Skip navigation

Proudly Serving Hamilton, OH Since 1973


Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

What Are These Little White Pieces of Plastic Coming from My Hot Water?

When you turn on a hot water tap in your home, you expect hot water and nothing else. That’s how it should be. So if you find that little white bits of plastic are appearing in your hot water, you may start to panic. But you don’t have to, for two reasons: 1) there’s an explanation for the problem and; 2) the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling can help with it.

The Dip Tube

If you have a tank hot water heater, your unit has a long tube inside that tank called the dip tube. This tube is attached directly to the cold water intake valve and runs the length of your tank to about 8” from the bottom of the tank. The purpose of the dip tube is to funnel the incoming cold water to the bottom of your hot water heater’s tank where it can be heated for use. Without the dip tube, the incoming cold water would mix with your heated water, causing the water in the tank to become tepid.

Manufacturing Problems During the 1990s

It isn’t unusual for an aging water heater to experience a broken dip tube, but during the 1990s, dip tubes were manufactured by a company that used a poor-quality plastic. This plastic disintegrated in the water, and the disintegrated pieces would eventually find their way into the flow of hot water. As such, small white pieces of plastic would flow out with the hot water.

How Do I Know If My Water Heater Is Affected?

The specific problem during the 1990s happened between 1993 and 1997. The best way to check if your water heater was manufactured during this time is to look at the serial number on your unit: if the last two digits are 93, 94, 95, 96 or 97, your hot water heater likely has this faulty dip tube.

Call Us for Replacement

If your hot water heater has this dip tube, not only are you at risk with this malfunction, your hot water heater in Oxford, OH is quite old and probably should be replaced. Just give us a call, and let our experts keep your hot water flowing efficiently!

Comments are closed.