Dip tube question

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I suspect the dip tube in my water heater has failed. Is it practical to replace the tube? After years in various houses this is the first time this has happened. The tank in question is eight years old. Repair or replace? I don't know the make off hand. The tank is in an inconvenient place.
Charlie
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It is always incontinent to get to the dip tube, but it is very possible and a DIY job.
While you are at it, check your anode.
Instructions are here: http://waterheaterrescue.com /
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Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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on a 8 year old tank its not worth the hassle.
say 400 bucks for a new tank vs a all day hassle where its likely you will still need a new tank when your done.
crud builds up in tanks, new tanks better energy efficency too
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I guess that depends a lot on water chemistry. I have several water heaters in my rental units that are pushing 25 years of age and when I have checked the anodes they are fine. These are nothing special, they are the cheap 30 gallon models.
Seems to me that tossing a water heater that only needs a dip tube and still has an anode suggests that the tank is probably OK. If on the other hand when the anode is pulled there is nothing left of the sacrificial material then the tank is probably well on its way out.
I don't know what you do for a living, but even if it took you all day to disconnect three connections drain the tank, drag the sucker into the back yard and pulled the anode, if I found at that point that all I needed was a new dip tube I would be perfectly happy leaving that $370 in my checking account as a reasonable wage for my effort.
If I found upon inspection that I needed to replace the thing at that point, all I am out is the time it took to inspect the old one.
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Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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my opinion is based on the fact that most tanks here last 8 to 10 years tops. so his 8 year tank here is already has one foot on banana peel the other in grave, really old tanks like yours may well last longer than ones produced in the last 15 years or so, and here a new nice tank from home depot is 350 bucks, my best friend bought a sears close out 40 gallons NG for 270 bucks last year when sears closed the repair stores nationwide.
So its way less than 800 bucks, DIY, if he is willing to replace the dip tube then installing a new tank is easy.
The OP doesnt say why he believes the dip tube is bad, one guess is poor quantity of hot water, which mght be a dip tube, but may also be corrosion built up in the tank. manufacturs largely fixed the dip tube troubles years ago.
the economics of tank replacement. assume DIY 400 bucks or pro install 800 bucks, 10 year average tank life, cost per year 40 or 80 bucks, less than a nice candy bar a week.
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my opinion is based on the fact that most tanks here last 8 to 10 years tops. so his 8 year tank here is already has one foot on banana peel the other in grave, really old tanks like yours may well last longer than ones produced in the last 15 years or so...
OK, what would you opinion be if upon inspection the anode was good on an 8 year old tank?
Have you ever pulled an anode on a water heater?
Sure but if 100 in parts will give him 18 years more service then how do those economics figure in comparison to yours?
So its way less than 800 bucks, DIY, if he is willing to replace the dip tube then installing a new tank is easy.
New dip tube less than $50.
The OP doesnt say why he believes the dip tube is bad, one guess is poor quantity of hot water, which mght be a dip tube, but may also be corrosion built up in the tank. manufacturs largely fixed the dip tube troubles years ago.
Dont you think that if you had the water heater empty and sitting on the floor in your garage that you might be able to look at the anode and peek in the holes on top and perhaps make a better judgement of the condition of the tank than making assumptions based only on the age of the tank?
the economics of tank replacement. assume DIY 400 bucks or pro install 800 bucks, 10 year average tank life, cost per year 40 or 80 bucks, less than a nice candy bar a week.
I agree with you to a point. Where we disagree is I believe that with preventitive maintenance it is very likly that you can reasonably expect a water heater to last 20 or 30 years. Removing sediment, and replacing the sacrificial anode when necessary is going to make that happen.
If you factor in the time value of the money, getting 2 to 3 times the life out of a water heater buys a new TV set and a good one at that.
--

