile on his face and whistling a happy tune! At least that is Paul's story, and he is sticking to it.

Happy Veterans day to all who have served our country so proudly and bravely. Thank you for your unselfish service.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!


  1. Another successful job managed by Marsha.

  2. Ah yes. Hot water heaters. Sometimes it's best to just "cut to the chase". Nice job.
    Break out the liniment.

  3. Well, we know who to track down when ours decides to die. Good job - both of you. But it was still a pain in the . . .

  4. I sure hope I'm parked next to you guys if I ever need something done. Otherwise I'd have to pay and hope.

  5. Wow! No leaks! I'm very impressed. Congrats Paul on a terrific job and one I wouldn't tackle in a million years.

    As I was reading how you guys did this I was already wondering how much it would cost for an RV repair guy to do - no price would have been too high for me.

  6. You know, with all the jobs our guys can do, we ought to go into business! Good job Paul. Good helping Marsha.

    And about the cussin'. Doug says it just doesn't go right unless you cuss.

  7. You two are so handy. I cannot imagine trying to tackle that job. Glad it all worked out. :)

  8. Good job and glad it's fixed and taken care of. Good job Paul!! I'm sure Marsha was behind you all the way.

  9. It's so nice to have a handy-man around the house. And a handy helper!

  10. you are very lucky that Paul is so handy! NOT the job for the 'faint of heart'..and no 'cussin'?..he is the a 'fine handyman' to have around!

  11. Great job, I confess that I would have waited for the repair guy:)

  12. Those kinds of jobs never seem as bad after they are completed, but I'll bet you had second thoughts about doing it yourself while in the middle of it! Jim never swears while he is doing things himself,either:)

  13. Is Paul SURE he wants to be retired? I hear a good RV tech is hard to find.

  14. Good job Paul!!! You are now a plumber.... Did you save the element you put in the old one? Does it fit the new one? see you some where down the road

  15. Good for Paul on taking on such a job!

  16. grrrr. . .it's always something. It's nice to have a handyman around huh?

    Good job,
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

  17. Paul, CONGRATS on a superb job. NO WAY I would have tried to tackle that job. It would have been cold showers for us until the "experts" could schedule us. Must have been Marsha's "expert" supervision.

  18. Not good but it could happen to any of us. So glad your in-home repairman was able to solve the problem!


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