The web address is
I'm sorry to hear of your son's bad health.
The dip tube problem has been around a while.
I have not heard of health problems related to it.
I would never recommend cooking with water from a water heater though in any case.
Below is some information from the Rheem water heater site.
Heating water releases existing gases or air dissolved in the water.. Water naturally contains dissolved
gasses such as oxygen, chlorine, carbon dioxide.. At a given pressure, such as a normal 40 PSI household, the
amount of gas that water can hold is less as the temperature increased. This is exactly what happens inside a water
heater. With a normal household pressure, the water is heated releasing the gas and causing the faucet to �spit�
when there is a hot water draw. One of the common occurrences may be a complaint of �milky water� from the
tap. Allowing the water to stand for several minutes will allow the bubbles to rise into the atmosphere and the
water will turn clear. The analogy is to boil a pot of water. As the cold water is heated, air bubbles form on the
side of the pot. These air bubbles are the gasses formed by the application of heat to the water. The same thing
happens, on a smaller scale, inside a water heater.
Hot water is more corrosive than cold water. Water is a universal solvent and will naturally corrode (or
dissolve) most materials. This corrosion is nothing more than a chemical reaction (steel + water + oxygen = rust).
Chemical reactions are usually accelerated with the application of heat. This is also true of corrosion reactions in
hot water. The rate of corrosion approximately doubles from 140� F to 160� F; and doubles again from 160� F to
Hard water is found in more than 85% of the United States. Water hardness is due to the presence of two
dissolved minerals - calcium and magnesium. So common are these two minerals in water that practically no
supply can be found that does not contain at least one or two grains per gallon. Mineral concentrations may be
expressed as grains per gallon or parts per million. When you have high levels of calcium and magnesium in your
water more scrubbing power and more detergent is required to clean and wash clothing. The following are some of
the tell-tale signs of hard water:
Difficult to remove soap scum on tubs, showers, basins and faucet fixtures.
Reduced sudsing and cleaning capabilities of some soaps and detergents.
Scale build up around faucet fixtures and on the inside of a water heater
Scale build up is one of the most serious problems caused by hard water mineral deposits. These deposits,
commonly called lime build up, may clog water pipes, collect in the bottom of water heaters and collect on
electrical heating elements immersed inside the water heater. The build up on the electrical heating elements will
insulate the elements and reduce their efficiency. Eventually, the elements will fail. If this sediment is allowed to
remain in the tank, it will gradually sink to the bottom where it will harden into an insoluble scale. This will lead
to a reduction in the efficiency of the gas water heater, clogging of the drain valve and may lead to eventual tank
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas present in some waters. There is never any doubt when it is present due to
its offensive ��rotten egg� odor in concentrations as low as one part per million. Hydrogen sulfide is present in the
incoming cold water supply and normally found only in ground water. There are several preconditions that must
be present before the odor becomes noticeable. First, there must be a moderate to high sulfate content in the water
supply. This is most common in well water . The water supply to the home lacks sufficiently high chlorine to kill
the bacteria. The water heater is allowed to stand (stagnate) for as little as 8-12 hours. Finally, the occurrence of
this odor is more prevalent in water softener systems that use an ion exchange process to remove calcium and
magnesium and substitute sodium. This favorable condition is enhanced with the application of heat, such as in a
hot water heater. The smell is most noticeable with the first hot water draw in the morning or maybe when you get
home from work.
Iron is a common element in nature. It is not surprising that most surface or ground water contains some
iron. Natural iron usually occurs as an insoluble oxide, but the ground water recharge process collects iron in a
soluble form that is dissolved in water. At concentrations of 0.3 parts per million or greater, iron can produce
brown or red stains on plumbing fixtures, laundry or masonry surfaces. In higher concentrations, it can produce an
unpleasant metallic taste in the water. Iron can also produce favorable conditions for the growth of �iron bacteria�.
Left untreated, these bacteria results in a jelly-like slimy mass. This mass can cause clogged pipes and filter
screens and produce a foul tasting water. Other indications of the presence of iron are:
At levels above 0.3 PPM, water drawn from a faucet appears clear, but when allowed to stand takes on a
Water appears rusty or has a red or yellow color when drawn from a faucet.
Slimy brown or red film in plumbing fixtures, especially inside a toilet tank.
Manganese is rarely found alone in a water source, but is usually paired with iron. At concentrations of
0.05 parts per million, manganese can cause black staining of fixtures, laundry or masonry. Deposits of
manganese can collect in plumbing systems and produce a dark brown or black sediment and black turbidity
You may have been entitled to receive benefits as a Class Member under the Federal Class Action settlement, relating to the deterioration of dip tubes in water heaters approved by the federal district court In Kansas City, Missouri on May 1, 2000.
According to the Order of Final Approval of the Settlement by the United States District Court, the claims under the settlement had to be filed by December 31,2000. This deadline was agreed to by all parties and approved by a federal judge.
As a result of the settlement Rheem Manufacturing and its subsidiaries cannot accept, or consider any claims regarding defective dip tubes.
Requests for information, about claims made prior to December 31, 2000 or applications for benefits, must be addressed through:
The Class Action Administrator
PO Box 9338