How dumb am I ...
This place was a great help when our stack pipe was leaking. I hope it can help me again!
Our hot water heater pilot light kept going out, and after a bit of research I thought I'd try replacing the thermocouple. It's a Reliance 606 water heater.
After getting everything out, I realized it actually needs a whole pilot assembly. That said, it was 9 p.m. and the local Home Depot didn't carry them. So I decided to put everything back together. That's when I realize that when I undid the thermocouple from where it attached to the control that I had my wrench on the sleeve where the thermocouple attaches (not the nut that I should have been loosening) and I actually broke it off. I know, I'm a numbskull.
My question is this ... I managed to bend the thermocouple wire so that it still makes a connection to the box without me needing to hold it in place. The pilot lights, and the unit will fire up without me needing to pull it away. Is there a way to reattach the sleeve? Until I can get someone out to replace the control and assembly, is it OK to use? There shouldn't be any gas leaking from where the thermocouple attaches to the control, right? Just to be safe, I turned everything off for the night. Hopefully I can get someone out tomorrow, otherwise it'll be cold showers for the time being!
Re: How dumb am I ...
If it's working it's working, there is no gas connection to the thermocouple. The flame on the end cause it to produce a minute amount of electricity , I'm talking millivolts, sensed by the valve.
There is no way to reattach it permanently, sorry but if it works like it is, it will be OK until the unit is replaced along with a new thermocouple.