The dip tube -- it has an odd sounding name, and many people aren't aware of its existence in their water heater. But if you've been getting less hot water than you'd like, this little guy could possibly be the culprit. If you've ever looked at a water heater, you'll see that the cold-water inlet and hot-water outlet pipes are both located on the top of the tank. When a hot-water faucet is opened in the house, hot water sitting at the top of the tank exits through the hot-water outlet. Cold water flows into the tank to replace the hot water that's leaving, providing both pressure to push the hot water out and a fresh supply of cold water for heating. However, if the cold water simply entered the tank at the top, right next to the outgoing hot water, it would mix with the hot water and quickly cool it back down. To prevent that, water heaters utilize a dip tube, which is simply a long plastic tube inside the tank. It sits directly below the cold-water inlet pipe, and extends ...
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