Dip Tube Dilemma


Old 03-05-02, 12:18 PM
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Unhappy Dip Tube Dilemma

Well, apparently the dip tube in my hot water heater is disintegrating, spewing little plastic particles throughout the plumbing system in my home.

Of course, I had no idea what a dip tube was until 2 hours ago, when the local water company guy came to test my water and told me that's likely the reason why my hot water isn't hot anymore.

He was kind enough to give me information regarding the class action settlement related to dip tubes. Of course, the settlement period has expired (12/31/00) and I now find myself left "out in the cold"! (Pun very much intended!)

My questions are as follows: Can I replace the dip tube without replacing the hot water heater? If yes, how much does it cost to replace a dip tube? Is it something I can do myself? How much work is involved?
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Old 03-05-02, 12:36 PM
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Yes, you can replace just the dip tube. They can be bought at a plumbing shop and I've also heard someone say they found them at Home Depot for about $8. The dip tube is on the cold inlet side of the wrt. htr. and to remove whats left and install new here's how. 1. shut the water off to the water heater and then open a hater water faucet and relieve the pressure. 2 then unthread the pipe going into the cold side. Stick your finger in the hole and fish out whats left. The new one just drops right in and put it back together. The dip tube is a plastic pipe with a rubber gasket at the top.
Old 03-05-02, 01:50 PM
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And just to add an option to what tj said, attach a water hose to the drain spigot at the bottom of the heater, open it up and try to flush as much of the old dip tube particles out as you can.
Until all of the old diptube particles in the heater and lines get out, you're probably going to still see a few clogging aerators.
Good Luck!
Old 03-05-02, 02:01 PM
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Sound pretty simple, even for a novice like me!

Is there anything else I need to be leery of?

I appreciate the help.
Old 03-06-02, 01:25 PM
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You can also call the hot water heater manufacturer and demand that they take care of it. It is my understanding that they did not notify their customers that there was a problem You may get a new water heater out of it, regardless of the date.
Old 03-07-02, 07:43 PM
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See my post Feb 28 - "Sediment in hot water". My heater was 6 years old, and I got a new one installed free. I did have to be persistant - the "warrenty dep't" first told me it was too late, but changed their tune when I asked why I hadn't been informed of the problem before it clogged up all my faucets (that's why we send in those warrenty cards, isn't it?)
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