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Old 06-08-2008, 09:54 PM   #1
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Water heater crud-fest

I bought one of those yellow plastic wands that attaches to a hose for flushing the water heater tank. Since it was a nice day, I decided to give the Atwood a spring flushing. I opened the drain plug, lifted the pressure release lever and drained out the tank. Nice, clean water flowed.

After the tank was empty, I stuck the wand into the tank through the drain hole and let her rip. I moved it around, trying to get all of the interior surfaces (nice trick when you can't see them).

HOLY CRAP!

The amount of white flakey crud that came out of the tank was amazing! We have pretty high water pressure in our part of town, so maybe that helped pulverize the calcium/lime/whatever crap off the tank walls, but there was a LOT of chunky stuff coming out the drain hole.

So... what are the odds that I still have any tank wall left? Was this really deposits from the water, or does this sound like my tank needs its diaper changed? Nothing looks like it's leaking inside the rig...
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:03 PM   #2
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Florida water has very high "crud" content. The white flakes are little chunks of lime and calcium from the hard water here. I have to clean the strainer out of both sinks in our trailer every other month here. Our one year old water heater probably has as much crud in it as yours.
The water heater was used for about 2 years before it made its trek to North Carolina, so it should still have life left in it, provided it didn't crack from freezing, and you should already know if that happened.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Florida water has very high "crud" content. The white flakes are little chunks of lime and calcium from the hard water here. I have to clean the strainer out of both sinks in our trailer every other month here. Our one year old water heater probably has as much crud in it as yours.
The water heater was used for about 2 years before it made its trek to North Carolina, so it should still have life left in it, provided it didn't crack from freezing, and you should already know if that happened.
Thanks Terry, I figured it had some life left to it as it still heats the water real well.

While camping, I've been taking the aerators off the faucets every couple of days to clean out the crud. That was my clue that maybe we needed to flush out the water heater tank and the lines. With water in the lines and aerators off, I blew about 40 pounds of air pressure in via the city water connection to purge the pipes. We did this a couple of times today, and by the 4th time, no more chunky crap was showing up in the sinks.

The last air purge was to force the water out of the water heater (via the drain hole). It's pretty cool how a little air pressure can REALLY make that crap come flying out!
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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pictures! We need pictures!

I would love to see photos of that crud. It's sensational, and, it makes me feel so much better when someone else has crud.

Right now, I'm a little queasy from finding a little mouse skeleton in a spider web.

Seriously, I'd like to see what you found, so when I do the same, I'll know how much to panic, or not.

Thanks,
Anne

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler View Post
I bought one of those yellow plastic wands that attaches to a hose for flushing the water heater tank. Since it was a nice day, I decided to give the Atwood a spring flushing. I opened the drain plug, lifted the pressure release lever and drained out the tank. Nice, clean water flowed.

After the tank was empty, I stuck the wand into the tank through the drain hole and let her rip. I moved it around, trying to get all of the interior surfaces (nice trick when you can't see them).

HOLY CRAP!

The amount of white flakey crud that came out of the tank was amazing! We have pretty high water pressure in our part of town, so maybe that helped pulverize the calcium/lime/whatever crap off the tank walls, but there was a LOT of chunky stuff coming out the drain hole.

So... what are the odds that I still have any tank wall left? Was this really deposits from the water, or does this sound like my tank needs its diaper changed? Nothing looks like it's leaking inside the rig...
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:33 PM   #5
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I have one of those cleaning tools. Mine was called a Tank Saver. It originally had a copper tube which is now plastic. First time I used this on my old trailer which was 10 years ago, I couldn't believe how much crud was in my tank. I normally used this every fall when I winterize. Doing it on an annual cycle minimizes the amount of stuff that comes out. It will extend the life of your tank.

Tank Saver Flushing Tool - Camping World
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:41 AM   #6
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Tech specs

Sounds like backwashing the pool filter, sort of. Wait for clear water. I think I'll get me one.
Anne


Tech Specs

Weight: Less than 1 lb.

Mfg Part #: TS-550

Tech Notes:
How to Flush Your Water Tank with Tank Saver

* Turn off water supply to RV.
* Open faucet to bleed off pressure.
* Open outside water heater door and remove drain plug.
* Connect Tank Saver to hose and insert into drain opening, pointing down.
* Open valve on Tank Saver and work wand all around to stir up and flush out sediment.
* Flush for about 2 minutes or until water coming out is clear.
* Turn off valve, remove wand and re-insert drain plug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
I have one of those cleaning tools. Mine was called a Tank Saver. It originally had a copper tube which is now plastic. First time I used this on my old trailer which was 10 years ago, I couldn't believe how much crud was in my tank. I normally used this every fall when I winterize. Doing it on an annual cycle minimizes the amount of stuff that comes out. It will extend the life of your tank.

Tank Saver Flushing Tool - Camping World
Jack
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:54 AM   #7
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I just replaced my who-knows-how-many-year-old-water heater in 1975 Safari. Mine had whitish-looking gooey particulate matter in the bottom which came out with the residual water when I tilted it over to let it drain. From the design of these tanks, they don't drain out all the residual water and they can collect some nasty stuff. Thanks for posting info about the "Tank Saver"--I think I'll get one to keep my new water heater clean!
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