If the debris is white and looks like bits of the plastic, it's probably
your water heater's dip tube deteriorating. I don't know what a dip tube
does, but quite a few water heaters were part of a class action suit some
years back. If the debris is as described, get your water heater checked.
The water heater will start filling from higher in the tank, so
the hot water will be cooled by the new water. The dip tube can
be replaced, but I haven't done it. They are available at the
If I may re-word my question, will dip tube failure lead to 'catastrophic'
failure? i.e. flooding? Or simply reduced hot water capacity (If so, I'll
make sure that I get the first shower of the day - LOL)
Due to the age of the H2O heater, I'll simply replace it with a 'new,
I'm not sure about catastrophic failure. Maybe Bob can address that. But,
even after my WH's problem was solved, I had my plumber back for other work
and he mentioned that other brands also had problems. If I were you, I'd do
some web research, maybe consult a plumber, and see if Consumer Reports has
anything about it (www.consumerreports.com). You can buy something like a
month's worth of access to their site for under ten bucks. My plumber was of
the opinion that more than one brand was riding the cheap parts train. Buyer
It wasn't cheap parts, it was defective parts.
Dip tube failure should not result in leakage issues - just not
hot enough water, and plugged strainers and/or faucet valves.
It's not that big of a job to fix.
The dip tube is a tube that leads to the bottom of the tank. Cold
water thus fills from the bottom with the hot water on top. When the
tube fails, the cold water winds up filling at the top resulting in
inefficient heating (read less capacity). Catastrophic failure? No.
Expensive - yes for fuel use, no for repair. Supposedly 10 years is
about life expectancy or so I have been told. I find that difficult
to believe but...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.