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Old 12-03-2019, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default Never mess with a SMITH dip tube....




maybe everyone knows about this already but I did not and found out the hard way...... Smith dip tubes are extra special and you basically
have to have that exact replacement part....


I had a 2 year old SMith electric water heater leaking at the corroded nipple on top of the unit..... It has a brass mixing valve on it and it would not stop leaking no matter what I did.....

I cut the line thinking I would install a new dip tube on the heater but to my surprise and horror the stupid diptube nipple was over 6 inches long and buried deep down in about 5 inches of Styrofoam....

the dip tube I had only had about a 3 inch nipple on it..... so I was in trouble... with no supply house within 30 miles

I had that exact size dialectric nipple in my truck and it turned out that the plastic dip tube literally fit perfectly tight into the inside of that pipe.....so I basically made a dip tube by combining both together and ramming and glueing the plastic tube up into the bottom side of the nipple

I thought I had won and tried to put this all back together but the new tube was too large to go into the heater...... for some reason the dumbasses at SMIITH decided to make their dip tubes about 1/8 smaller than all normal dip tubes on the market....and they had a stopper built into the bottom of the threaded shank preventing anything bigger to go through the hole.

I had to take a long sharp chisel and literally nip away at the metal lip 6 inches down that was preventing me from getting that tube down into the heater......

I finally won for better or worse...... and put the whole thing back together.. I am pretty sure it did not damage the heater...

I have been carrying around my standard common sized dip tubes for probably 5 years in my truck and have never, ever needed one until I stumbled into this mess TODAY...
so this was a learning experience I dont want to repeat



https://photos.app.goo.gl/e9DzUnpWB5grM8W59




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Old 12-03-2019, 04:31 PM   #2
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Good to know! Thanks Mark! I hate how Smith does stuff like that....
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:56 AM   #3
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Back in April 1998 A.O. Smith and other WH manufactures purchased dip tubes from a manufacture that had a bad run of the plastic 1993 - 1997. The company I worked for were a rep for our area. There were disintegrating and the particles were plugging up aerators, dishwashers & washer. We do a lot of calls around my area. People had no idea. Many ended up having to repair or replace dishwashers & washers.

The news didn't really go public. If we were called we did a simple swap out and cleared aerators. The rest was on the home owner.

I ended up letting the local news know about it. That damaged caused should have been paid for by the manufacture if they submitted a claim.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:02 PM   #4
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I have a confession,
I have never changed a dip tube, in fact I rarely work on HWTs, unless it’s a swap out.
Then again, about 1/2 the residential water heaters in Toronto are rented from the gas companies.
$20-$30/month, which is crazy if you do the math, over the life time of the tank. They do not install or are responsible for mixing valves.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logtec View Post
I have a confession,
I have never changed a dip tube, in fact I rarely work on HWTs, unless it’s a swap out.
Then again, about 1/2 the residential water heaters in Toronto are rented from the gas companies.
$20-$30/month, which is crazy if you do the math, over the life time of the tank. They do not install or are responsible for mixing valves.

not crazy for the profits of the gas company..people are stupid, all they look at is whats the monthly cost, not the total cost, just give them a payment plan they can afford and you can rip them off with never ending payments...
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:46 PM   #6
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I never replaced a dip tube or anode and I probably never will do that because once you do you just purchased their problem, you just stepped into their forever frustration. For example customers will blame you if the smell comes back if you replace or remove the anode or blame you the water heater didn't last another 70 years.

They also presume you will now warranty their water heater. Another example, you replaced toilet tank bolts and notice it still leaks and see the porcelain is cracked. They blame you that you broke it. Same for kitchen P-traps, you fix something and the nut on the trap breaks they blame me. Never mind it so damn old and brittle. I got blamed last night and I almost went off on the guy.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logtec View Post
I have a confession,
I have never changed a dip tube, in fact I rarely work on HWTs, unless it’s a swap out. .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I never replaced a dip tube or anode and I probably never will do that because once you do you just purchased their problem, you just stepped into their forever frustration. For example customers will blame you if the smell comes back if you replace or remove the anode or blame you the water heater didn't last another 70 years.




