Nat. Gas 40gal; A.O. Smith vs. Bradford White, both are similar in cost
including installation. i currently have a A.O.Smith 40gal installed in
Feb'94 but the dip tube fell apart and has been causing problems for a
couple years now and the T&P valve leaks from time to time. serviceman came
out yesterday and said the unit itself looks to be in great shape and the
burner is working perfectly as well as the thermostat. he recommended to
replace the dip tube and T&P valve, flush out the waterheater (he seemed to
think this should give me at least another 6-8 years of excellent efficient
use) and the hot water lines leading thru the house to get rid of anything
that might have collected in the line fromthe deteriorated dip tube. the
repair will cost $500.00 and the new waterheaters are $750.00. if my
soldering experience was better i'd put in a new water heater myself but i
don't wanna thake that chance, IMO there are times when some things are
better left up tot he pros.
thanks for any input...
Why not give it a go yorrself. T&P valve is about a $10 part. Not sure on
dip tup but well under $100 for sure. A wrench and a half an hour your done.
Flushing lines is draining and refilling tank and removing airtator screens
from faucets and letting the water run for a while. $500 is probably a fair
price for having a pro do it but I certainly wouldn't pay that knowing that
parts would be less than $100 total and I could do it in under 1/2 hour.
I know a pastor who had a faulty pressure relief valve. The valve was
plumbed to a drain that ran under floor. All he knew was that the floor was
hot and it wasn't normally. Tile fllor on slab construction. The plumber
told him he would have to jack hammer up the tile and the concrete to "fix
the leak" in the hot water pipe in the slab. This was right after one of the
FL hurricaines. All the trades were charging big $$$. I was doing emergency
relief work, this pastor was coordinating volunteers. I fixed the water
heater for about $7 in about 10 minutes with no jackhammer. It took me
longer to explain to the pastor what the problem was and to get the part at
Lowes than it did to fix it. Whats the point of my story? Not sure. It
seemed like a weird thing to be fixing when there were hundreds of people
without roofs, houses destroyed, etc. If I didn't fix it he would have paid
out the nose to a hack and wouldn't have been able to focus on his
responsibilities as a pastor in a disaster area. So, I guess my point is,
fix it yourself if you can, have the plumber do it if you have better uses
of your time and money.
my water heater is in my basement and the ceiling is only 84" (7'). the top
of the water heater is 57" off the floor leaving only 27" of free space.
the way i understand a dip tube is that (it is not rigid and semi-flexible)
it runs to almost the bottom of the tank. it's 45" from top of tank to
drain. so unless the dip tube is less than 35" (to fit between the joist to
the subfloor) the water heater has to be tilted to give me more clearance,
plus i thought the dip tube was directly under the cold water supply, which
would need to be cut to get the dip tube out.
the plumbing supply service said the dip tube is between 36"and 42".
looks like i'll be going w/ a new heater unless i can find someone who can
solder, besides the cold water supply line is soldered to the nipple that
would let the dip tube out, unless ther e is a coupling i'm missing.
The thing we are talking about, I think, is an anode rod. They are not
connected to the cold water supply. Just look for a big nut on top of the
tank. Unscrew it, out will come the rod. Thats what needs replaced. You can
bend the old one if need be to get it out. They make new ones that are like
a blind persons folding cane so you can get them in there w/o tipping the
If you DIY this is a very easy, no soldering required, project that would
cost you probably close to $30. It will breath some life into you water
heater and let you spend the $$ else where. I think it wold be a waste to
get a new heater just ecause you need a new rod and valve.
I doubt you need a dip tube.
it's the dip tube....it's been falling apart for years now. there was a big
problem w/ heaters made in time i had mine installed and i misssd out on all
the class action stuff to have it repaired and taken care of. so i guess
it'll be a new Bradford White for us.
On 1/7/2005 1:46 PM US(ET), No took fingers to keys, and typed the
No, they are talking about the dip tube, a plastic pipe that directs the
cold water inlet to the bottom of the water heater, so it doesn't cool
off the hot water at the top of the tank. They used to be made of a
metallic material, but now they use plastic pipe. Some earlier plastic
pipe was manufactured with materials that disintegrated when exposed to
the hot water for long periods.
