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Dip Tube Replacement on a Weil-Mclain Gold Plus 60

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HandyFS
HandyFS Member Posts: 108
I can use some help with a water heater and dip tube. Weil Mclain Gold 60 Indirect Water heater. This water heater sat for a while so I wanted to do a good empty/flush but when I went to drain it how the manual suggests, it didn't drain. I think this may be a Triangle Tube rebadged water heater from what I am reading on the web. The draining procedure is supposedly a siphon method where you crack open a hot faucet and then open the boiler drain on the cold inlet side connected to a tube to the ground that causes a siphon action to drain the tank empty. The tank will only drain out about 1-2 gallons of water before the siphon breaks. To confirm this, I put a pump on both the inlet and outlet and after about 1-2 gallons it quits. I also pumped air in and can confirm it must not have a dip tube going all the way down any longer.

The overall boiler works well, and this water heater is in good overall condition. Older, but seems like it has life left so I want to get a new dip tube installed. This will eventually get replaced in the next few years when a larger overhaul of the entire system is done, but for now I just want to get a dip tube back on and see how it does.

From what I gather, I may be able to use a universal dip tube that has a 3/4" nipple built into the dip tube and cut it to length. Or, I see there are universal inset dip tips that have a slightly fluted edge and an o-ring that may slide right into the existing setup and mate between the existing union.

Considering this is an older water heater, I would rather just slide in a universal inset tub if that is possible and leave the existing nipple as is. If that's not an option, I guess I'll have to remove the existing nipple completely. The idea of removing the existing nipple to replace with a new nipple and causing a possible leak there is what I'm hoping to avoid.

Dip Tubes:
3/4" nipple dip tube setup:
https://www.supplyhouse.com/Rheem-AP12933-3-4-Diameter-x-53-Long-Dip-Tube-w-3-4-NPT-Nipple

Inset style dip tube:
https://www.supplyhouse.com/AO-Smith-100108609-52-PEX-Dip-Tube-w-Gasket

The union on the cold water supply side is a bit crooked, not leaking, but it is taped up so I may end up changing that regardless. Seems to not have any dielectric issues currently. The old air vent was leaking so I swapped that out already.

What To Do?:
Should I remove the entire existing 3/4" nipple and replace it with a dip tube that has the new nipple built in? Or would an inset-style dip tube possibly drop in with a standard union setup to remove the need to touch the existing nipple? I can rework the cold supply side however I need (New Union, Re-sweat copper-etc). Any tips appreciated.

Here is a picture so you can see the setup. Looks standard and how the manual suggests for a common setup with the boiler drain on the cold supply side for siphoning/draining.

You guys are always so helpful, I appreciate everyone's knowledge and insight!


Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Is that a turbomax style water heater? I would get the part from Weil or the OEM.
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
    edited February 13
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    mattmia2 said:

    Is that a turbomax style water heater? I would get the part from Weil or the OEM.

    This is an older Weil Mclain Gold 60 indirect water heater. Almost sure its a Triangle Tube rebadge from what I've read online. Nothing fancy, just a steel tank in tank setup. Hoping I can get away with something universal if possible.

    Weil Mclain Gold 60
    https://www.weil-mclain.com/sites/default/files/field-file/indirect-fired-water-heater-manual_1.pdf
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Skimming the manual, it sort of implies the dip tube is optional. It is essentially a shell and tube HX.
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
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    mattmia2 said:

    Skimming the manual, it sort of implies the dip tube is optional. It is essentially a shell and tube HX.

    Thanks for taking the time to skim and share feedback. I dug around and took it as the dip tube on the pressure relief valve port is optional (Mandatory in Massachusetts), but the dip tube on the cold side is default and installed based on the sketch configuration. Assuming most of these older boilers had a dip tube, so that's what I'm going on, but I could be wrong.

    My goal here is to drain the entire boiler well, and then make sure its not running out of cold water too quickly the way water heaters with a broken dip tube typically do.

