Gas and electric water heaters are comprised of few parts, but those parts are important to the operation of the appliance. One such part is the dip tube. Problems with the dip tube can cause your water heater to malfunction and leave you and your family without hot water. If you suspect that your dip tube is causing problems, here is what you need to know.
Why Is the Dip Tube Important?
The dip tube is responsible for moving the cold water from the top where it enters in some water heaters. The water is filtered to the bottom of the water heater where the burner is located. The tube is typically found in older water heaters. Newer heaters are designed with the entrance for the cold water at the bottom of the tank.
When the dip tube is malfunctioning, the cold water does not enter the bottom of the tank. The water instead mixes with the hot water in the tank. As a result, the water is lukewarm at best.
How Do You Know the Dip Tube Is to Blame?
There are other parts that can leave you without hot water. However, when the dip tube is to blame, there are some signs that are unique to the issue that you can use to diagnosis it. One of the most noticeable signs is that pieces of the tube will wind up in your water supply. You can drain the water heater into buckets and look for pieces of the tube.
To make the job of finding the pieces of the dip tube easier, place a screen or filter over the buckets as you get to the bottom of the tank. The pieces will be easier to find and analyze.
Is It Replaceable?
Unless you are in the market for a new water heater, the dip tube can be replaced. If you are planning to do this yourself, there are a few key things to remember.
You have to replace the dip tube with another one that is composed of plastic, but you can upgrade the type of plastic you are using. If you opt for a cross-linked polyethylene dip tube instead of the standard plastic tube, you can have a piece that is crack resistant and can handle the temperatures better. As a result, the tube will last longer.
You also have to remember to clean the filters on all of the faucets and spouts in your home. The plastic from the broken dip tube could still be in the pipes and get into your water supply.
Removing and replacing the dip tube takes experience. To avoid further damage to the water heater, contract with a professional to make this water-heater repair.
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