When they disintegrated, or broke off completely in the tank, small
particles clogged the faucet/showerhead/appliance screens and the hot
water wasn't that hot because the cold water was no lnger being directed
to the bottom of the tank and was mixing with the hot water in the top
of the tank, cooling it off.
Ah, OK. Dip tube, I know what it is, I would just expect an anode rod to go
first. replacing dip tube would be a bit harder and probably require some
soldering. Personally, I would still have at it. OP may not be as
There are two ways a dip tube is installed, one is the drop in method where
the shoulder of the dip tube is directly below the cold inlet and you just
wedge a stick into the hole and work it out or the other kind they roll over
the edge and you just take a 7/8 hole saw knock off the edge and then
proceed as in the earlier case.
As far as his overhead clearance goes, the dip tube is plastic it might very
well flex around enough to pop in.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
On 1/7/2005 4:08 PM US(ET), No took fingers to keys, and typed the
It would be a real adventure if the old tube had broken into larger
pieces. There's no way they would come out of the drain valve during a
flush of the tank. They may also get stuck in the drain valve preventing
the closure of the valve. Even if not, the pieces would continue to
disintegrate and pass through the water lines to clog the faucet
screens. At least, the water would be hot with a new dip tube, but the
faucet screens would require regular cleaning to allow the hot water to
run from the faucets.
Best to just change the whole tank.
You don't need to know how to solder anymore. They now have a copper
assembly where you cut the existing pipe at a convenient place, screw
the new assembly onto your cold WH inlet, slide the compression fitting
over the cut pipe, tighten, and you're all done. It is corrigated to
bend into the shape you need also. Available where you buy water
get out...a flexible copper line?! i guess it looks like the flex. stainless
gas lines. i never heard of that. it sounds like something i might be able
to deal with.
thanks for the info.
Wow!. When you get someone to put the new heater in, make
sure they fix the cold and hot water lines so that the tank
installs with flexible copper pipe, unless, for some silly
reason your building code requires solid connections. I
can't imagine soldering a cold water line directly to the
tank coupling. Gotta be plumbers insurance that they make
money. If it were mine, I wouldn't care what the local code
says, I would cut the supply and hot water pipes and solder
threaded couplings so I could use flexible pipe between the
supply lines and the tank. But I understand your reluctance
to do the soldering.
(Flame lock, Whirlpool)are priced thus:
6 yr warranty $228
9 yr warranty $298
12 yr warranty $348
A few years back someone told me that the actual tanks used on the
different water heaters were the same and that the extra money was only
buying a longer warranty. I then called Bradford White and they
confirmed that this was true. There are two dip tube designs that I
know of. The cheapo is just a straight tube that goes to the bottom of
the tank. A better design is one that goes to the bottom and then makes
a 90 deg. turn for a few inches. It creates a swirling action that
keeps the sediment stirred up and not settling in the tank bottom.
Also, soldering is not rocket science. Buy a few practice pieces of
copper to play with and then go for it
I think you are missing something here. $500 was the price quoted for
removing and replacing the dip tube, not the installed price of a new unit.
If a licenced plumber took more than 1/2 hour from arrival to invoice to
swap out a dip tube I would be suprised.
I would expect something in the order of $50-$75 for the trip charge, and
1/2 an hour labor at the prevaling rate. (prob. $100 to $150 per hour.)
A dip tube is a piecr of plastic tubing 5 feet long or less with a flare on
one end. If you charge the customer twice what it cost you that should
still be less than $40.
So even if the OP was in a high overhead area, the price should be $200 or
I think you missed the post. Id point it out but you seem to have
clipped the original and Im not going to look it up.
Yes, $500 for a water heater diptube is ridiculous. I never said it
wasnt. He had said $500 for a water heater installed was too high. Its
Now are we clear?
No he isn't clear, because that is not what I said. The op
said the cost for repair was $500 and the cost of a new
heater was $750, but didn't indicate that that include
But enough of this, you aren't believable and you don't pay
attention to what people say. Your only argument is Ad
Hominem and you have an obvious anger and envy problem. If
you aren't just a troll, I suggest you get clinical help. I
can recommend a few for your type of problem if you wish.
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