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DIPTUBE.INFO - DROP-IN OR THREADED???

I received another great question from a website visitor regarding the installation of dip tubes.

QUESTION - November 16, 2011 - “Michael, I really appreciate the step by step repair procedure of the dip tube. I have never seen such thorough instructions. In all of the online "how to" websites, however, I haven't seen how to actually take out the dip tube. I see them removing the cold water inlet water line but no one shows how to remove the dip tube. Does it just set in to the cold water inlet fitting, or does it screw in?” Les Bussing - Oklahoma City, OK

ANSWER - Les, good question. The answer is both. There are flared drop-in dip tubes and there are threaded dip tubes. I have never personally removed a threaded model, but it does not look to be any more difficult than a drop-in model. In both cases the cold water inlet nipple must be removed. With a thread-in dip tube the dip tube comes out with the nipple, and with a drop-in it is pulled out after the nipple is removed.

Contact your water heater manufacturer or local plumbing supplier to see which model dip tube you need for your particular water heater. This way you can have the right one on hand when you make the trade-out. It would be very frustrating to shut off the water, remove the dip tube, and find out that your supplier needed to order your special dip tube. Here are some photos and descriptions that should be of help. Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah

DROP-IN DIP TUBES

Drop-in

DROP-IN DIP TUBE: The dip tube has a flange on the top and the opening on the cold water inlet is the just a bit larger than tube itself. The dip tube simply drops down into the tank and the nipple screws down into the water heater over the top of the flange. The hole in the photo about 6” from the end is by design and acts as an anti-siphon.

REMEMBER: Make sure you get a new gasket.

WATER HEATERS WITH DROP-IN DIP TUBES:

  • A.O. Smith

NOTE: Of course there are others... Send along those that you know so that the list can be updated.

 

 
THREADED DIP TUBES

Threaded

THREAD-IN DIP TUBE: The thread in model combines the nipple with the dip tube. It threads into the top of the tank and the exposed portion becomes the nipple that the water inlet supply pipe connects.

REMEMBER: Don’t forget to use Teflon tape or sealant on the threads to prevent water leaks.

WATER HEATERS WITH THREAD-IN DIP TUBES:

  • Bradford White
  • Rheem

NOTE: Of course there are others... Send along those that you know so that the list can be updated.

SEDIMENT BUILD-UP SOLUTIONS

The latest craze in dip tubes is to use specially designed dip tubes to help reduce the sediment build-up in the bottom of the water heater tank. Look on the outside of your unit for stickers touting special features.

DynaCleanAO SMITH - “DynaClean” They tout this dip tube as an automatic sediment cleaning system that employs a special diffuser tip that creates water turbulence. In the image to the right you will see the bottom of the blue dip tube that is bent around the center heating stack. This is far different than the normal straight dip tube.

DESCRIPTION: A. O. SMITH DYNACLEAN™ II AUTOMATIC SEDIMENT-CLEANING SYSTEM - Specially designed dip tube directs incoming cold water to create turbulence in the tank, which reduces lime and sediment buildup. DynaClean II helps prolong tank life, maintains high energy-efficiency and maximizes hot water output. Made from long-lasting PEX cross-linked polymer.

HydrojetBRADFORD WHITE - “Hydrojet” - Features a series of arched concentric “Jet Ports” that creates water movement.

DESCRIPTION: Bradford White's new Hydrojet® Total Performance System gives the plumbing trade a strong technological advantage. It applies the laws of physics and augments the power of flowing water to create a new level of top performance. And, it's standard equipment on all Bradford White top connect residential water heaters.

EverKleenRHEEM - “EverKleen” - You can see the special tip design that creates the swirl to help reduce the build-up of sediment.

DESCRIPTION: EverKleen™ patented system fights sediment build-up, reduces fuel costs, provides more hot water.

TO SWIRL OR NOT TO SWIRL

NOTE: All of these newer special dip tubes are designed to keep the lime deposits and sediments suspended so that they continue on through the system and not collecting in the bottom of the tank. Is this a good thing?

  • Yes, if you do not regularly drain the water heater to remove the sediments because sediment build-up creates inefficiency in the water heating process.
  • No, if you regularly clean your tank because the sediment now moves on down the line to the faucets, water valves, aerators, and showerheads and they will clog up over time requiring cleaning and replacement.

So it is a Catch-22 as to whether special swirling designed dip tube hurt or help. Since most homeowners NEVER drain their water heaters, then the swirl technology is better fro the water heater. Sediment build-up is reduced, heating efficiency is maintained, complaints to water heater manufacturers is reduced, and the homeowner can now place their blame on the faucet, water valve, aerator, and showerhead manufacturers.

DIP TUBE PURCHASE LINK

Here is an Amazon link showing many dip tubes for $1 to $10 including the shipping.

AMAZON LINK: http://waterheatersmarket.info/?s=Dip+Tube+heater

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