Our hot water heater died yesterday. It was the second time this has happened in a year. We found a repairman and left a message. Richard poked around online to get a feel for the cost of a new heater. I boiled water to wash the dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher (hooray for the High Temp Wash function!) and the kids got cold sponge baths for bedtime.
This morning, at 0700 on the dot, the repairman called and came over. The thermocoupler was burned out. Again.(it is the thingy that supplies fresh air to the pilot light to keep it lit) He cleaned it up, relit the pilot light and advised us to buy an air filter attachment for it. On the way out the door he mentioned it was a massive lint build up under the hot water heater that caused the problem and advised that I vacuum underneath the heater to clean things up.
Is your hot water heater in your laundry room? Have you vacuumed under it lately? Have you ever thought to?
Word to the wise: add it to your Spring Cleaning List. Get off the computer and go and do it! Your shower will thank you.