    Learning as I go though, so I'm open to everyone's suggestions and guidance.
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
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    A friend who does general maintenance work on apartment buildings told me the nipples are likely welded onto this unit, so its a flange type dip tube. That answers a lot, I guess I'll just go ahead and pull the cold water union and see if I find a full/partial/no dip tube and go from there.

    If anyone has experience with these specific indirect setups beyond what I have shared, please share some knowledge.
  • yellowdog
    yellowdog Member Posts: 157
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    Worst design ever. Never had any luck with the siphon method. We used to pump them out by putting a piece of 1/2" pex down the hot water outlet that had a hose adapter on the end of it. Hook that to a pump and drain the tank until we could tip them over to drain the rest.
    HandyFSrick in Alaska
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    mattmia2 said:

    Skimming the manual, it sort of implies the dip tube is optional. It is essentially a shell and tube HX.

    Not true, the dip tube in not optional and is the only way to drain the inner tank using the syphon method.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    HandyFS
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 13
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    633-900-120 . is the WM part number for the cold dip tube. it is inserted inside the nipple that is welded to the tank. it is welded to the tank because it passes thru the outer tank before it goes to the inner tank and therefore can not be removed. https://www.supplyhouse.com/Weil-Mclain-633-900-120-Dip-Tube-Kit-3-4-Includes-52-Dip-Tube-O-Rings-and-Instructions. This appears to be the same part for a Triangle tube water heater at a lower price point. Still overpriced for a piece of plastic tube and an O-ring

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Triangle-Tube-P3KITDT09-Dip-Tube-for-SMART-100-120



    I just wonder if one was a little handy and was able to get a piece of PEX tubing and heat the end a little then make it flare at the end, if that would work just fine for the time left on that tank?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    HandyFS
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
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    yellowdog said:

    Worst design ever. Never had any luck with the siphon method. We used to pump them out by putting a piece of 1/2" pex down the hot water outlet that had a hose adapter on the end of it. Hook that to a pump and drain the tank until we could tip them over to drain the rest.

    Great idea to get the tank drained out very low. Since I'll be using this tank, I guess I can drain it down that way, then drop a new dip tube in.

    mattmia2 said:

    Skimming the manual, it sort of implies the dip tube is optional. It is essentially a shell and tube HX.

    Not true, the dip tube in not optional and is the only way to drain the inner tank using the syphon method.
    All making sense now, definitely an oddball design. So in the dip tube on these models, I'm assuming they don't have holes drilled into them further up like some do to stop a siphoning effect? The original part is backordered, but I may be able to get the Triangle Tube part a bit sooner, which is much cheaper and identical. Or, I may get something universal. I suppose if a universal tube did have holes further up to stop siphoning on a regular setup, its no big deal if I don't intent to siphon/drain the tank frequently. Is using the OEM dip tube crucial? Hoping I can possibly use something universal and just get the job done.

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    I made an edit to my last comment: I just wonder if one was a little handy and was able to get a piece of PEX tubing and heat the end a little then make it flare at the end, if that would work just fine for the time left on that tank?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    HandyFS
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
    edited February 13
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    I just wonder if one was a little handy and was able to get a piece of PEX tubing and heat the end a little then make it flare at the end, if that would work just fine for the time left on that tank?

    Thanks Ed! You literally just posted what its taken me a while to figure out, thanks for confirming all of that! The Triangle Tube option seems definitely better than the WM one, but still will take a few weeks to receive unfortunately.

    Great DIY Idea. I was wondering if I could get a 1/2" or 3/4" piece of straight pex, heat it up, and use a flaring tool to get it to fit nicely. Assuming 1/2" may restrict the flow a little bit considering I probably cant get 3/4" pex to fit down the existing 3/4" nipple. Think it makes sense to drill a few holes going up the tube so more water can flow out quicker to replenish while the hot water is being used/drained? I realize that I can't then use the siphon action to empty it, but at this rate I could just pop the cold water union off and manually pump it out like YellowDog suggested. I wonder if I'll even need an o-ring if I can get it to seat nicely within the nipple edge. My DIY brain is going now!
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,297
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    Hi, Dip tubes that come in from the top of the tank usually have a small anti-syphon hole in them, to prevent a tank being inadvertently drained. Might the existing dip tube have this hole in it?

