Replacing plastic dip tube, almost no clearance

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by zhomes, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. zhomes

    zhomes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Any good way to change a plastic diptube when you have maybe 1 foot clearance over the water heater?

    I have a indirect tank that has been in service a few years. The mixing valve failed and I didnt like the fact that he original plumber ran some of the pipes so I tried to clean some stuff up. When I backed off the fitting on the cold side I realized the top of the orginal dip tube is all cracked. Looks like original plumbing hit it with a hammer. Problem I have is that there is only maybe 1 foot of headroom. I am not looking to move the water heater as the pipes that connect the tank to the boiler dont have any unions and they are next to impossible to access if I cut.


    Any good way to replace a dip tube with so little clearance?
  2. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Drain the tank, cut off the plumbing and tilt the tank so you have enough clearance.

    The alternative is to change the entire tank
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As Krow says, the alternative to tipping the tank is replacement, but you'd still have to drain and tip the tank to get it out so there really is not alternative. Good news is, this isn't really a terribly difficult thing to do.
  4. zhomes

    zhomes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    getting at the copper coming in the top is no problem.

    the problem is being an indirect tank I also have 2 pipes coming out the back that I have no way to get to.

    the problem is the water heater is in a corner with the boiler next to it. The tank must have been installed before the boiler with no thought that someone might need to get to the tank later....

    anyone make a dip tub that is flexible?
  5. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I have never seen a flexible dip tube. Never even heard of one
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You say you can't get to the pipes in the back? OK, let's forget about the dip tube for a second and pretend that the tank is rust out and leaking at the bottom. Now what will you do? Since the dip tube is shot, the tank is useless until the dip tube is replaced so you have the same problem you would have if you did have a leak. The tank has to come out. Once it is out, you first should deal with the screwed up plumbing then either install a new dip tube or a new tank. With the plumbing issue resolved, replacing the tank later would not be too difficult, so a new dip tube in this one would probably be a good move.
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Nothing a few sharkbites and some pex can't cure... LOL

    Seriously, That's a great idea... If you do have to move it to change the dip tube you might as well get it to where it's not a headache in the future...
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