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Jacuzzi Tankless | J-SP180F

Jacuzzi gas Tankless hot water heater

RON HAZELTON:
You know, folks are always saying to me, “Ron, everything always goes so smoothly on the show, it's never like that when I take on a home improvement project.” Well, I can tell you, as a homeowner and a do it yourself guy, I'm not immune from the kind of surprises that are a part of just about any home improvement project.

As an example, I want to tell you about something that happened to me the other day. It all began when I came into the kitchen and turned on this faucet. Instead of a nice, smooth, bubbly stream of water, I got a lot of spitting and sputtering. I've seen this before. It almost always means debris is clogging the faucet aerator. So I unscrewed the device, disassembled it and sure enough, I found small white bits of material which I carefully picked out.

Then I washed the aerator thoroughly and replaced it. But a few days later, the sputtering was back. Then I went to take a shower up here in the master bathroom, but there was practically nothing coming out. So I unscrewed the shower head, took a look inside and found more of that same debris that had clogged my kitchen faucet.

Then my washing machine stopped working. It wasn't getting any water. I unscrewed the hose and, sure enough, you guessed it. Well, it seemed like it was time for a little research. I got on my computer and did some poking around. So my online research has led me to believe that the culprit in all this might be right there, in the form of something called sediment.

Now sediment can collect in a water heater from dirt, sand or minerals that are suspended in the water supply. Over time, these deposits can build up quite an accumulation on the bottom of the tank, cutting down on burner efficiency.

Incoming water can stir up the sediment and send it to faucets, aerators, shower heads, dishwashers, clothes washing machines, and any other water-using appliance in the house.

The online advice I'd gotten said I should flush my water heater and instructed me to turn my gas valve to the “pilot” position, connect a hose to the spigot at the bottom of my water heater, shut off the incoming cold water, open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house, and then twist open the spigot on the water heater.

Sure enough, out came the water, and with it, quite a bit of what looked like sand and more of those curious white chips that I'd found clogging up my plumbing fixtures. It looked almost like fragments of plastic. I was baffled. So it was back online for some more research.

To my surprise and amazement, I discovered that back in the mid '90s, some water heater manufacturers had unknowingly installed defective plastic tubes called “dip tubes” in thousands of water heaters. Over time, these tubes could disintegrate. It appeared that my unit was one of those affected. So I decided to take out my dip tube, inspect it and replace it if necessary.

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