    Yours, Larry
    HandyFS
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    supplyhouse.com's backorder estimates are frequently much longer than the time it actually takes them to ship it.
    HandyFS
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    Don't think I would try the homemade pex dip tube method. I would think if you were running that tank around 150 with a mixing valve like a lot of people do, that tube might become a little too soft and maybe even float?
    I have put air pressure in through the hot side to blow them out, and then used a 3/8 pex tube down the relief valve hole to vacuum out the rest of the water. Yes it is a pain.
    Rick
    HandyFS
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
    edited February 14
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    Don't think I would try the homemade pex dip tube method. I would think if you were running that tank around 150 with a mixing valve like a lot of people do, that tube might become a little too soft and maybe even float?
    I have put air pressure in through the hot side to blow them out, and then used a 3/8 pex tube down the relief valve hole to vacuum out the rest of the water. Yes it is a pain.
    Rick

    Thanks for the input. Can you tell me more about how people use a mixing valve? and the common configuration and how they are placed in the system, and the type of device? Assuming it is an anti-scald type device so the water isn't too hot at the faucet? Mine is currently set up with cold water inlet, and hot water straight out to the sources. My boiler cycles between 170F-185F. Last I turned the water heater on, I set it to the lowest heat setting but the water was certainly very hot, but I haven't run it enough to do major emptying/refilling/reheating as the house isn't occupied yet. I guess I'll consider adding one in if its common and makes sense. Any tips appreciated on that.

    On the dip tube, I may order a similar inset type dip tube from a different manufacturer and see if I can make it work, or, I may have found a Triangle Tube from a different supplier that has it in stock. A premium cost, but I may just bite the bullet so I don't have to do the job twice.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    My old 1990's 120 gal "Solar Tank" that I use for storage fed by a tube in shell heat exchanger, lost it's plastic dip tube.

    So I took a length of 3/4" OD soft ACR copper and flared the end, IIRC no O ring was needed.
    Still working after some years.
    HandyFS
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    This is the easiest one to install as it doesn't require any major re-piping.
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Resideo-Braukmann-AMX300TLF-DirectConnect-Water-Heater-Kit-w-3-4-Mixing-Valve-8-SS-Corrugated-Hose-Connector-Lead-Free
    I'm not sure about the fact they are direct connect to the top of the tank, as the piping has a tendency to get hot when you are not using any water, which makes the mixing valve react a little wonky.
    A three way mixing valve piped below the top of the tank will stop any heat migration from affecting the mixing valve, but it does require a lot more piping.
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Resideo-Braukmann-AM101-US-1LF-3-4-Sweat-Union-Mixing-Valve-LF
    With either mixing valve, what you do is run your tank at a hotter temperature, and the mixing valve will make it feel like the tank is a lot bigger than it is, which helps if you need to fill a tub.
    Rick
    HandyFS
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    The stuff that is "out of stock" at supplyhouse.com frequently comes in a lot faster than the estimate, i think it is just stuff they have to get from a distributor.
    HandyFS
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited February 14
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    Hi, Dip tubes that come in from the top of the tank usually have a small anti-syphon hole in them, to prevent a tank being inadvertently drained. Might the existing dip tube have this hole in it?

    Yours, Larry

    The design of this DHW is a tank within a tank. the inner tank is the potable water. there is no drain valve at the bottom. The instructions for draining is to use the dip tube as the syphon with a boiler drain attached to the cold inlet between the cold shut off, and the tank. So that dip-tube does not have an anti-syphon hole.

