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Old 03-13-2022, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default Hot water heater flush

How exactly do you flush an RV hot water heater? Are you blowing water up the drain and possible depositing debris elsewhere in the system???
I have a 2011 189 FBS. Thank you.
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Old 03-13-2022, 11:44 PM   #2
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You drain it by removing the anode rod and flush it by spraying water into the tank through the anode rod opening.
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Old 03-14-2022, 12:31 PM   #3
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Caroline, the debris and sediment is heavier than water -- it is mostly calcium carbonate, I think. So when you stick a hose into the opening, the water swirls around and carries the particles as the water flows back out of the opening.

This can be a wet and messy job. And the little crystals of sediment can be hard to clean up, if your driveway is either asphalt or cracked concrete (as mine is).

But I don't think you have to worry about the sediment being carried into the rest of your fresh water system. I could be wrong, but I have rinsed my water heater once a year for 16 years and have never had a problem.

By the way, a long tapered brass nozzle makes it easier to get the water into the hole -- a garden hose may not fit.
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Old 03-14-2022, 09:12 PM   #4
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You drain it by removing the anode rod and flush it by spraying water into the tank through the anode rod opening.
Thank you!
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Old 03-15-2022, 01:20 AM   #5
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And just before you drain it, open the hot water faucet in the sink. This depressurizes the tank. Otherwise, when you unscrew the anode rod, water will gush out of the tank.

Don't ask how I know this.

And the job is much easier if you have a one and one sixteenth socket.

When you are getting ready to screw the new anode rod back in, coat the threads with teflon paste. Use the socket, by itself, to start the rod into the hole. Much easier than using fingertips.
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Old 03-16-2022, 07:14 AM   #6
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I went to the hardware store and found a couple of adapters to go from the water hose to a 1/4 inch OD compression fitting. With a short length (about a foot and a half) of 1/4 inch copper tubing and made a wand to insert in the drain. Flattened and slightly curved the end of the wand to increase the spray pressure. Works very well.
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Old 03-16-2022, 04:46 PM   #7
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I purchased one of these for about $10 and works like a charm.

Camco 11691 Water Heater Tank Rinser. Cleanses and Removes Sediment from the Bottom of RV Water Heater

Available from various RV sources, Amazon, Wal-Mart, EBay, etc.
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Old 03-22-2022, 12:37 PM   #8
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I also purchased the little water heater tank rinser that attaches to hose end. I keep the bypass valve shut while doing the rinsing. After a good rinsing, I attach hose to shore water attachment, open bypass valve leaving anode rod out, and rinse out tank.
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Old 03-22-2022, 05:33 PM   #9
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To be honest, I really don't think rinsing out the water heater is that big of a deal. The more important issue is to make sure there is a good anode rod installed to prevent tank corrosion.
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Old 03-23-2022, 09:33 AM   #10
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As for the importance of rinsing the water heater tank - I'm not sure but when I rinse mine out there seems to be a fair amount of "cruddy solids" that are flushed out.

Also - in the instructions that came with the last couple of home water heaters (yea - I know most don't read the instruction booklet) it states one should drain the water heater annually (?) to remove sediment from the bottom of the tank. One can only assume there is some advantage to doing so or it wouldn't be recommended by the manufacturer of the water heater.

I simply consider rinsing out the water heater tank as "annual maintenance" like any other annual maintenance such as winterizing, etc.
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Old 03-23-2022, 05:24 PM   #11
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Gas home water heaters are heated from the bottom. Because of that any sediment that accumulates in the bottom of the tank can act like insulation, requiring the heater to run longer to actually heat the water. Most manufacturers suggest flushing the heater on a annual or bi-annual basis. Flushing, not draining.
If the burner has to operate longer it can cause the tank to become hotter before the water reaches temp and the tank will flex more leading to early failure.
An RV water heater is not heated from the bottom but still benefits from a good flushng.

BTW.....its called a water heater not a "hot water" heater.......if the water was already hot you wouldn't need to heat it.. (plumber humor)
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