Where to buy a Dip Tube?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Agrajag, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Agrajag

    Agrajag New Member

    Messages:
    8
    In another thread it was determined, correctly, that I had one of the defective dip tubes in my 1997 Bradford White 80 gallon electric water heater (model number MI80R5DS13).

    I'm trying to stretch out the life of this a little longer. It's in great shape except for this problem.

    However, calls to all six of the major local plumbing supply stores in my area (including 3 Bradford White dealers) have resulted in no part. Each of them says I'm unlikely to find it in stock.

    Does anyone know a good source where I can find the right dip tube that won't be of the same material for this unit?
  2. mattbee24

    mattbee24 In the Trades

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Fremont, OH
    Honestly, all of those places should have had the dip tube. Really any plumbing shop carrying water heaters should have them. They are pretty universal, so brand really doesn't matter.
  3. Agrajag

    Agrajag New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Several said something about them not being able to stock them but having to order direct from the manufacturer. Totally confused.

    I think I found one on waterheaterrescue.com but it's also 3 times the price I've been seeing.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,385
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Unless there is something unique about the dip tube for your heater, I can not understand why you are having difficulty finding one. I believe dip tubes are generic. This is why there were so many problems in the mid 1990s with many brands of heaters having dip tube failures. They we all, or nearly all, made by one manufacturer. When I need one for my old Reliant, I just walked into Ace Hardware and picked one up. Now, I will point out that your old dip tube will continue to flake off small pieces, and you will have a reoccurring need to clean your faucet aerators and the hot water screen to your washer. The plus side is of course, you will get a lot more use out of your heater. Best advice I can offer is to keep looking.
  5. Agrajag

    Agrajag New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Oddly all of the 6 I called keep asking for the model number and then say, "No, I can't help there."

    I guess I should just ask if they have ANY of them.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    They may not have a parts list for one that old. If you can check out their website and get the number, they can probably help you out. Course, they should be able to without that.
  7. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    13 year old heater? Junk it. Why waste the money and effort on something that's likely to crap out anytime?
  8. Agrajag

    Agrajag New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Because I just got notified that my job is ending in a week so laying out several hundred dollars right now isn't, in my view, the best decision.

    I'd rather spend $10-$30, roll the dice a bit, and then replace it when I'm back working again.
  9. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    They're a 3 - 4 buck item at the big boxes.
  10. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Pull the drain cock off the bottom. Install a brass tee. Pipe the inlet to the tee. Plug the top inlet.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,034
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tube

    Forget about using a part number. Your supply houses must not be very good ones, because all of them around here have them. But, I just use a piece of 1/2" copper tubing with the end flared so it won't slide throught the connection and a hole drilled near the top to prevent siphonage.
  12. Agrajag

    Agrajag New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Options are good. I'll take it apart this weekend and use the brass tee and plan B. I'll just bring the current one to a few shops and see what they have available.

    For my own information what are "big boxes"?
  13. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    Isn't that often difficult to insert in a basement with a 7 foot ceiling?
  14. Remember,


    When you go to remove anything from a 13 year old water heater, meaning the aging connections at the ported openings, be advised that if there was any type of leaking at those threads, they'll be destroyed and installing new anything will be a risk to its own.



    RUGGED ~ "Tellin' it like its hometown proud"
  15. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
  16. If people only knew how inefficient a water heater is when it reaches 8-12 years with all the buildup and deposits at the bottom of the tank, it's like an 8 cylinder vehicle running on 4 with unburned gas roaring out the exhaust.

    But all they care about is that it doesn't leak, and it's producing hot water.


    Touche'
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,034
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tube

    The dip tube is NOT a code issue.
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