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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > How do I clean out the hot water heater?

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harper223

West Texas

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Posted: 08/07/12 01:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm talking mineral deposits and build up. Can I use CLR? Or would just adding an anode rod do it?


"Whatever is good to know, is difficult to to learn."

BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 08/07/12 01:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RVs supply place nearby?
They make small wands to connect to the end of a water hose. Stick it in the anode hole and it sends a high pressure stream of water to flush out the tank. I use mine each year to clean the crud out of the bottom of the tank. That is the only cleaning I do.
Or you can order one from Camping World. They are cheap.
flush wand

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 08/07/12 01:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a smaller diamater sized garden hose (or something like that), cut the end of about about 18 inches to 2 feet from the end that connects to the water source or another hose.

Remove the plug and/or anode rod from your water heater, turn the water spiggot on for the garden hose and shove the cut end of the hose into the hole. Move it around and it will blast out the water tank. The calcium build up will flush out the hole. No need to buy a fancy wand if you've got something laying around the house.

I use an old hose that came off the back of the washing machine. The diameter is perfect for inserting in the water heater hole.

I don't think you want to put any chemicals in your water heater. It just too hard to rinse out.


DutchmenSport

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I am now the proud owner of an Equal-i-zer WD hitch, 14,000 pounds. My Reese bit the dust after more than 10 years of use on 3 trailers!


Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 08/07/12 01:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a Suburban brand..then the anode rod is necessary to prevent the tank from corroding.

If you have an Atwood brand.......no anode rod.

Regardless the tank needs to be flushed occasionally.
You can use a wand thru drain hole.
You can turn water supply on with drain plug removed....although a wand can be directed up & around.

IF you have large scaling problem......
drain tank & then put drain plug back in
remove pressure/temperature relief valve.
Using a funnel.......pour 4 gallons of white vinegar into tank
Reinstall press/temp valve.
turn on water supply slowly and hold press/temp relief valve open
when water comes out PRV.....let PRV snap close
turn on water heater.....let it heat/cool thru 4 cycles (use electric and/or gas)
Then drain/flush tank thru drain hole.


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JJBIRISH

Butler, PA, USA

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Posted: 08/07/12 02:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best thing is to drain and flush it more often so it don’t get to bad… I do mine 4 times a year by removing the drain plug and opening the supply line… then I remove the relief valve and use a wand through the 2 openings… and a final flush through the drain valve and the supply line open…

If I have a lot of junk come out I would follow with what Old Biscuit said to do with the white vinegar…


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Artum Snowbird

Campbell River, B.C., Canada

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Posted: 08/07/12 02:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I fill mine up until it comes out of the relief valve, then remove the anode rod and into the stream I put a used toothbrush and swish it around inside. Almost all of the sediment will come out with the rush.

Use the relief valve as a tap... the water will gurgle out when it's closed if you have all the taps and everything closed inside the unit, but once you open that relief valve it shoots out a stream about five or six feet.


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Lalair

Oregon

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Posted: 08/13/12 05:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used CLR on an old aluminum fresh water tank to clean out the sediment and buildup. The CLR did a lot better cleaning than the apple cider vinegar. After serval flushings of water, I decided not to use the tank anyway and replaced it with a brand new fresh water tank. Thats because my GF said she would never drink out of that tank after CLR cleaned it.

Since it is just a (aluminum) hot water tank, another aggresive cleaner is aluminum wheel cleaner that uses phosphoric acid (the same phos acid used in soda pop in small PPM). Just dont leave it in very long. Can test with ph paper after flushing to make sure it is decontaminated.

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 08/13/12 12:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lalair wrote:

I used CLR ... After serval flushings of water, I ... replaced it with a brand new fresh water tank. Thats because my GF said she would never drink out of that tank after CLR cleaned it...


Oh ... I agree 100% with your GF!

mobeewan

Hampton, Va

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Posted: 08/14/12 12:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CLR is recommended for cleaning automatic drip coffee makers so I don't think it will hurt you if you flush the water heater tank well after cleaning it with CLR.

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