State 510E Electric from 1991 – Duron?

The Tank State 510E Electric from 1991 – Duron?

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  • #14409
    skrol
    Participant

    Hi, I am a noob posting here but have been scouring the forums for information.

    I have a State 510E (Model PV 66 20RT 8 F) from 1991 that recently started spewing brown water. My immediate thought was, RUST! But thanks to this web site I determined that it was sediment by doing a flush. Still concerned about tank rust, I put a magnet in the sediment that came out. Nothing stuck to it, therefore, no rust.

    While I had the tank drained I thought I’d check a few other things, also thanks to this site.

    I was going to check the anode but there is no hex head on the top of my water heater. I even looked under a plastic cap on the top. I figured I’d pull the top heating element and inspect the tank and look for an anode. The tank looks pretty good from what I could see. I still did not see an anode. What I did see was the dip tube broken off and lying on the bottom. I am guessing that it has recently broken off and stirred up the sediment.

    I still have a little brown water when high demands are placed upon the water heater (bath, shower, laundry operating at the same time). I also start to run out of hot water more quickly due to the dip tube.

    I contacted State via email about the water heater and the lack of an anode. They said that I have a Duron tank and it does not have an anode? They invited me contact the parts department to order a new dip tube.

    Apparently some State Duron tanks had a lifetime warranty. However, I read that there was a class action settlement for the Duron units manufactured between 1994 and 2000. Mine was mfg Oct. 1991.

    Now I am stuck between repairing my unit or replacing it. It is 19 years old but if the tank is good then it makes sense to repair. Crystal Ball anyone?

    If I repair, what other item should I consider replacing: dip tube, heating elements (what type), nipples, other?

    How do I remove the old broken dip tube?

    Is it foolish to repair a 19 year old water heater?

    Thanks in advance,
    Stan

    #14410
    skrol
    Participant

    I just heard back from State regarding repair or replace. They said, “And yes sir, I would suggest to keep on replacing parts. We only suggest to replace the water heater if a leak occurs. But being a duron tank that could be a while because there is no corrosion factor.”

    It will be a pain to install the dip tube as there is insufficient clearance above the tank to slide it in. I will have to break the lines and tip the tank on its side. All the pipes are soldered copper. I figure I’ll at least install flexible copper so the job will be easier next time.

    By the way, the guy at HD showed me a flex hose that attaches directly to a copper pipe without solder. It is called “Shark Bite”. Anyone use it here?

    Thanks
    Stan

    #14417
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I’d find out if the Duron tank will take a normal dip tube. Does State/AO Smith plan on honoring its warranty? Sharkbite is a fairly new (in plumbing years) device that may be good, or if the seals don’t hold up, could be a nightmare. I’d want to solder a male adapter onto the copper and screw on a flex connector. … but that’s the “plumber guy who’s seen things fail” in me talking 😉

    Yours, Larry

    #14421
    skrol
    Participant

    I ordered the dip tube from State for $20. They couldn’t find a listing for a direct replacement but are sending me a 46″ ‘turbo’ dip tube. I assume this has the bend at the bottom (ie. self cleaning).

    I like of the idea of copper lines and am really leery of the Shark Bite. It also looks like it may add some restriction. I figure I’ll go with the bendable copper with the screw-on connector.

    Any ideas for getting the old dip tube out?

    Stan

    #14422
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Go to The Basics, and then Know-How for how to get it out of the port. If any has broken off, that is very hard to deal with. Almost impossible, in fact. If you drain the heater and take out the drain valve, you might be able to fish it off the bottom.

    Randy Schuyler

    #14423
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I’ll add that with your electric heater, you might be able to fish out the broken dip tube through the lower element port. It’s good to remove it as it can decompose and shed small bits of plastic which have been seen to clog up plumbing all over the house 😕

    Yours, Larry

    #14426
    skrol
    Participant

    Thanks for all the advice. This site and you all have been very helpful.

    My next question is regarding the heating elements. I had pulled the top one and it looked good and tested good. The gasket looks questionable. I didn’t pull the bottom since at the time I was figuring on replacing the water heater and didn’t want to disturb it since I need it to work a little while longer. Given that they are 19 years old, should I consider replacing them. They are 240V, 4500W, part # 9000095015 corrugated zinc-plated copper. Is there an upgrade that I should consider?
    Stan

    #14438
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: You don’t need (or want) to pull the elements to test them. Have a look in Tanklets to see how to test. If you find no leak to ground and have continuity between the screws, leave the element alone as it’s working. I’d replace the upper gasket and also put two turns of teflon tape on the threads and gasket before putting the element back in the heater. This will help it to snug up and seal bettter.

    Yours, Larry

    #14472
    skrol
    Participant

    State sent me a replacement dip tube (actually 2 dip tubes). The didn’t have a direct replacement and said that they would have to make one. The replacement is curved at the bottom (self cleaning).

    I have a question on the plastic lined nipples. HD has some heat blocking nipples that are supposed to stop (or reduce) heat loss through the pipes when the tank is sitting idle. They look like they have a check valve inside. HD also has the regular straight through lined nipples. Any recommendation?
    Thanks
    Stan

    #14474
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    If you have the room, you can accomplish the same thing by hooping copper flex lines and insulating to the top of the hoop. Check-valve nipples have been known to cause noise or stop flow of water out of the tank.

    Randy Schuyler

    #14514
    skrol
    Participant

    Thanks for the warning. I guess they will be going back to HD.

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