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Old 01-18-2014, 11:53 PM   #1
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Hot water tank cleaning

So so thanks to an old thread I just read here I believe my water heater is a Suburban water heater.
suburban water heater cleaning

This is what happened when I cleaned mine yesterday :

- Water heater was turned off since the night before
- Closed water from water well.
- Relieved pressure by opening a faucet.
- Forgot to tell girlfriend I was doing this (you'll find out why I mention this in a second)
- Started to remove the anode rod to empty the tank
- Got completely covered in white stuff and water as the rod shot out of the tank (girlfriend noticed water not coming out of sink so she turned on motor home pump creating pressure).

So I took a wire clothes hanger and kept scraping the white stuff out of the tank while I let the water pressure from my water well push everything out through the anode hole. I couldn't scrape hard enough since I didn't have much leverage so I'm sure it wasn't hard enough to damage anything in case the water heater has some kind of liner.

Attached are pictures of that white stuff which I now believe are lime/calcium deposits?

Since I don't have one of those water heater wands my plan is to just pour a few gallons of vinegar into my 100' water hose, connect the hose to the RV then turn on the water well. This will push the vinegar through everything and into the empty water heater tank. Once it's full leave it overnight and remove the anode again in the morning to let it all come out. Is there anything wrong with this idea?
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:42 AM   #2
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What about using CLR?
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:55 AM   #3
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If your just cleaning the tank shut off valve to fresh water tank if doing everything than fill tank and run vinegar through all plumbing.
A water wand would help use a high pressure washer on end of hose may help also.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:56 PM   #4
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Idea sounds fine, but these work SOOOOO well.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:00 AM   #5
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Found the water wand at Walmart less than 1/2 the price that eBay has it so I'll pick one up and try it in a few weeks when I'm working nights again.

Hadn't thought about CLR. When I did the search on this forum all I found was the vinegar so I'll go back now and search CLR to see what others have experienced.

Thanks to all.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:53 AM   #6
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I tried to take the anode out of my WH last summer and it don't budge at all. Any Suggestions? Its in my 82 PA and its a Standard WH. It works great but not sure how long its been since it was checked I have had it for 2 years and never tried to get it out till last summer. Suggestions?
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:27 AM   #7
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Penetrating oil. Spray it once a day for about a week, then try again.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:40 AM   #8
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You mentioned being on well water.. I'm sure you know that most wells are heavy in mineral deposists, thats where a lot of that white stuff is coming from. We are on a well here at home, and I try not to put that water in the rv,,, even though it is good water. I'll take it to town before a trip and use city water in the tank. Of course this may not be a option for you. Just remember you might want to clean out the water heater a couple/few times a year instead of once... And the DW uses vinegar to clean A Lot of things... Works pretty good... Monkey
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