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Old 09-13-2017, 09:41 AM   #15
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I devised a long 1" clear hose attached to the drain plug. Hold above tank level, fill the tank with 6 gallons of vinegar. Heat tank through 2 cycles, drain. Flush with water using Camco wand. I do this annually.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:15 AM   #16
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Not sure I follow your second thought, but are you saying to hook up a short length of hose to the male end of the PRV, open the valve and pour vinegar in the other end of the hose ?

Fred,
Not what I was thinking but I think you may have another solution. I put the hose on the drain plug port just for flushing. I was able to remove the TPV
Valve and pour it in from the top. Since you're having a hard time getting the TPV valve out I don't see why you couldn't fill it from the bottom through a hose held above the water heater. You'll have to open the TPV by lifting the lever so air can get out. Then close the drain and. TPV.
A 50/50 mix is sufficient but you can use full vinegar if you want.
Obviously you don't want water pressure going into the water heater while doing the filling part. The procedure I used was turn off water to the trailer, then opened a faucet to drain pressure from trailer lines, then I closed the WH inlet and outlet.. Drained the WH, filled it with 3 gal vinegar, then put the drain valve attachment on. Then I turned water on to the trailer and cracked the WH inlet to fill the WH while venting air until it was full. Then I cracked the WH outlet until there was just a tiny drip from a hot faucet.and then closed the WH inlet but left the outlet cracked( this keeps a path for pressure to escape without lifting the TPV). Then I turned thevpropane and electric heaters on for the tank and let it sit for 12 hours. Then I opened the WH inlet valve and flushed out from the drain valve attachment. (with my attachment installed the WH door stays open, not a big deal). I let the water run through the WH via the drain for a while then did some on off cycles to help flush. You can run a lot of water if you want to flush it out well then just turn off water to the trailer, replace the drain plug(use Teflon tape), turn water back on to the trailer. Open WH inlets and outlets and you'll be good to go.

Make sure when you're draining and refilling the propane and electric heaters are turned off. You don't want them coming on with no water filling the WH.

For normal seasonal use it's recommended annually, good fall or spring cleaning. If you do it in spring it can be done in conjunction with flushing out winterizing anti -freeze from the lines. Since I'm full time I do it every 6 months.

Stick with the regular vinegar usually says 4 or 5 percent acidity. There is cleaning vinegar sold at 6 percent acidity but this makes it 20 percent stronger and may be to much.

Hope this helps
Joe
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:43 AM   #17
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What Joe said
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:17 AM   #18
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If you have lime buildup (or suspect that you do) as a result of using "hard" water, then you likely have it all through the plumbing and not just in the water heater. Lime deposits are not smart. They can't decide, "Hey, I'm at the water heater! This looks like a good place to put down roots!" It's just that the water heater is the only place lime deposits are dangerous. I have only seen a (residential) water heater explode once from lime buildup in all of my 59 years, and that one time was 48 years ago, before temperature-pressure relief (TPR) valves were mandatory under ASME A112. So it's probably not that dangerous unless you have an old water heater with only a pressure relief valve instead of a TPR valve. Still, removing lime deposits is probably a good idea.

So, anyway, if you have lime buildup in the water heater and therefore throughout the fresh water system, the easy way to clean out the lime deposits is to simply used a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, and flush the whole fresh water system exactly the same way you do when you sanitize with bleach. That way you can remove lime deposits from your entire system, from the fresh tank to the shower head.

And if you don't get all of the vinegar out afterwards, don't worry. Your water will just taste like salad dressing for a little while!
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:13 PM   #19
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You get much more calcium precipitate/scale in thecwstervheatervthan thevpipes because heating water causes the calcium to precipitate, which occurs in the water heater.
Doing a whole system flush doesn't hurt but you will find less scale in the pipes. But over many years it can build up. More in metal pipes than plastic pipes.

Explanation below.

The type found deposited on the heating elements of water heaters has a main component of calcium carbonate. Hard water contains calcium (and often magnesium) bicarbonate or similar ions. Calcium salts, such as calcium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate are both more soluble in hot water than cold water. Thus, heating water does not cause calcium carbonate to precipitate per se. However, there is an equilibrium between dissolved calcium bicarbonate and dissolved calcium carbonate:

Ca2+ + 2HCO3− ⇋ Ca2+ + CO32− + CO2 + H2O

where the equilibrium is driven by the carbonate/bicarbonate, not the calcium. Note that the CO2 is dissolved in the water.

There is also an equilibrium of carbon dioxide between dissolved in water (dis) and the gaseous state (g): CO2(dis) ⇋ CO2(g)

The equilibrium of CO2 also moves to the right towards gaseous CO2 when the water temperature rises. When water that contains dissolved calcium carbonate is warmed, CO2 is removed from the water as gas causing the equilibrium of bicarbonate and carbonate to shift to the right, increasing the concentration of dissolved carbonate. As the concentration of carbonate increases, calcium carbonate precipitates as the salt: Ca2+ + CO32− ⇋ CaCO3.

As new cold water with dissolved calcium carbonate/bicarbonate is added and heated, CO2 gas is removed, carbonate concentration increases, and more calcium carbonate precipitates.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:43 PM   #20
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Eh, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the precipitate? Sorry, couldn't resist a nerd joke...
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
Explanation below.

The type found deposited on the heating elements of water heaters has a main component of calcium carbonate. Hard water contains calcium (and often magnesium) bicarbonate or similar ions. Calcium salts, such as calcium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate are both more soluble in hot water than cold water. Thus, heating water does not cause calcium carbonate to precipitate per se. However, there is an equilibrium between dissolved calcium bicarbonate and dissolved calcium carbonate:

Ca2+ + 2HCO3− ⇋ Ca2+ + CO32− + CO2 + H2O

where the equilibrium is driven by the carbonate/bicarbonate, not the calcium. Note that the CO2 is dissolved in the water.

There is also an equilibrium of carbon dioxide between dissolved in water (dis) and the gaseous state (g): CO2(dis) ⇋ CO2(g)

The equilibrium of CO2 also moves to the right towards gaseous CO2 when the water temperature rises. When water that contains dissolved calcium carbonate is warmed, CO2 is removed from the water as gas causing the equilibrium of bicarbonate and carbonate to shift to the right, increasing the concentration of dissolved carbonate. As the concentration of carbonate increases, calcium carbonate precipitates as the salt: Ca2+ + CO32− ⇋ CaCO3.

As new cold water with dissolved calcium carbonate/bicarbonate is added and heated, CO2 gas is removed, carbonate concentration increases, and more calcium carbonate precipitates.
That's why I'm an engineer and not a chemist…
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:45 AM   #22
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That's why I'm an engineer and not a chemist…
Me too but I stayed at a holiday inn express last night.

I'm usually the precipitate pointing out the problem, so I guess they also makes me part of the problem as well.
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