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Old 05-12-2021, 12:51 PM   #1
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Calcium Build Up

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to beat back some of the calcium build up you get in your HWT and system. Is there an non toxic additive that can be pumped in the system?
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:07 PM   #2
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More frequent draining/flushing of WH Tank

Add a portable water softener or one of those non-salt treatment cylinders

What do you do at home for the hard water??

Water Supply source is critical.....hard water and heating it accumulates calcium/scale




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Old 05-12-2021, 01:24 PM   #3
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Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to beat back some of the calcium build up you get in your HWT and system. Is there an non toxic additive that can be pumped in the system?
I have a 6 gallon Atwood, and yesterday I removed the old TP valve and drain plug to drain it out, and could see some calcium buildup inside. I put the bottom plug back in, got three gallons of vinegar and poured it in the TP valve opening, then finished filling it up with water from the fresh water tank. Turned it on and left it on for 8 hours. When I went to bed last night I turned it off, and in a little while I'm going to drain it out and flush it with a Camco wand (I ordered one from Amazon yesterday, it should arrive in a little bit). Then fill it up and flush it again. Also put a new TP valve on.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:24 PM   #4
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I have a 6 gallon Atwood, and yesterday I removed the old TP valve and drain plug to drain it out, and could see some calcium buildup inside. I put the bottom plug back in, got three gallons of vinegar and poured it in the TP valve opening, then finished filling it up with water from the fresh water tank. Turned it on and left it on for 8 hours. When I went to bed last night I turned it off, and in a little while I'm going to drain it out and flush it with a Camco wand (I ordered one from Amazon yesterday, it should arrive in a little bit). Then fill it up and flush it again. Also put a new TP valve on.
Straight for the Atwood Manual.....except 2 gallons vinegar to 4 gallons water

As for that 'wand'.....
Drain hole is only 1/2"
With wand stuck thru hole it blocks most of it

Forget wand.......
With drain plug out turn on water supply full
Stand back as it will BLAST out the drain
*Cold inlet dip tube points downward...full water supply will stir up the bottom and force stuff out the wide open drain hole
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:23 PM   #5
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Straight for the Atwood Manual.....except 2 gallons vinegar to 4 gallons water

As for that 'wand'.....
Drain hole is only 1/2"
With wand stuck thru hole it blocks most of it

Forget wand.......
With drain plug out turn on water supply full
Stand back as it will BLAST out the drain
*Cold inlet dip tube points downward...full water supply will stir up the bottom and force stuff out the wide open drain hole
I did better than that. I forgot that I had the water pump turned on, and I absentmindedly went out in the afternoon and opened up the drain plug when there was pressure in the tank. Needless to say, I think everything got blown out of there really really quick, and my eyes were stinging a little bit from the vinegar, but I rinsed them out real quick and survived.

This seems to be how I always learn my lessons. Next time I will know to make sure the pump is off, and open up the hot water tap inside. A short while after the "vinegar explosion" the wand arrived, and I did go over the tank really well from the TP valve opening, and from the drain plug opening, it's actually pretty clean now. I refilled the tank, turned it on, and ran water through all of the hot water valves in the motorhome, and everything is good now.

I honestly wish I had video of it happening 😂
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:41 AM   #6
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I did better than that. I forgot that I had the water pump turned on, and I absentmindedly went out in the afternoon and opened up the drain plug when there was pressure in the tank. Needless to say, I think everything got blown out of there really really quick, and my eyes were stinging a little bit from the vinegar, but I rinsed them out real quick and survived.

This seems to be how I always learn my lessons. Next time I will know to make sure the pump is off, and open up the hot water tap inside. A short while after the "vinegar explosion" the wand arrived, and I did go over the tank really well from the TP valve opening, and from the drain plug opening, it's actually pretty clean now. I refilled the tank, turned it on, and ran water through all of the hot water valves in the motorhome, and everything is good now.

I honestly wish I had video of it happening 😂

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Old 05-13-2021, 10:44 AM   #7
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I recently put a security camera on the front of my house, I wish I'd had one on the back. It must have looked funnier than hell. It was like uncorking the world's biggest champagne bottle. I was unscrewing the drain plug by using 1/2 inch socket extension and a 15/16 socket, and standing out of the way, so there was no harm to me, it just was a nice diluted vinegar shower. Seriously,, I was just laughing my arse off. But I'll never do that again. Actually one reason I posted this was as a warning to others that may do boneheaded things, like I do on occasion. At least it was cool water, I had turned off the propane so I couldn't make the mistake of turning the water heater back on.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:28 PM   #8
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By the way here's a little something I did to the new TP valve. As it was, water just dumped out onto the burner pipe. I happened to have a brass 3/4" by 3/8" compression adapter, so I screwed that into the TP valve, put a short 3/8" stainless braid riser on it, and routed it so the water will exit under the burner pipe.
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the vinegar idea. I put in 3 gallons vinegar and filled HWT full with water. Turned water heater on for a full heat cycle, ran a little bit thru all my faucets and the shut down HWT and let it sit for 12 hrs. WOW, I cannot believe the difference in water flow. For the price of a little bit of vinegar it will be something to do at least once a yr. Thanks again.
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:59 PM   #10
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I'm glad it worked out for you, and you probably didn't uncork your hot water heater while it was under pressure like I did, I'll bet. As Old Biscuit said, it's really just what Atwood recommends.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:29 AM   #11
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Tap4154, this is a bit off the thread' topic, but have you had any issues after attaching the braided hose and running it under the burner pipe? Do the metals forever fuse together (as various drain plug threads have admitted), or is it a non-issue for the relief valve assembly?

I recently rebuilt and reinstalled our Atwood six gallon heater, but I realize I have the relief discharge aimed almost straight down onto the electrical connections. I could just risk breaking a watertight seal and wrench the valve discharge over a little more to the left, but if your ss braided hose idea works, it looks like just the ticket.

As a similar idea, I wish I could also do the same sort of thing for the drain plug opening, but I think the two metals in THAT coupling would without question fuse together.
I don't think I have clearance to install pvc or nylon pipe pieces (would they melt in that proximity to the burner??) to right-angle down under that gas pipe on the drain side, then right-angle again straight out under the pipe.
It seems a cool idea if I can figure it out
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Old 05-15-2021, 02:24 PM   #12
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i like your relief valve drain. think i'll do something in line with that. as far as your calcium build up, i would recommend an on-the-go- water softener for your intake water supply. if your hwt is filling with calcium, just think how all your water lines, shower head, and faucets look like. had ours for 5-6 years now and all is good.
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Old 05-23-2021, 05:31 PM   #13
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I honestly don't think the burner tube gets that hot in that area, however I did push it back so it's not even touching it anymore.

In a video I saw a guy had replaced the drain plug with a reducer, and put some kind of plastic drain line with a valve on it. Then he just tucked it up in there when he closed the door. After seeing how much pressure is in that thing with my little mishap, I think I'm just going to leave the drain plug as is. It's super easy to remove.
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