The last few days we have been having problems keeping the water heater on. It all started when the lights in the kitchen and living room dimmed briefly. We couldn't find anything that was not on anymore, so we figured it was just normal because it happens from time to time. The next morning our DD had to take a cold shower because the water heater had shut itself off. I took the top panel on the water heater off and found a reset button, pushed it, and thought everything would be okay. However, after it had been on for several hours it would just shut off again. Two days ago we went to a feed/hardware (MFA) store and bought a 'upper' thermostat because that's what I had been resetting. But later, or the next morning, our DD said the water wasn't as hot as it had been earlier, so I checked the replaced thermostat and found that it had been 'tripped' and needed reset again, which I did. I guess I should mention that after I reset it the first time a couple of days ago that we noticed that the water was a LOT hotter than it had ever been in the 9 years we've lived in this house. We thought that since the water heater had been off all night the first night that sediment had settled thus allowing more water to be heated and better. Wrong of course. Yesterday after I reset the top thermostat again I knew it must be the bottom one. Since we'd be in town to pick up DD from school later we figured we would get a new one then. Before leaving though, I noticed that the TV was acting like there was interference and had wrinkly lines going across it. I went to the fuse box, shut off the water heater, and the television stopped buzzing and returned to normal, thus confirming there was definitely something still wrong with the heater of water. Last evening we stopped at Lowes and picked up a lower thermostat *(wasn't identical to the old one, but still works), which I installed last evening and this morning we still had really hot water like we were supposed to. YEAH!!
* The reason it wasn't identical is because it was the ONLY one they had at Lowes. Since they're not real complicated, I wasn't too worried. Probably would've been LESS worried had the assistant who showed me ONLY where they were would've hung around long enough for me to ask and make sure I got what I needed, but they (2 coworkers and himself) wondered off together before I had a chance to ask. Yes, I've been to http://lowes.com and sent a complaint (see below) to customer service.-This is what I sent:
-"Went in looking for a lower thermostat for my water heater on 4-6-10. The assistant showed me WHERE the thermostat was and then walked away with his two coworkers without even offering to help (answer questions, etc). Just thought that was rude. It was like "I'm busy and don't have time", as if his two coworkers were more important."