A lawsuit filed against two dip tube manufacturers and six water tank manufacturers could potentially be certified as a class action suit. The suit, Wheeler et al. vs. Perfection Corp., et al., was filed in March in Michigan. The two dip tube manufacturers are Apcom Inc. and Perfection Corp. The six water tank manufacturers are Smith Corp., American Water Heater Inc., Lochnivar Corp., Rheem Mfg. Co. Inc., State Industries Inc. and Bradford White Corp.

The lawsuit charges that polypropylene dip tubes are subject to breakdown, deterioration and dissolution. The dip tubes, which deteriorate into a gel-like substance or plastic particles, may mix with hot water supplied throughout the household, potentially damaging appliances and infiltrating household plumbing systems. The polypropylene dip tubes were installed in hot water heaters sold and distributed throughout the country since approximately 1993.

Michigan’s Attorney General Jennifer Granholm alleged that Perfection Corp. produced more than 23 million dip tubes between 1993-1996 that are subject to breakdown inside the water tank. She also alleged that the companies knew of the problems with dip tubes but did not reasonably disclose the nature of the problem to consumers and to an extent engaged in a silent warranty program for complaining consumers. The deterioration, breakdown and dissolution of the dip tube within the hot water heater may cause:

  • Dip tube particles mixing with the household water supply.
  • Costs associated with the replacement of the hot water heater.
  • Costs associated with the flushing or cleaning of the water supply system, including the hot water distribution system.
  • Costs associated with replacing and repairing damaged aerators, filters and screens connected to the water supply plumbing system.
  • Costs associated with replacement and repair of damage to appliances, including faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines.