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DIY home repair (my question hot water heater thermostat)


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We had a thread related to this, but I can't find it even searching with google so here goes a new one.


Any way, my hot water has gotten really hot without us messing with the hot water heater thermostat.  It then doesn't work at all and if  we run something that uses a lot of water, we only have cold water.


There is a reset button on my hot water heater, and if when it isn't working, it'll reset it and it will start to work and the water gets really hot again.


Reading on the internet led me to check the thermostat.  Mine (like most) have two thermostats.  My top one and element have power.  The bottom one and element don't have power.


The internet seems to think that the problem is likely my top thermostat as its job is to supply power to the bottom one and the buttom one isn't getting power.  But in the process somethign is getting stuck on, which is leading to constant heating and the too hot hot water.  When the water gets too hot that causes the extra safety switch to trip triggering my rest button.


1.  Would it be awful if I just controlled the heater itself through the fuse box until Monday.  Turn it on when I need hot water, it'll start up and heat the water, and then turn it off before it gets to hot and trips the reset button?


2.  Anybody ever replace one of these thermostats?  Does what I described above seem accurate/reasonable in terms of the problem?  How hard is it?

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