How to get rid of Calcium Buildup in Hot Water Tank

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Murphcrud

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Nov 11, 2017
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Ontario
Hi Guys,

With the small 6 gallon hot water tank in our MH, I am quite sure that there is a significant amount of hard water buildup in it. This is just an assumption as the MH is 10 years old. The tank has been flushed every year for wintering and deposit does flush out, but I am quite certain that I am just scraping the surface.
Who has the best idea how to clean out this buildup? Vinegar? Lemon Juice? Beer? (just trying to catch your attention). I would think that there is all sorts of calcium removers, but which one works best?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
I think you are worrying unnecessarily, especially since you flush annually.  Some people use a vinegar solution, so you can try that if you like. Atwood prescribes 4 parts vinegar to two parts water, but only to remove unpleasant odor (hydrogen sulfide from microbes in the water).  They do NOT recommend any chemicals for routine flushes to remove sediment. If you look at the maintenance section of your water heater manual, this should be explained there.

Nothing you can safely add to the water is going to remove any meaningful amount of scale from the tank walls.
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
Do you use a flushing wand like this? If you do it annually, you should be fine. Do you have a Atwood or a Suburban heater?  The reason I askis if it's the Suburban, keep an eye out for the anode rod.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Rinser-Cleanses-Sediment-Collects-11691/dp/B002XL2IBS
 
R

rls7201

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As you tank heats and cools it expands and contracts. That stuff that you flush out is the result of that expansion and contraction.
 

Murphcrud

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152
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Ontario
rls7201 said:
As you tank heats and cools it expands and contracts. That stuff that you flush out is the result of that expansion and contraction.

Understood.  But that wouldn't necessarily remove ALL buildup in the tank.  Any that falls off during that process would be flushed annually. 
As Gary stated, this small buildup shouldn't be a concern and I have since moved on.
Thanks to all.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
As you tank heats and cools it expands and contracts. That stuff that you flush out is the result of that expansion and contraction.
I don't buy that.  In my opinion, 99% of the sediment in the bottom has simply precipitated out due the chemical action of the salts, accelerated by the high heat.  Common calcium, sodium, potassium, and manganese mineral salts all combined readily with chlorine in the water to produce a thick sediment when the temperature gets well above 100 F.

Regardless of how it got there, one of the wands described here, or simply a hose nozzle jammed against the outlet, will do a good job of removing it.  Spray water in and let it run back out until it is clear.  Volume is more important than pressure. No rocket science here, just some time spent at a simple task.
 

allenb12

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Sep 2, 2016
Posts
77
I remove the anode and turn the water back on let it run until nothing comes out but water.
 
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