Roger Shoaf

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I think the problem is that if you consider the money value of time, you can spend a couple of hours replacing a tank and know that you've reset the clock for another 10-15 years, or you could spend a saturday pulling the tank, looking at the anode and dip tube, replacing one or both, replacing the tank and not knowing if you'll be revisiting the another problem 6 months down the road.
Not saying you can't do it - just that for some people spending the maintenance time may not be worth it.
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The one dippy tube I got cost ten bucks. Another ten or so for the brass union (expensive!) and then a couple hours labor. And about a week to get my confidence level up.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2007 16:51:22 -0400, "Charlie Bress"

Why do you think the dip tube is bad. If this is an electric a bad bottom element or a thermostat will give you a very similar symptom (run out of hot water too soon)
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Subject: Re: Dip tube question Date: Friday, March 30, 2007 1:07 PM
If I get that tank to last another few years it might save 5 bucks a year, thats meaningless in comparison to a BIG hassle!
Well you have a point, but a life time of this kind of thinking cost a big chunk of money. New cars because used cars are so much hassle, don't put on a roof yourself because you might screw up, hire someone else to paint the place, etc.
I guess we just disagree on the basic philosophy.
I seldom resort to paying some one to do that which I can do myself, and I seldom toss anything out that is still serviceable.
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Roger Shoaf
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Well I NEVER buy brand new vehicles, still servicable at what cost? That dip tube is probably near impossible to remove.
I reuse lots of stuff, but hot water tanks tend to fail at the very WORST TIME!
Its like car batteries I replace mine before 4 years, and rarely get stuck needing a jump, plus my alternator failure rate dropped dramatically, then I give my old battery to a buddy with a wind generator for his battery bank.
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The WH replacement I did, was Jan 23 or so. Abotu 18 inches snow on the ground, about 20 degrees, F, outdoors. I had to use my snow blower to cut a path to the access door on the side of my trailer. It was a miserable tank change.
Four years for a battery is a good idea. When my battery died a couple months ago, it was a real messs. Reset the computer about the time that I needed the emissions test.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2007 16:51:22 -0400, "Charlie Bress"

Might want to check if a recall is in place for your water heater. Contact the manufacturer.
tom @ www.FreeCreditReportAdvice.com
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the one dip tube I replaced, yes, it was in a bad location. I was fortuate, able to tilt the dip tube and slip it in, diagonal. Thread the nipple back on, and then sweat in a brass union.
The ceiling was lower than I am tall, and it was a real pain in the anode.
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Christopher A. Young
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-----

In my area water heaters typically last at least twice the age of yours. It may be difficult to replace the tube, particularly if there is little headroom over the water heater, but woukd be worth the cost savings if you could get another 8 or more years out of the heater. Why do you think it has "failed?" It is just a piece of tubing or pipe. The only one I have ever seen was one unintentionally removed when unscrewing a fitting from a heater I was replacing. It was made of plastic. I can't imagine what would make one fail.
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Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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You don't HAVE to have a dip tube at all. I removed mine when I installed the then new heater because I plumbed the cold water inlet into the drain connection. All that the dip tube does is introduce cold watewr at the bottom of the tank.
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How do you drain sediment? Did you put a second valve down there? No, come to think of it, that wouldn't help. Unless you turned off the shutoff to the house. Gravity drain it.
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Instructions are here: http://waterheaterrescue.com /
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Roger Shoaf wrote:

Nick said he did (reminder: cold water inlet to the drain valve fitting, which is the post he's referring to) then Stormin's question makes more sense. Just how does he drain the sediment? Or does he worry about it at all?
BTW, I've installed one the Randy's curved dip tubes (from the referenced site) and drain valve and it does seem to improve the efficiency and the ability to flush the tank is way easier.
--
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Many years ago I removed the anodes, dip tube and drain valve, converting a HW tank to a water storage tank I put on hill for my mom, it supplied garden water from a natural spring. ended up getting some fittings welded back on.
it worked great till she moved, and there was enough pressure to run a oscillating sprinkler or wash cars, stuff like that.
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