100 Best New Home Products of 2013

People always ask, What makes a TOH Top 100 product? Tough question.The truth is, there's no single answer that covers everything in the following pages.READ: 56 Essential Survival Skills for HomeownersMany items on our list impressed us for their ingenuity, like the kitchen knife that won't dull. A good number are terrifically original, like the handmade tile you customize online. We always look for breakthroughs, of course, like the most efficient water heater. Other honorees surprised us by how well they work, like the Paint Handy. Some products are just too cool to pass up, like the fridge that dispenses sparkling water.In the end, our decision making comes down to another question altogether: Is it useful, and is it relevant for our readers? Now it's your turn to be the judge.

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Do I Need to Turn Off Water Heater?
Do i need to turn off water heater?Look under the sink for water shut-off valves that control the sink water only. The valves at the water heater will not shut off all water in the house— — — — — —How To Replace A Water Heater ThermostatFor each element, the unit requires a matching thermostat, so dual element units have two thermostats, and single element models only one. When replacing one thermostat, it is a good idea to go ahead and replace both the upper and lower thermostats. Since most electric water heaters use both an upper and lower element, the process outline below is for them. You can pick up a good inexpensive multimeter online or any local hardware store. • Turn off the power to the water heater. • Remove the access panels to the elements along with the insulation underneath. • Use a screwdriver to set the upper thermostat to its highest setting. • Set the lower thermostat to its lowest setting. • Turn the power to the water heater back on. • Make sure there is voltage coming into the water heater by checking the 2 wires above the reset button. It should read 240 volts. • Use your multimeter to check for power on the upper element terminal screws. If no power, this thermostat is bad and needs to be replaced. • Set the upper thermostat to its lowest setting. • Set the lower thermostat to its highest setting. • Make sure there is voltage on the lower element. If the multimeter shows power at the element, allow a few minutes for the water to heat up. • Lower the temperature on this thermostat and wait for an audible click which indicates the thermostat is functioning correctly. It should show a reading of 120 volts. • If there is no reading, the upper thermostat will need replacing since it provides voltage to the lower thermostat. It should show approx. 120 volts. If not, the lower thermostat will need to be replaced. Always disconnect the power or shut off the breaker before doing any work on a water heater. To change thermostats, you will need to remove the access panel and safety cover (do this for both upper and lower access panels on dual element units). For the sake of safety, use a voltage meter to make certain the power is off. Make a simple diagram of how the wires are connected to the diagram. Remove the wires from the thermostat. Thermostats are held in place by a special bracket that holds it firmly against the tank, allowing the thermostat to sense the internal water temperature. Gently pry out one side of the bracket while twisting that side of the thermostat upwards to prevent the bracket from locking in place again. Repeat for the other side. Repeat for the lower thermostat on dual element models. Take the old thermostat(s) with you to purchase a replacement. While most thermostats are interchangeable, the best results come from accurately matching the components. If the bracket was damaged during thermostat removal, you can get a replacement bracket as well. The old bracket can be pried upward to remove it and the new one can be placed flat against the tank and slid downward until it lock into place. Replace each thermostat by sliding it evenly downward into the holding bracket until it locks in place. Replace the wiring exactly as it was removed. Replace the safety cover(s) and access panel(s). Restore power and allow the water heater to work for one hour before testing the hot water. If you suspect a heating element has also gone bad, see How To Replace A Water Heater Element. Gas water heaters use a different type of thermostat system. On most gas water heaters, the gas control valve, which includes both a thermostat and a heat limiting device, are located on the outside of the unit, near the bottom. It can be identified as the component with the controls for temperature and the pilot light. If the thermostat on a gas water heater goes bad, you will have to replace the gas control valve component.— — — — — —I need some advice on my hot water heater.. Please Help!!?the way you describe it ,sounds like a bad heating element that probably happened when the element was uncover then when you poured water on it it cracked this is common on houses that have had the water cut off for some reason drain the water heater and remove the elements the damage is ussaly apparent to save time you can take the wires loose from the element and check for continuity
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