Rheem Dielectric Union IUD Thingy

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by fullysprinklered, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    Ok, the last several Rheem water heaters I've installed have had this insert in the dielectric nipples. I didn't get the memo on this. Could be that it unexposes the water to the deadly Fe/Cu connection on the very ends of the nipples. Not sure. It does, however, totally prevent me from being able to screw on my copper female adapters onto the nips. I've started pulling them out and tossing them. What's the deal on these?
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    I think I need a picture. I haven't seen them yet.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I think you are talking about "heat traps".
     
  5. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    Sorry, I said Union. I meant nipple.
    No, not a heat trap. It's a little do-nothing insert with a baffle across it, maybe an inch and a half long, total. Separate from the plastic insert already in the nipple. I guess the folks at Rheem just put it there to piss me off.
     
  6. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    That is some sort of heat trap you are talking about, I normally throw them away too.
    because the seem to prevent a better seal with a flex copper connector.....
    no where I have seen that they say they are mandatory and have to be used..
    ..
     
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  7. Patrick Stewart

    Patrick Stewart New Member

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    Here are pics of the items I think this thread is about. I can't see that a straight plastic tube will act as a heat trap. If it does, I would be interested to learn how.

    Is this insert to the tube meant for shipping purposes (to prevent damage to the threads on the end of the pipes)?

    Does it separate the iron pipes that are part of the water heater from copper pipes that are usually attached to them and prevent a dielectric
    condition if there is also Teflon tape on the outside of the iron pipes?
    image1.jpeg image2.jpeg
     
  8. mliu

    mliu Active Member

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    Those are the heat trap inserts. They should have little round rubber flaps held in the grooves; the flaps hinder convection flow of water when there is no hot water demand.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know why they would be installed without the rubber flaps. In any case, they shouldn't interfere with the female pipe adapters.
     
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  9. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    They shouldn't but they do. Haven't seen a rubber flap on one yet.

    One more thing, I had trouble installing the Watts hot water recirculation pump a few weeks back. Kept leaking where it screws on to the nipple. Took it back off and found the little thingy still installed, so I removed it and the captive nut on the pump tightened right up, no leak.
     
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  10. mliu

    mliu Active Member

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    In what way are they interfering with the female adapter? Can you not thread it on? Or can you not thread it on deep enough to seal the threads?
     
  11. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    The female adapter wont thread on. I haven't tried to really force it, I mean hard, but it should go on there without all that.

    The female adapter that was on the water heater where I installed the Watts pump was crimp copper. Don't know if that makes any difference. Last guy managed to get it on there. I don't have that system.
     
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  12. mliu

    mliu Active Member

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    So it sounds like you're not able to get the threads to start engaging because the female adapter is getting hung up on the edge of the plastic. I'd just use a little more downward force to get it started.
     
  13. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    The threads wont engage because the female adapter is high centering on the plastic thing. I want to make sure I'm not crossthreading the connection, and I need to feel metal on metal to safely do that.
     
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    I would remove the heat trap that stands proud, preventing good thread contact. If you really want to keep the heat trap, extend the nipple with a coupler and another nipple. You can also use a coupler that is male on one end and female on the other like a street elbow.
     
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