Drain your Hot Water Heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-21-2003, 08:17 PM   #1
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Drain your Hot Water Heater

I just spent 1/2 of Saturday draining and cleaning my hot water heater. I have had a rotten egg smell developing in my hot water for a few weeks. A quick flush and it was fine all weekend.But next time another flush was required. I decided to replace my Anode and drain any sludge. I got almost 2 cups of calcified crud out, I had pieces the size of my thumb, and a ton of flakes. Some of the crud smelled like sulpher and was black/brown, I am guessing former owner did not have clean water and let it sit a lot. After ai drained it and held my hand over the opening with the water on to build up a spout several times. I used a coathanger to somewhat clean/break up a lot more crud and flush it out with a highpressire water blaster. Put the new anode in with teflon tape on the threads and so far sweet smelling hot water. My anode may have been the original as it was completely gone down to the steel core rod. I hate to think what I have been baithing/doing dishes in for the last two years. I also put a piece of the crud in a cup of vinegar and it totally soffened and partly disolved by morning,I may fill my system with 6 or 8 gallons of Vinegar and let it sit a day or two and see what else floats out.Any one else tried this or have a better idea?
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Old 07-21-2003, 08:54 PM   #2
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I did the vinegar thing once - it works well for calcium buildup.

I was having problems with my hot water system a while back. It turned out to be the $7 check valve on the bottom (cold) water connector to my hot water tank – but on to the vinegar.

Before I figured out my real problem, I also found a tank loaded with a bunch of calcium looking chunks when I replaced the anode, and thought my tank outflow might have been calcified or something (I was really guessing and out on a limb)

I put 3 gallons of white vinegar along with 3 gallons of water in my hot water tank and brought it up to temp for several hours. Of course when I bled the water lines some of the vinegar water and smell came out of the taps. It smelled like a pickle factory while I was cooking up my vinegar mixture in my hot water heater. It smelled even better when I drained the tank. :crazy-ii

I went down to Home Depot and bought a water hose to ¼” copper line fitting and some copper tubing to make a “tank washer” as described on one of the other RV sites. (Actually I told the guy at Home Depot what I was doing and he steered me toward the correct parts.)

The vinegar could not have fixed my broken valve, but the combination of the vinegar bath and the flushing with high pressure water from the little copper tube washer sure cleaned up my hot water tank.

From what I could see with my fiber optic flashlight thingie (read that as bore light for you shooters) I had cleaned the tank down to the ceramic liner. No more white calcium stuff at all. The water smelled like vinegar until I used a baking soda solution to freshen up the smell.

If you are just wanting to clean out the sediment – it did a heck of a job on mine. With a new anode and the actual broken valve replaced, I was back in the hot water business.

I have become a firm believer in draining the hot water tank and washing it out every few trips now.
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Old 07-21-2003, 09:32 PM   #3
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Mark:
Appreciate the feedback. I never thought about using my fiber optic thingie to look in there, works great on my 45 ACP other thingie. I'll try it and load up on the salad makings for a total cleanout. I wonder if we used Blue Cheeze dressing instead of vinegar if we would get the same results?:crazy-ii
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:38 PM   #4
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LOL!
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Old 07-25-2003, 12:30 AM   #5
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OH, man, that poor guy who bought my motorhome is probably upset. I drained my hot tank every winter, but that was about it. and change an anode??? I didn't know I had one. Hope I never meet that guy face to face. :wak.

Mark could you put some type of location in your profile? We kind of like knowing which area of the world your from. :)
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Old 07-29-2003, 08:45 AM   #6
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Suburban water heaters have anode rods

Atwood water heaters don't.

Each manufacturer builds the hot water holding tank out of different materials ... which is why one uses an anode rod and the other doesn't.
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Old 07-29-2003, 04:44 PM   #7
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Charles
Thanks for that tid bit.I didn't know that.Now I know why I don't have one.:wave
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