Use PlasticLined Nipples To Keep Your Water Heater Corrosion And Rust Free

Steel will rust when it comes into contact with brass or copper. Hot and cold water lines on top of the water heater are often made out of brass or copper. The water heater's tank is made of steel. When they are connected together, the steel tank rusts and weakens while the brass or copper connections do not rust at all. Dielectric unions and plastic-lined nipples were invented to defeat this problem.

We will discuss plastic-lined nipples in this article. If your tank is installed with copper only pipe nipples touching the steel tank, you should replace them with plastic-lined nipples immediately. Don't panic though.

Unless your water heater is brand new and only a few months old, there won't be a damaging corrosion problem. If you are handy with plumbing, you can install gate valves on your hot and cold lines on top of your water heater. Install brass valves into plastic-lined nipples. This is better than installing directly into steel.

Don't attach copper or brass directly to steel or the steel will corrode and rust. Now you have the ability to turn the water on and off at the water heater. Heat traps can be used where the plastic-lined nipples are installed.

Hire a plumber to do this to increase the water heater's efficiency. Make sure adapters are attached to the copper plumbing. If the water heater has a combination anode rod inside, the plastic-lined nipple will still be important.

Now you can attach a plastic-lined nipple. If you have a curved dip tube installed inside your water heater, you will need a three inch long plastic-lined nipple as well. The easiest method of adding plastic-lined nipples if you have steel plumbing is as follows: The hot and cold lines both protrude from the wall near the water heater and can now have plastic-lined nipples attached to them. Attach to both of the hot and cold lines another set of plastic-lined nipples where the lines connect to the water heater.

Use copper flex-connectors to connect the hot line from the wall to the water heater and do the same for the cold line. Heat traps should be installed to your plumbing lines for increased heating efficiency and to keep the water in the lines warmer. Plastic-lined nipples may also be installed on the T&P valve. This keeps the T&P from getting any trapped water inside and allows it to flow out of the T&P for your safety. This can assist, but it isn't absolutely necessary.

Go to or contact for information on solar water heaters, tankless water heater, traditional tank-type water heaters, and water heater repair. I can set you up with the most qualified plumbing contractor in your area.

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