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Old 07-07-2016, 04:27 PM   #1
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Vinegar or CLR to clean tanks and Water heater?

I have never run vinegar through my fresh water tank or water heater, does anyone do this or CLR thru regularly?
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:35 PM   #2
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We use bleach. 1/4 cup for every 15 gallons of water. Our fresh water tank holds 60 gal.. So 60 divided by 15= 1 cup bleach. Mix the bleach in a pitcher of water then add to fresh water tank. Pump it through all your faucets, both hot and cold side. Don't forget the outside shower. Drive around a bit and I let it sit over night. Drain and flush the entire system till you can no longer smell bleach.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:03 PM   #3
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I wouldn't consider using CLR. Bleach in the property quantities is the proven method.
If you suspect scaling in the water heater then drain it, flush it out and replace the anode if it has one and is called for
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:49 PM   #4
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Vinegar is a great 'descaler' BUT takes GALLONS

EX: Vinegar soak for a 6 gallon water heater------4 gallons vinegar/2 gallons water then 4 heat cycles (heat to temp/cool repeat) This is in Atwood water heater manual for a means to remove sulfur smell due to bacteria/bad water

CLR is NOT recommended for use in water heaters by the MFGr.

Bleach is widely used to sanitize RV fresh water systems
1/4 cup bleach per 15 gallons water
Fill system with mixture.....let set for couple hours then drain/rinse
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:17 PM   #5
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I've used the vinegar/water treatment for my water heater mentioned above. For the flush, use a flush tool similar to Water Heater Tank Rinser - Camco 11691 - Water Heaters - Camping World

I was amazed at how much stuff came out of the water heater the first time I flushed. Flush before the vinegar treatment and then afterwards. I now flush the water heater on an annual basis.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:24 PM   #6
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The question is "Why?". If you think you have a hard water scale problem, either might work, though I would try the vinegar first. It's cheap and safe for potable water systems. CLR is a poison and it says right on the package "DO NOT INGEST!". You would need to exercise extreme caution to flush it out after wards.

But there should be no need for any such treatment unless maybe you spend all your time in an extreme hard water region. Even then, the most likely problem areas will be faucets and check valves. And you will be well aware of it!
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:28 PM   #7
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I have hard well water that I use filtered in the camper. When and if I have a clogged faucet aerator I will just clean it. I will be long dead before the calcium clogs the pipes in the camper. If the water heater has a buildup and smell I will add some bleach to the drain hole. Fill it up and wait several days before draining the tank to get rid of a funky smell in the hot water.

I see no reason to run vinegar through the fresh water tank. Bleach every year, yes.
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