Hot water heater plumbed in reverse

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by export!, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. export!

    export! DIY Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I always wondered if it was a big deal that my hot water heater was apparently plumbed backwards. The cold water entered into the HOT nipple. I just moved the unit and while replumbing it I took the liberty of correcting the apparent mistake.

    Haha. Now I think it truly is backwards and perhaps the original plumber swapped the dip tube so it matched the existing pipes better.

    When I run some hot water in the house, I can hear the new cold water "percolating" in. I can hear it apparently running in and splashing into the top of the water column. As I understand it, it should enter through the dip tube to the bottom. I do not recall hearing this before. At first I wrote it off to not being completely bled of air but now I'm wondering.

    Would that sound indicate that it's now backwards? I guess I can either replumb it -PITA - or switch the dip tube back to the marked COLD side. Is it a simple task to switch the tube? It is a John Wood (GSW) heater - made in Canada I do believe.

    Thanks again.

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    If it was properly connected in reverse, and you never had a problem with the quantity of hot water, then the dip tube was probably reversed. Once the tank is full you should not be able to hear water "splashing" into the tank regardless of where the dip tube is. The degree of difficulty changing it depends on what kind of tube it is.
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