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How to Replace Your Water Heater’s Dip Tube

How to Replace your Water Heaters Dip Tube

If your hot water is lukewarm or not as hot as it used to be it may be because your dip tube is broken. The dip tube is a plastic pipe that travels from the cold water inlet down to the bottom of the tank. The purpose of the dip tub is to deposit the cold water coming in to the tank at the bottom, where it is heated. As the water is heated it rises to the top where it exits the tank through the hot water outlet.

When there is a break or a crack in the dip tube the cold water entering the tank mixes with the hot water at the top, causing a loss of hot water. The process of examining and changing the dip tube is relatively simple. However, if you are at all unsure about performing this maintenance it is in your best interest to call a professional plumber.

Step One: Before performing any maintenance on your water heater always ensure that the power is turned off. If you have an electric water heater go to your circuit breaker panel and turn off the breaker for your water heater. If you have a gas water heater, locate the on/off dial on your water heater and turn it to “off”.

Step Two: Next you will need to shut off the cold water supply to your water heater. The cold water shut-off valve is usually located just above the water heater. Close this valve before performing any maintenance or repairs.

Step Three: Drain a few gallons of water from the tank through the drain valve in order to clear any remaining water from the hot water pipes that are above the level of the top of the tank.

Step Four: To remove the dip tube you’re going to have to cut the pipe between the cold water shut off valve and the water heater. To do this you’ll need a tubing cutter. Tighten the tubing cutter around the pipe and then start to rotate it around the pipe, tightening it as you go until the pipe is completely cut. Be prepared for some water to come out of the pipe once it’s removed. It won’t be a lot, but have some rags handy to clean it up.

Step Five: Use a pipe wrench to remove the remaining pipe from the dip tube, and then the dip tube itself. If you find your dip is in good condition then your water heater may be suffering from another problem. If, however, it is heavily corroded and missing large chunks then this is likely the source of your problem.

Step 6: Take the new dip tube and wrap all the threads with Teflon tape. Put the dip tube into the water heater and replace the piping.

Step 7: Open the cold water supply to refill the hot water tank and then turn the power back on.

Do you still have questions about how to replace your water heater’s dip tube? Try watching the following video.

Is your water heater leaking? Then watch this video!