Water heater dip tube replacement may be necessary if you purchased a hot water heater between 1993 and 1996. The water heater dip tube is a tube that runs from your cold water supply line to the bottom of your water heater tank. This is important because it prevents the incoming cold water from mixing with the warm water at the top of you water heater tank.
Without a properly functioning hot water heater dip tube, you will experience a cold or lukewarm shower once your water heater begins to refill the tank from the cold water supply line.
The most common reason for water heater dip tube problems comes from a manufacturing problem between 1993 and 1996. One manufacturer supplied 90 per cent of the dip tubes to the market during those years and many of those units now have a broken dip tube. There are two sources of concern if you have a broken water heater dip tube. Aside from the cold or lukewarm showers, the dip tube is slowly breaking down and small bits of plastic are entering your pipes.
If you want to know how to replace a dip tube in a hot water heater you should think about your options first. Keep in mind that your water heater is now at least ten years old and is probably at or near the end of its lifespan. Before going through all the work of replacing your dip tube (keep in mind that a large portion of the tube may not be able to be removed and small bits of plastic will continue entering your water supply) you may want to replace your hot water heater with a new model.
Consult with a professional plumber before you make your final decision, however, it is also important to note that newer hot water heater models are more energy efficient than those from ten to fifteen years ago.