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Thread: Do I need a dielectric union for my water heater?

  1. #1

    Default Do I need a dielectric union for my water heater?

    The nipples coming out of the water heater are galvanized with a blue plastic lining. Do I need to add a dielectric union?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    No. Those dielectric nipples provide all you need.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default unions

    Those nipples work the same as a dielectric union, which is to say not very good, or effective, in the first place.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Those nipples work the same as a dielectric union, which is to say not very good, or effective, in the first place.
    What would you recommend I do then? Should I just go with the nipples only? I have heard someone say they replace the galvanized nipple with brass. Is this the best thing to do?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Different metals in contact create what amounts to a battery...material moves from one electrode to the other chemically changing the two. This requires intimate contact and a means for the ions to migrate. There is a scale of reactivity. The further apart the two metals are, the higher the reactivity. Steel rusts all on its own. I'd probably pop some brass nipples in there and call it a day. Brass is between copper and iron, so it acts like a moderator and it won't rust all on its own, either.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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