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DIPTUBE.INFO - REMEDIES
I originally intended to have this be a do-it-yourself check your own diptube section, but I have set that idea aside for now. The focus on this site is really more of a common sense approach to the issue of dip tubes.

So what should you do? You have identified that you have a water heater still in use that clearly falls in the dip tube failure time frame, yet the Class Action Settlement ended years ago.

  • Should you pay a plumber to investigate the water heater?
  • Should you pay a plumber to replace the dip tube and anode rod?
  • Should you be losing sleep at night when you aren’t sure there is really anything wrong?

FACT: Just because your water heater was produced during the identified failure time period, does not mean that your dip tube has failed.

FACT: If your unit is 8 years old and still producing hot water, I recommend that you don’t get frantic. Instead, shout hallelujah for getting 8 years out of a unit designed to last 5 to 8 years. If your unit is newer, then you may have a warranty claim with the manufacturer.

FACT: In my opinion, paying a plumber to evaluate the dip tube from a working 8 year old unit seems like a good idea on the surface, but you really should be setting those nickels aside for the inevitable unit upgrade.

PLEASE NOTE: I am not suggesting that you should not be having annual safety inspections. I am referring to having a licensed plumber disassembling your unit to check the condition of the dip tube. Paying for disassembly of the unit is as expensive as the labor needed to install a new unit and I would view this as wasting hard earned dollars. However, if you are wealthy or very handy and want to do it yourself, then have at it.

So what would I do if I was concerned about my water heater dip tube?

TIMED WATER CHECK: My first step would be to run a timed hot water test. This simple test involves going to the bathtub or the shower and turning on the hot water and seeing how long it runs hot. A 40 gallon tank usually flows 8 to 10 minutes of hot water (This number varies greatly depending on the water flow rate of the fixture). If the water ran hot for a good 8 minutes, then it is doubtful that the dip tube has seen major failure. If the water only flows hot for 2 to 3 minutes, or less, then the dip tube has probably failed.

CHECK AERATORS: The next test would be to start removing faucet aerators and see if they are clogged with small plastic gray or white plastic particles. These are different that scaly whitish hard water mineral deposits. It is hard to describe, but sand and water deposits are completely different than plastic particles. Most aerators that I have seen during inspections get buildup of all types of crud... Crud is a technical term. Clean them as needed. CLR is a good liquid for removing the hard water deposit buildup.

If the aerators are not filled with plastic particles and the water heater is producing sufficient hat water, then I would put this issue to rest and plan for the inevitable water heater failure. I would sleep peaceful at night knowing that I got my money’s worth out of my water heater and enjoy the remainder of its working lifespan.

YouTube2009 YOUTUBE VIDEO - Where is my dip tube? - You will love this real life video of a dip tube being checked, only to find that it has broken off.
 
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