Fill Water Heater from bottom ?

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Well. the link to This Old House from DerbyDad demonstrates that one *can* safely remove a boiler tap, *and* one *can* inlet water from the bottom. S eeing is believing. Thanks DD for this.
Re getting stirred-up sediment in the output, I don't see how that would ha ppen as the outlet is still at the top. That's a long way up for the heavy sediment to go. Besides, a working dip tube delivers the water near the b ottom anyway. That's the point of it.
Finally, to Mr. Philo: 75 Gal HWH is big *and* heavy, without the water. I put it in (empty) myself. If you think it's not, maybe you could come he re and tip it while I watch how you do it. ;-)
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The question about sediment was addressed in the ATOH segment. Since the special valve they used is essentially a pipe-within-a-pipe which limits the size of the outlet pipe going to the heat pump, there was some concern about the sediment. The answer was that the tank might need to be flushed more often to ensure that the sediment didn't clog the outlet pipe.
I am aware that the difference between your application and the ATOH application is that you won't be taking water from the bottom of the tank, but I wanted to point out that the sediment issue was indeed addressed in that episode.
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wrote:

Only problem that I see is that if the existing tap is used, the volume of water will be restricted by the size of that tap vs. the inlet pipe. However, this doesn't sound like one of those repairs that is going to be expected to last a long time if one dip tube has already failed.
Tomsic
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Just watched an Ask This Old House episode where they used a heat exchanger to supply warm water to a water heater through the drain hole.
So, I don't think feeding water in through the drain is a problem.
--
Dan Espen

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replying to Newton , Newton Vuden wrote:

Well, about two months ago, I rerouted the cold water input into the bottom of the tank via the drain hole. While hole was exposed, I could see (!!!) dip tube sitting on the diagonal at bottom of tank.
Since I did this, symptoms gone, No problems. Virtually endless hot water. It's *good* !
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Newton Vuden wrote:

Hi, To the OP, Cold water dip tube is closer to the bottom any way. Isn't that enough? Find a diagram of hot water tank cut off side view, see for your self.
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All water heaters are fed from the bottom - the pipe goes in the top for convenience, but routs the cold water to the bottom. Good water heaters have a "turbulator" at the bottom of the "dip tube" that causes the water to swirl in the bottom of the tank to prevent sediment build-up. You loose that when you feed tangentially from the drain fitting - but if the dip tube has fallen off you've lost that already anyway, and feeding tangentially at the bottom is better than dumping the cold water on top of the hot
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