Our home was built in 1996, and we have a 75 gallon AO Smith water
heater. In the last couple of weeks, we've noticed that we are getting
less hot water pressure, so I started doing some research.
I understand that there was a class action suit about problems with dip
tubes in water heaters disintegrating, and I suspect that's what we're
seeing. We tried the "dissolve in vinegar" test, but to me at least, I
couldn't tell if the white particle dissolved or not.
In any event, I understand that the end of the class action period was
the end of 2000, so I guess we'd be out of luck on that anyway, plus AO
Smith's warranty is 5 years on the tank and 1 year on parts, so that's
gone by also.
I guess the question that I have at this point is:
What would should we do?
Should we just call a plumber to take a look at the problem and
determine if it's a dip tube problem?
If we do that, should we find a plumber that's shown on AO Smith's
website/search, or will any plumber do?
I'm wondering if those plumbers might be more familiar with what would
need to be done if it turns out to be the dip tube problem?
Also, just to set my expectations (or dash my hopes), can anyone tell me
their experience cost-wise:
1) If only the dip tube needs to be replaced and the plumbing needs to
be flushed, and
2) If the water needs to be replaced?
Also, how likely is #1 vs. #2?
Here's some background:
Home: Finished in August 1996.
Location: (Washington) DC Metro (Northern Virginia) area
Heater: AO Smith 75 gallon natural gas
Finally, if someone could refer me (via email, remove the NO_SPAM) to a
plumber that worked on their heater with similar problem that did a
reasonable job, I'd really appreciate that.
Thanks in advance,