First you have to go back and read this post from 2005. I'll wait.
So, 11 years later, our youngest son (age 18) was up last night, doing laundry or something in the laundry room and started looking at the water heater. He got curious about one of the valves/safety features on the water heater and, of course, couldn't resist twisting it. It started dripping, so he put a towel under it and made a note to self to tell his parents about it in the morning. Unfortunately, he was up late and didn't exactly wake up in the morning. I got up, went into the laundry room to do some laundry and heard dripping. At this point, the water had soaked the towel and gotten on the floor a little, thankfully, not too much. I contacted my husband at work and he had me take a picture of the leaking part and send it to him, stopped by and bought a new valve and came home from work a few hours early. After he got home, youngest son woke up and came in to tell us about the valve and the curious episode to confess and apologize.
So to sum up.
Cost of valve: 16:00
Other costs: Half a vacation day.
Son reminding us how some things never change .... priceless.