Dip tube removal

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DFBonnett

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I have an AO Smith nat gas 40 gal WH that is exhibiting the classic symptoms of a failed dip tube. The problem is that the top of the 3/4" nipple sits too low to get a good grip on it with a wrench. The nipple appears to have a bit of corrosion and might be difficult to remove without a good grip. Is there any problem with removing the top cover on the tank to expose more of it?
 

phishfood

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I would probably just replace the water heater.

BUT if you want to try to fix it, find an internal pipe wrench. Lock it inside the nipple, and try to turn the internal wrench at the same time that you are using a pipe wrench on the outside of the nipple.
 

DFBonnett

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I would probably just replace the water heater.

BUT if you want to try to fix it, find an internal pipe wrench. Lock it inside the nipple, and try to turn the internal wrench at the same time that you are using a pipe wrench on the outside of the nipple.
I may well replace it due to its age. It's a 10 year WH in its 12th year. It galls me to just chuck it as it still looks like it just came out of the box. As to removing the nipple, perhaps a vice grips locked on the lip then that turned with a big pipe wrench might do it. Removing the top cover for access is an option as just a dozen or so screws for the chimney and top are involved.
 

DFBonnett

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The dip tube is not on the top of the heater under that hex nut. It's on the cold side. Some heaters have it built into the nipple, some is just dropped in that port with nipple on top. At least that's what I am reading, is that you are looking at the hex nut on top?
http://www.chilipepperapp.com/images/Gheater.gif
Thank you for your input. The hex nut is the top of the anode, not the dip tube. The dip tube is accessed from the top of the WH through the cold inlet. The dip tubes on AO Smiths are flared on top and not part of the nipple. On some other brands it is integral.
Let me rephrase the questions. Since it will be hard to get a good grip on the nipple because it sits so low, will I be able to access it better if I remove the top cover? After 12 years, will the nipple be so corroded in that it will be impossible to remove?
 
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SHEPLMBR

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Thank you for your input. The hex nut is the top of the anode, not the dip tube. The dip tube is accessed from the top of the WH through the cold inlet. The dip tubes on AO Smiths are flared on top and not part of the nipple. On some other brands it is integral.
Let me rephrase the questions. Since it will be hard to get a good grip on the nipple because it sits so low, will I be able to access it better if I remove the top cover? After 12 years, will the nipple be so corroded in that it will be impossible to remove?
I have never known anyone to remove the top cover. Do you have pictures. Might help
 
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