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Old 09-19-2019, 01:39 PM   #1
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How to prevent calcium buildup in Hot Water Heater

We have a 2010 Winnebago Adventurer. We live in it full-time and travel to new campgrounds weekly. Our Atwood GCH10A-4E (no anode rod from what I can tell) hot water heater keeps failing to work due to being clogged by calcium deposits. Hubby has flushed/cleaned it out 3 times since April. Each time he has gotten lots of calcium out of the tank and that seems to work for a while. Then the cycle begins again.

How can this calcium buildup be avoided? Thanks in advance for your help!

Additional Note - We do use a water filter at the outside water valve.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:42 PM   #2
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Use a whole house water filter before enters RV....Home Depot and Lowes have them and not what I'd call expensive......
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:47 PM   #3
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"Hubby has flushed/cleaned it out 3 times since April. Each time he has gotten lots of calcium out of the tank and that seems to work for a while. Then the cycle begins again."


I have never flushed mine, except during and incident to winterization. Three times in six months??? That, my friend, is not calcium in solution in the water coming out of solution in your hwh. That is dirty water. If you have a filter, maybe that is what's coming apart and filling your hwh. If you do not have a filter, get one -- or three.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:51 PM   #4
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Thanks. We do use a water filter at the outside water valve.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
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Thanks. We do use a water filter at the outside water valve.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:32 PM   #6
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We have the same HWH as you do.

Flushing your HWH with white vinegar is a PM item. If you're FTing, flush twice a year without a water softener, once a year with one.

You need a water softener to remove calcium and magnesium from building up in the first place. Some places/CG's have very hard water and this is the way to address this problem. Adding a water softener was one of the best upgrades we've done. It not only will save your HWH but all your appliances, plumbing lines and water faucets.

I highly recommend an additional, 2 stage water filtering system o you can have safe, good tasting water throughout the entire coach. Addressing how safe water comes into the coach—in our world—is a top priority.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JanAndDougS View Post
Thanks. We do use a water filter at the outside water valve.
If it's one of those blue Camco filters or something similar it's not near enough. That's only a sedi filter and totally not adequate by itself and will not help at all in your calcium build up.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:04 PM   #8
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You would have to install a water softener to reduce the hardness of the water. An anode will help.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:21 PM   #9
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What model do you use of the On The Go water softener?

Jan

Quote:
Originally Posted by marjoa View Post
We have the same HWH as you do.

Flushing your HWH with white vinegar is a PM item. If you're FTing, flush twice a year without a water softener, once a year with one.

You need a water softener to remove calcium and magnesium from building up in the first place. Some places/CG's have very hard water and this is the way to address this problem. Adding a water softener was one of the best upgrades we've done. It not only will save your HWH but all your appliances, plumbing lines and water faucets.

I highly recommend an additional, 2 stage water filtering system o you can have safe, good tasting water throughout the entire coach. Addressing how safe water comes into the coach—in our world—is a top priority.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:14 PM   #10
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Use a filter but more important a water softener, and recharge it every couple of weeks.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:30 PM   #11
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Use a filter but more important a water softener, and recharge it every couple of weeks.
I used a 602ABC system for five years and don't load the coach without it. Mine is a 16,000 grain and it last about two weeks before a recharge, unless I am in southern AZ.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:57 AM   #12
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I used a 602ABC system for five years and don't load the coach without it. Mine is a 16,000 grain and it last about two weeks before a recharge, unless I am in southern AZ.
What is the recharge process? I understand how my home unit does it. How does the portable unit do its recharge without a dedicated salt tank?

I know I really need to get one. I just want to know what I'm getting into.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanAndDougS View Post
We have a 2010 Winnebago Adventurer. We live in it full-time and travel to new campgrounds weekly. Our Atwood GCH10A-4E (no anode rod from what I can tell) hot water heater keeps failing to work due to being clogged by calcium deposits. Hubby has flushed/cleaned it out 3 times since April. Each time he has gotten lots of calcium out of the tank and that seems to work for a while. Then the cycle begins again.

How can this calcium buildup be avoided? Thanks in advance for your help!

Additional Note - We do use a water filter at the outside water valve.

What do you mean by 'failing to work'??
Hot water flow stops, is restricted?
That is a clogged up check valve in hot outlet......get rid of that check valve
Only needed if you 'winterize' RV and as FTrs not happening.
Or install a shutoff vlave on hot out.


We FT'd for 7 yrs and other then an occasional drain/flush never had issues with 'failing to work' due to water quality.
But we didn't have a check valve in hot out to clog up/fail


Anode Rod........
Although they are avaialble via aftermarket they are NOT avaialble from Atwood because they are NOT needed/required or provide ANY benefit for an ALUMINUM Tank.
**Suburban MUST use because it is a STEEL Tank that will corode w/o an andoe rod and is OEM.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyMac View Post
What is the recharge process? I understand how my home unit does it. How does the portable unit do its recharge without a dedicated salt tank?

I know I really need to get one. I just want to know what I'm getting into.

Turn off water supply
Open top and pour 1 lb of table salt inside
Put top back on and let it soak
Then slow rinse and place back in service


Soak/rinse times dependent on size of unit
Roughly 1 hour start to finish for typical regen



Occasionally do a back flush to fluff the resin beads up
*Hook up water backwards and backflow full volume----gets rid of 'channelling'



Depending on water source and size of unit..regen every 10-14 days normal water usage 2 adults
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