This home has a water heater manufactured between 1993 and 1996. During this period many water heaters were fitted with a faulty dip tube during manufacturing.
A dip tube is a pipe that routes water coming into a gas or electric water heater toward the bottom of the tank. Perfection Corporation is the manufacturer of 90% of the dip tubes used in domestic water heaters. This includes the most popular brands like: State, A.O. Smith, and Rheem. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has not issued a recall because they did not find a safety concern with the failures.
When the dip tube fails, the amount of usable hot water may be significantly reduced and faucets may become clogged with plastic pieces of the failed tube. If the dip tube breaks off toward the top of the tank it improperly allows the cold water to discharge into the top portion of the tank rapidly cooling off the hot water. This can create a very short supply of hot water. In other cases, the problem is less pronounced and it may not be detected during a home inspection. A failed dip tube is repairable without a complete tank replacement and it may be covered under warranty provisions. Along with the dip tube replacement, it is very important that the tank be drained, the home’s interior supply lines flushed, and the faucet aerators cleaned.
- Dip Tube Specific Hot-Line Phone Numbers:
- A.O. Smith call 1-800-323-2636
- American Water Heater call 1-800-999-9515
- Bradford White call 1-800-531-2111
- Rheem, Ruud, Richmond call 1-800-621-5622
- State Industries call 1-800-821-2019
- Other water heaters – contact a knowledgeable plumber
I you experience a dip tube failure with your hot water heater, the repairs may require the services of an experienced plumber. Advantage Inspection Service offers Phoenix home inspection services for homes throughout the metro area.