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Old 03-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
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Grit in water pipes

I seem to be having a problem with "grit" in my water pipes. It keeps clogging up the filters on the shower and faucets for the sinks. I clean the filters and it runs find for a short period. Appears to me to be from the sediment in the hot water heater but not positive. Anyone have any knowledge of this, and if so how to resolve it. If it's hot water heater is there a good way to flush it out? If it is sediment then is there a way to completely purge the system and get the sediment out?
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
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Yer gonna hafta flush everything out. Pop the drain plug out of your water heater and just let it run.

Do you have a whole house filter, and have your changed it?

are youu running campground water, or outa your tank?
Do you have a filter on your input hose?
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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In addition to draining the water heater, you should flush with Camco RV - Water Heater Tank Rinser - 11691 - Water Heaters - Camping World.

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Old 03-25-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. We have changed the filter, flushed out the tank at least 7 times and still there. I just ordered the Water Tank Rinser so we'll try that. Ideally I'm thinking about some sort of low level vacuum that could be snaked down to the bottom of the tank and suck the sediment out. Any other ideas?
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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If this "grit' is white, it could be a buildup of calcium/lime. I had this problem once. What I did is used CLR (Calcium Lime Rust) and pumped it to all water outlets, then let it set over night.

The next day I flushed, flushed flushed. Hate the thought of ever drinking that stuff. Anyway, I did monitor the first flush closely at each faucet. It was scary what came out.

After that, the flows were better and all faucets worked very smoothly. One could probably just use vinegar, I just knew mine was bad and wanted to get it done the first time.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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I would second the vote on calcium and lime. You need to get a water softener and use it with hard water. The lime will build up in the restricted passages such as faucet aerators and anti-backflow valves. This calcium and lime will not be eliminated by a water filter.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mjwest View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. We have changed the filter, flushed out the tank at least 7 times and still there. I just ordered the Water Tank Rinser so we'll try that. Ideally I'm thinking about some sort of low level vacuum that could be snaked down to the bottom of the tank and suck the sediment out. Any other ideas?
Follow this procedure and you should clear up your problem. You'll need the following items!

1. 4 or 5 gallons of white vinegar.

2. A liquid bulb pump (same one for filling kerosene heaters). Hard Ware Store

3. Syphon pick-up tube for your 12v water pump. RV Store

4. Tank cleaner extension for your water hose. RV Store

5. 3 ft. piece of 3/8" ID clear plastic hose. Hard Ware Store

Turn off the water to your unit. Close the Water Heater By-Pass Valve. Remove the tank drain plug and empty the tank. Place the 3/8" ID hose into your tank and syphon the remainder of water from you tank (approximately 1.5 gallons of water remains in the tank after it gravity drains). Remove the hose and use the liquid bulb pump to introduce enough white vinegar into the tank until it starts to overflow from the drain hole. Leave the vinegar set for several hours and preferably over night. Next unhook the water tube from your 12v pump and attach the syphon pick-up tube in it's place. Turn on your pump and pump vinegar to each faucet and ensure the vinegar flows from both hot and cold settings. Close your faucets and, like your tank, let them set for several hours, preferably over night. After letting the vinegar do its job insert the tank cleaner extension into the tank and completely flush with fresh water. This make take several minutes. Once you have clear water flowing from the drain hole remove the extension and install the drain plug. Remove screens from all internal faucets and set the handles for hot/cold water flow. Reconnect you 12v pump hose and turn on the main water to your unit. Let the water run until all lines are clear of sediment and vinegar. Open the hot water by-pass valve. The hot water will take a minute or so as it has to fill the hot water tank. You can take all faucet screens and place them in vinegar and they'll be like new and free of any lime deposits.

One last note. While you have the vinegar available and the main water turned off empty your toilet of any water. Pour 1/3 gal. of vinegar into the bowl and leave that set for several hours, even over night. This will remove all lime deposits from the ball/seal.

By using the vinegar you avoid introducing any harsh chemicals into your water system. The longer you leave the vinegar set the better the results.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:36 AM   #8
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Some water heaters have a "sacrificial anode" that corrodes before the fixtures. Check that too.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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You could just leave the filters out.

We don't drink our tap water and a bit of sand, or whatever it is, won't do you any harm.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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You might just take a jar and fill from the place you're getting your water and see if it's from there. Wells, especially near old abandoned mines, are famous for this. I stayed at a RV park in Umatilla, OR once where the owner neglected to tell me that the water was not drinkable (as per the city)...and it had these hundreds of small black aggregates floating around in it. One of those times I had used a jar before hooking up to water.

If we knew where the water comes from, and if the grit is black or white, we could give better, more applicable advice.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Some water heaters have a "sacrificial anode" that corrodes before the fixtures. Check that too.
If you have a Atwood water heater you do not need a anode rod only use in a Suburban.
All the following posts should help in cleaning grit from bottom of your tank.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:29 PM   #12
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Thanks to all. Think I resolved the problem. Although I can't be positive I think it stems from previous user not using a filter on his water inlet and it's resulted in buildup that would get into my pipes and clog up the filters to my sinks and shower.

I like to see practical solutions here so I'll post what I did and maybe it will help someone else. Purchased about 4 foot of 3/8" clear plastic tube. Duct taped it to the hose on my shop vac. Inserted a coat hanger (one of those thin white ones that are pretty flexible) into one end of the tube and pushed it far enough in the tube (so that it wouldn't punch anything inside the heater tank) so that I could make sharp turns/angles inside the heater. That allowed me to get into otherwise hard-to-reach areas. I filled the heater with water and then sucked the water & accumulated sludge/grit out. Probably had to repeat this process a dozen times. Ended up with about 2-3 pounds of grit that had accumulated in the hot water heater. Now to see if it works any better but at least I feel comfortable that despite everything else there won't be anything near the problem I was having. Total cost was less than $3.00.
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