    And I just though or something... What about a 40" long piece of 5/8" OD copper with a flare on the end so it can't drop inside the 3/4" nipple at the top. then you can drill two or three 3/16" holes at the top of the tube to let a little cold water in near the top with the majority of the cold being introduced at the bottom. Try to drill the holes on a 45° down and place the holes away from the hot outlet. Copper won't overheat and bend as @rick in Alaska indicated. Just a thought for the short term ( a few years or until the correct over priced part arrives.)
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    HandyFSLarry Weingarten
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
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    This is the easiest one to install as it doesn't require any major re-piping.
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Resideo-Braukmann-AMX300TLF-DirectConnect-Water-Heater-Kit-w-3-4-Mixing-Valve-8-SS-Corrugated-Hose-Connector-Lead-Free
    I'm not sure about the fact they are direct connect to the top of the tank, as the piping has a tendency to get hot when you are not using any water, which makes the mixing valve react a little wonky.
    A three way mixing valve piped below the top of the tank will stop any heat migration from affecting the mixing valve, but it does require a lot more piping.
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Resideo-Braukmann-AM101-US-1LF-3-4-Sweat-Union-Mixing-Valve-LF
    With either mixing valve, what you do is run your tank at a hotter temperature, and the mixing valve will make it feel like the tank is a lot bigger than it is, which helps if you need to fill a tub.
    Rick

    Thanks Rick, all makes a lot more sense now with all the info you shared. I suppose I don't mind reworking the plumbing a bit if necessary to minimize the chance of these causing issues directly on the nipples out of the water heater. I have copper stemming out but it then turns over to pex at some point. I think I'll get the system back up and running and see just how hot the water ends up being at the tap after the waters been heating a while, then during a shower, or after a ton is taken out as the water is recovering. If its scalding at the tap, I'll know I definitely need to work one of these in.
  • HandyFS
    HandyFS Member Posts: 108
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    mattmia2 said:

    The stuff that is "out of stock" at supplyhouse.com frequently comes in a lot faster than the estimate, i think it is just stuff they have to get from a distributor.

    I think you are right. I've ordered a few things that came sooner than they estimated, Other times the items sit in an unknown state and I had to cancel and choose something else since they said they weren't putting an order in with a particular supplier for quite some time. I am trying to figure out if something they have in stock might work, so I may give it a go if I can confirm the end configuration with their support.

    Hi, Dip tubes that come in from the top of the tank usually have a small anti-syphon hole in them, to prevent a tank being inadvertently drained. Might the existing dip tube have this hole in it?

    Yours, Larry

    The design of this DHW is a tank within a tank. the inner tank is the potable water. there is no drain valve at the bottom. The instructions for draining is to use the dip tube as the syphon with a boiler drain attached to the cold inlet between the cold shut off, and the tank. So that dip-tube does not have an anti-syphon hole.

    And I just though or something... What about a 40" long piece of 5/8" OD copper with a flare on the end so it can't drop inside the 3/4" nipple at the top. then you can drill two or three 3/16" holes at the top of the tube to let a little cold water in near the top with the majority of the cold being introduced at the bottom. Try to drill the holes on a 45° down and place the holes away from the hot outlet. Copper won't overheat and bend as @rick in Alaska indicated. Just a thought for the short term ( a few years or until the correct over priced part arrives.)
    Good idea on the 5/8" copper. If I can't find a suitable competitor dip tube at a reasonable price, or can't get the Triangle Tube one that is cheaper, I'll be on the hardcore DIY trail, and a copper pipe with a fluted edge seems like it may be the perfect fix to hold me over to get the last bit of life from this unit. I'll keep you all posted how I make out as I go through the paces in the next few days/weeks.
  • Lyle {pheloa} Carter
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    If the tank is working well and properly then chances are the tube is not broken. It's just not a very good seal between the tube and the connection welded to the top of the tank. I've never been able to get these tanks to siphon, I've always had to pump them down or siphon with a piece of half inch pex. However, I have seen a few of these diptues that have failed. But when they have failed, the indirect runs out of hot water very quickly..
    HandyFS