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Old 05-15-2016, 09:04 AM   #1
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Atwood 6 gal hot water heater

My manual light Atwood 6 gal, water heater in my 71 was installed new 9 years ago. Using it for the first time this season this weekend initially I would get a good supply of hat water which would soon diminish to a trickle of warm to cool water in the bathroom and the kitchen. The plumbing has been drained and winterized every year. Also, with initial start up this year I had a lot of blackish water come out of the faucets.

I am looking for ideas about what is going on and solutions with the following thoughts:

1. The problem may be lime build up in the hot water tank which initially lets water pass but then blocks the outlet. Would draining the heater and adding couple of gallons of vinegar help to dissolve the lime?

2. The heater has reached the end of it's useful life and should be replaced?

I am looking forward to your thoughts suggestions and ideas, Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:37 AM   #2
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bump.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:14 AM   #3
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Maybe a bad mixing valve?


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Old 05-16-2016, 10:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Maybe a bad mixing valve?


Superat stultitia.
What is a "mixing valve" and where is it located? Thanks
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:43 PM   #5
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It is my understanding that many trailer water heaters have "mixing valves" that mix cold water with the very hot water produced by RV water heaters that extends hot water capacity.

I don't know much about them, except that they are widely used in RVs.

It seems more logical to me that one of these may be more likely to become blocked than the heater itself.




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Old 05-16-2016, 05:54 PM   #6
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I had a similar issue this year when de-winterizing. I had black water come out of my faucets on the first time I used them. Did this for probably 15 minutes, and it was accompanied by a smell that I choose not to describe. I am wondering if there was a sediment in the hot water tank that needs to be cleaned out, and sitting for the winter it molded until I started using the tank. Have you used one of the wands for cleaning the how water heater tank? It could be that is clogging your lines and just needs to be flushed out? I didn't try to clean it out as the water eventually ran clear and the smell went away. I will likely run a bleach solution through the system at sometime when I get a chance to do some maintenance on the trailer.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:42 PM   #7
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Marshal, is the cold water also decreasing in quantity and pressure, or just hot? This happened in ours several years ago, and it turned out there was a bunch of crap stuck in the area of the pressure regulator. I finally had to replace it. The black stuff was little pieces of rotted blockage material.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:37 AM   #8
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I just replaced my 1973 Atwood tank with a new tank with electric. Was not really expensive and I use electric most of the time. Spent more time re-wiring than replacing the tank. Was way cheaper than a new heater. Have to be a DIY for this, however.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:58 AM   #9
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I attended a municipalities convention in New Jersey where a water authority explained that the black stuff forming around spigots and faucets is manganese. Mostly it comes from the untreated water from private wells. Because it’s microscopic while it’s free flowing its not toxic. What you’re seeing is the build up of oxidized manganese. I’m not comfortable with the water connection in my AS to the toilet but that’s another place where manganese builds up. http://www.atsenvironmental.com/resi...list/manganese

Using vinegar in a coffee maker is advisable because the heating element is a narrow tube positioned after the storage tank. It takes three rinses with clear water minimum to clear the tank and coil after the vinegar has passed through. With a water heater, the tank is after the heating coil leaving a large volume for the vinegar to coat. You will need many rinses to get that vinegar smell and residue out of the hot water holding tank.
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:28 PM   #10
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Marshal, is the cold water also decreasing in quantity and pressure, or just hot? This happened in ours several years ago, and it turned out there was a bunch of crap stuck in the area of the pressure regulator. I finally had to replace it. The black stuff was little pieces of rotted blockage material.
Only the hot water is affected.
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