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Old 03-13-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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1996 34' Excella
Elberta , Alabama
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Water heater lime buildup

This maybe of some help to some folks. I just bought a 2001 AS 30' Excella, I drained the water heater (6 gallon Atwood). There was a lot of lime and sediment as the last quart or so of water drained out.
I removed the pressure relief valve, and made an adapter to be able to run a regular hose into the tank through the 1/2" relief valve hole. I ran the hose for about 3 minutes, and wasn't satisfied with what did not come out.
I called Atwood tech service, the rep told me to drain the tank, replace the drain plug and pour 4 gallons of white vinegar into the tank and let it sit for a day or so, then drain it, and rinse it by filling and draining a couple of times.
Amazing results! The acetic acid in the vinegar dissolves the lime and other crud, and really cleaned up the tank.
I knew this before, but the rep also emphasized that because Atwood uses an aluminum tank, do not use a magnesium anode, or you will get the rotten egg smell. Also to be sure an use a nylon 1/2" pipe plug, not brass.
Maybe his will help other folks.

Larry
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Good report, thanks Larry.

Much of this may be avoided by using a portable RV water softener at your water inlet hose. Watch for frequent sale price at Camping World or other sources.

I wonder why no brass plug (although I stick with the nylon)? They use a brass pressure relief valve in the water heater.

doug k
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
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The only contact from the PR valve is rubber to aluminium Doug. If the rubber did not seal, the PR valve would leak.

Once the tank is drained, an air hose with and nozzle extension works good to lift the scale on the bottom of the tank.

Dave
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Good report, thanks Larry.
I wonder why no brass plug (although I stick with the nylon)? They use a brass pressure relief valve in the water heater.
doug k
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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I have been using teflon tape on my replaced (couldn't find plastic) brass plug. Haven't had any thread galling after 5+ years
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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I don't quite understand that either, as brass is a fairly inert metal. Like you though, it doesn't really matter, as I use a nylon plug also...
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:07 AM   #6
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1996 34' Excella
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Those small water softeners are great, and they do a good job...if I can rearrange all my "stuff", I'm going to buy one....we used to live in northern Indiana, and had so much lime and iron in our water, we finally set up two water softeners in series, for the cooking and wash water, and an RO system for drinking water. But that's a bit much for the AS.
Larry




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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Good report, thanks Larry.

Much of this may be avoided by using a portable RV water softener at your water inlet hose. Watch for frequent sale price at Camping World or other sources.

I wonder why no brass plug (although I stick with the nylon)? They use a brass pressure relief valve in the water heater.

doug k
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Old age is coming at a really bad time!

1996 34' Excella 1000, interior totally redone, 2003 Dodge/Cummins HO, U.S. Gear exhaust brake, Diablo tuner, 115 gallon aux fuel, Bedslide, Airsafe/Reese Dual Cam, and a bunch of other stuff
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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I double the vinegar in the hot water tank fix. I full time in my 2009 27 FB and after two years of full timing I had some calcium build up in my kitchen sink hot water lines that caused the hot water to come out as a trickle. I took all the water lines off and the hot water line had some build up that I cleaned up as best I could. I took the hot water drain plug off and filled the tank with 3 gallons of vinegar using a 1/2" adapter attached to a funnel and tubing I got from lowes.

Once I filled up the tank I turned the water back on and let it heat up and then turned on the hot water in the kitchen until I smelled the vinegar come through. Three hours later I let the hot water on for a bit to flush it out. The hot water comes out great now. The fix worked like a charm.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:02 PM   #8
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I use a brass plug because the plastic ones get brittle with age and tend to break.
Kim
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