We rarely change dip tubes too. Often the steel nipple or bung will be too rusted or brittle to handle a nipple change out. I have seen at least one where we took out the drain and added a tee and just connected the cold there. Then we capped the original cold connection at the copper. It's best to change the whole heater most of the time.





Quote:
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They also presume you will now warranty their water heater. Another example, you replaced toilet tank bolts and notice it still leaks and see the porcelain is cracked. They blame you that you broke it. Same for kitchen P-traps, you fix something and the nut on the trap breaks they blame me. Never mind it so damn old and brittle. I got blamed last night and I almost went off on the guy.



When I mess with trap/tubular piping under a sink I usually change everything between the bottom of the basket and the trap adapter. Often I change the basket too. I use the white poly tubular stuff. Chromed tubular brass is a thing of the past, it just don't last if it ain't cast. It doesn't have that good lead anymore which seems to help a lot with corrosion.


When I do use chromed tubular stuff it's from WB and I refuse to use the zinc nuts, only cast or machined nuts.



The WB sink baskets come with rough brass nuts on the bottom and often I don't use them because I use the poly stuff. So I have a bag of extra brass nuts for when someone needs just one.




Really it should all still be threaded cast brass traps


https://www.mcguiremfg.com/204csan-1-1/2-x-2-ips-204csan
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:46 PM   #8
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I once shut off a water heater and commenced changing dip tube... go to turn gas valve back on... thing wouldn't fire up... had to open fire box and clean the flame sensor..

You guys are so right look at the install date 6 years or older new tank...

And now with flammable vapor sensors there is like 5-6 different valves each has a sequence to reset and sometimes it dont work anyways...

Have a had a few times something leaks and trips out on flammable vapor have to screw around with too much effort.. another company I know just changes gas valve every time a flammable vapour trips out at over 5-600 bucks a shot

When we do installs usually Bradford white though or rheem... I prefer honeywell gas valves anyday over white Rodgers or whatever else out there
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Mark View Post



maybe everyone knows about this already but I did not and found out the hard way...... Smith dip tubes are extra special and you basically
have to have that exact replacement part....


I had a 2 year old SMith electric water heater leaking at the corroded nipple on top of the unit..... It has a brass mixing valve on it and it would not stop leaking no matter what I did.....

I cut the line thinking I would install a new dip tube on the heater but to my surprise and horror the stupid diptube nipple was over 6 inches long and buried deep down in about 5 inches of Styrofoam....

the dip tube I had only had about a 3 inch nipple on it..... so I was in trouble... with no supply house within 30 miles

I had that exact size dialectric nipple in my truck and it turned out that the plastic dip tube literally fit perfectly tight into the inside of that pipe.....so I basically made a dip tube by combining both together and ramming and glueing the plastic tube up into the bottom side of the nipple

I thought I had won and tried to put this all back together but the new tube was too large to go into the heater...... for some reason the dumbasses at SMIITH decided to make their dip tubes about 1/8 smaller than all normal dip tubes on the market....and they had a stopper built into the bottom of the threaded shank preventing anything bigger to go through the hole.

I had to take a long sharp chisel and literally nip away at the metal lip 6 inches down that was preventing me from getting that tube down into the heater......

I finally won for better or worse...... and put the whole thing back together.. I am pretty sure it did not damage the heater...

I have been carrying around my standard common sized dip tubes for probably 5 years in my truck and have never, ever needed one until I stumbled into this mess TODAY...
so this was a learning experience I dont want to repeat



https://photos.app.goo.gl/e9DzUnpWB5grM8W59




If I need a dip tube I use a piece of soft copper and use my flaring tool to slightly enlarge the head of the copper,seems to work everytime
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
If I need a dip tube I use a piece of soft copper and use my flaring tool to slightly enlarge the head of the copper,seems to work everytime



I have done that in the past too..... long, long ago... I dont carry a flaring tool around with me any more......

on another note,, the water heater got removed on friday afternoon due to other issues going on with it...

the homeowner got tired of fooling with it so it was all for nothing...
..
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