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Cleaning a Hot Water Heat Tank

My mother has asked for me to see if anyone knows of a way to clean out your hot water heater tanks. She has used vinegar in her dishwasher, etc. for years and knows it works great on hard water build-up and she feels that if she could do this in her hot water tank it would extend it's life, etc. Anyone know of how to go about doing something like that?

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By Rose (Guest Post)
December 13, 20040 found this helpful

I don't know how you would put vinegar into your hot water heater tank. The book on my last 2 water heaters say to drain about 5 gallons of water out of it once a month. (The reasoning is if there is sediment, it should come out with the water.)

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By Chuck (Guest Post)
January 14, 20050 found this helpful

I have found that cleaning with Vingar did the job well. It took me 24 hours to complete the task.
As for putting the vingar in, all you do is undo the cold water inlet and add about 6 gals to a 40 gal tank.
Heater now running good and free of cal-build up.
Time wel spent.... Chuck D

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By Terry (Guest Post)
September 7, 20050 found this helpful

I find it strange no-one has posted more about puting vinegar into a hot water tank to clean hard water build-up.

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Most hotwater tanks have a place to put an anode in,just undo that or take anode out,then pour in (using a funnel) your vinegar.I find it only takes about 3 litres maybe once a year up here in Northern British Columbia, Canada.
Then of course put the anode back in ...............and..... Bob's your unc..................all done

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By Terry (Guest Post)
September 7, 20050 found this helpful

I find it strange no-one has posted more about puting vinegar into a hot water tank to clean hard water build-up.
Most hotwater tanks have a place to put an anode in,just undo that or take anode out,then pour in (using a funnel) your vinegar.I find it only takes about 3 litres maybe once a year up here in Northern British Columbia, Canada.
Then of course put the anode back in ...............and..... Bob's your unc..................all done

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By phil (Guest Post)
July 21, 20080 found this helpful

Put 6 gallons in water tank, have left for about 3 hours. Turned up the heat. Water emerges bubbled up. I guess from the PH neutralization and then turns blue.

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Anyone have and answer for this. Expect to leave hot solution in over night and then drain through sinks and bath. Any one have some more visibility on this.

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By Gary W. (Guest Post)
September 23, 20080 found this helpful

As a master plumber Rose is correct in saying to drain 5 galons to remove the sediment. If you have a lot trying jerking the water by shutting it off quickly then opening the drain, repeating a few times. Also while you remove the anode rod replace it with a new one. The anode rod absorbs the minerals protecting the tank from rusting. If you have dip tub particles or a large amount of sediment in the tank you can shut off the burner, completely drain the tank, remove drain and vacuum out the tank by attatching a small tube or pipe to your vacuum hose. You can turn on the water a couple times after draining to lush it out. If you have hard water problems you need a water softner.

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By Gary A. (Guest Post)
November 23, 20080 found this helpful

Hot water tanks can be cleaned there is equipment to do the job correctly. It does however take a professional to do it. They can be thoroughly cleaned and then can be fitted with a new anode and if necessary a new dip tube.

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The cost to do this is much less ten buying a new tank and if we are now into green it will save another tank from filling our land fills.

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