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Old 01-20-2013, 10:54 AM   #1
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KZ RV Club
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 3
Sububan Hot Water Heater

During winterization a couple of weeks ago, a small piece of black plastic tubing (1/4" inside diameter, about three inches long and has a 45 degree bend at the mid point) was discharged out of the heater when the anode was removed. I sent a photo to my dealer and was told not to worry, it was just a piece of testing equipment that broke when KZ pressure tested/flushed the heater during the manufacturing build. It looks suspiciously like the cold water inlet tube that I found in a cut-away drawing of the Suburban 6 gal DSI water heater.

If it was installed by Suburban, during their manufacturing, I have to assume they thought it must be necessary. Anybody have any comments before I try again with my dealer? Or, should I try KZ directly? It appears that Suburban will only communicate directly with their dealers.

Thanks in advance


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Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,857
Plastic Parts

You're probably right. If it looks like it can be replaced and you can get to the inlet easily enough you might want to replace it. Otherwise if the heater still works the same as always don't worry about it.

It could have two purposes, to direct cold incoming water away from the outlet so you have hotter water longer, or to swirl the entire tank to prevent sediment buildup. Having seen the amount of sediment Suburbans get I think the first one is more likely.

I think I'd talk to the manufacturer at this point, or try a different RV shop.

If you replace the inlet you might want to replace the outlet, backflow valve (with a brass one) and the mixing valve (if you have one) while you're at it.

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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Location: Powell River, B.C.
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Ken, I could be wrong, but I doubt that Suburban would use a plastic piece, inside the water heater for a inlet tube; too easy for the part to be damaged by heat. Not 100% sure JMHO.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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Borrow, rent or buy a small inexpensive borescope. Slip it in the drain hole and you will be able to see if the cold water inlet tube is in place.

Most auto parts stores carry them as well as some home improvement stores.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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Location: Fresno, Kalifornia
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Residential water heaters have a plastic tube(dip tube) on the inlet side that runs the entire length of the heater to bring cold water to the bottom of the tank so as not to cool the already hot water in the tank. I would not discount the use of plastic inside the tank.
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heater, water

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