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Old 04-09-2017, 12:17 PM   #1
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Question hot water tank flush

Can I use a pressure washer on the lowest setting to flush out the debris in my Suburban hot water tank?
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:39 PM   #2
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Not sure that would be a good idea. Never did or hear of anyone else. I would be afraid the pressure washer would dislodge debris in flakes and unless you flush it all out might travel and cause other plumbing problems. I am just guessing. Debris is probably a lime accumulation. I would fill the hot water tank with a strong vinegar solution which would dissolve the lime. A little bit of lime is normal.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:45 PM   #3
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I'll be curious to see if somebody else on Air Forums has used a pressure washer to clean their water heater.

I don't know if it can be done without damaging the tank. Consider contacting Suburban and ask their advice. I'm guessing there are few if any people that use a pressure washer to clean out their water heater.

Why do you need to use a pressure washer? Have you tried a simpler, low-pressure approach? If so, did that method not work to your satisfaction? Is there actually a build-up in your tank that needs to be flushed to the degree that a pressure washer is necessary?

Consider inserting a small inspection camera into the tank to see if you have significant build-up before you accidentally blow out the tank with high pressure spray. Simple inspection cameras are available at Harbor Freight and similar places for under $50 - lots less expensive than the possibility of ruining a water heater.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:02 PM   #4
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There is also a wand type device that attaches to a garden hose. I think Camco makes it.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:52 PM   #5
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We use the Camco. five or six dollars. Plenty of power to do the job.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:21 PM   #6
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https://www.amazon.com/Camco-11691-W...s=rv+tank+wand
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:31 PM   #7
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Not sure that would be a good idea. Never did or hear of anyone else. I would be afraid the pressure washer would dislodge debris in flakes and unless you flush it all out might travel and cause other plumbing problems. I am just guessing. Debris is probably a lime accumulation. I would fill the hot water tank with a strong vinegar solution which would dissolve the lime. A little bit of lime is normal.

I like the idea of a vinegar solution. How do I get the vinegar solution into the tank?
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:24 AM   #8
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I like the idea of a vinegar solution. How do I get the vinegar solution into the tank?
Unscrew the pressure relief valve at the top and add the vinegar solution. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, then drain. Then fill and rinse a few times until no more crud comes out of the drain. You will have vinegar smell and taste to your hot water for a cycle or 2.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:18 AM   #9
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I'd say, NO.
But I found a great video on rinsing out the water heater of scale and deposits.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:22 PM   #10
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I watched the video on youtube, thanks! Loaded in 3 gal of vinegar and topped it up, turned on the heater and let it sit overnight. I flushed it in the morning and am now ready for the summer. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:43 AM   #11
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Unscrew the pressure relief valve at the top and add the vinegar solution. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, then drain. Then fill and rinse a few times until no more crud comes out of the drain. You will have vinegar smell and taste to your hot water for a cycle or 2.
Tried unscrewing the PRV and doesn't seem to budge. Would say I didn't put all my strength into it, but felt I was getting close to something else giving, or rolling the trailer down the driveway.....
For just a split second, considered liquid wrench, but realized this was a potable water tank.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:30 PM   #12
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Tried unscrewing the PRV and doesn't seem to budge. Would say I didn't put all my strength into it, but felt I was getting close to something else giving, or rolling the trailer down the driveway.....
For just a split second, considered liquid wrench, but realized this was a potable water tank.

Thoughts?
Was it hot or cold when you did it. If cold try heating the tank back up with water inside it then just try to get it to break free. Then turn it off and run hot water faucet to get the hot water out of there. Then remove the rest of the way.

I made a short hose with a valve I could screw into the drain before filling with vinegar. Then after the vinegar soak I could get some good flushes under pressure, starting and stopping flow to stir up sediment.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:19 AM   #13
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The trailer is new to me and PO said they hadn't run the WH since they bought it as stayed at full hookup campgrounds (Also never used the range or oven from the looks of it).
So working on getting the HWH to run and have ordered parts, but also wanted to flush the tank before running water through it.

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 ?
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:23 AM   #14
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How often would one perform this cleaning
I have a 2014
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