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Old 09-08-2011, 11:37 AM   #15
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Wow.. 10 gallons is a lot. I would think MOST of the lime deposits would be at the bottom of the tank. There is a very inexpensive device designed for flushing the HWH by, I believe, Camco, and it comes with an on/off ball valve on it.

Open the HWH relief valve to relieve pressure (turn off heater) and remove the drain plug. Flush the heater with the wand.. turning and moving in/out so it blasts all the walls of the HWH. You should get lots of crud flowing out. When the water coming out looks pretty clear, drain and pour in the vinegar and let it sit for 4-6 hours.. or overnight. You likely won't need more than 1 gallon. Heating the vinegar while in the HWH may get the molecules working faster on the deposits but it's not really necessary.

Remove the drain plug again and go thru the flushing process. You may have to do this a 2nd time if you have a lot of buildup.. but, likely not. Fill with fresh water.. you can fill to overflow and let it run out or simply put the flushing wand back on the hose.. you just want to dilute the vinegar after it's done it's magic so it doesn't affect the taste of the water.. I happen to like the taste of vinegar.. but not as a regular thing in my water system.. although.. if it's just in the HW system.. that could be good.. it's good for the hair when washing.. good cleanser in general.

That's all there is to it. If you have an sacrificial anode in it.. check it closely. Not worth sticking an old one back unless it's pretty sound. Some HWH's don't use an anode.. like my Atwood.

Good luck..

Bill Splaine, Santa Rosa, CA N6GHG
2016 Winnebago Vista LX 30T, Recumbent trikes, Brewing, Woodcarving and Ukulele
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:42 AM   #16
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Here's a pic of my version of the tool that KIX described. I happened to have some 1/4" copper water line left from an automatic ice maker project so all it took was the proper plumbing fittings to go from a water hose connection to the copper.

I just used a pair of pliers to bend and crimp the end to make it spray. These are also available from Camping World in a plastic version. My theory has always been if I could buy it for $5, I could probably make it myself for $10. Anyway, this works for me.

About the vinegar quantity, I think I would flush well first and then if I thought it still needed more, I would start with a gallon, let it sit and then flush again. Ten gallons of vinegar is a lot and would be my very last resort.
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Denny, Connie & Shadow (former barn cat made good)
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:06 AM   #17
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Great advice.... Thanks

Jack & Maggie
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