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Thread: Water heater minerals

  1. #1
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    Default Water heater minerals

    My water heater is gurgling due to lime scale. Have any of you used vinegar to descale the tank
    You can pour syrup on poop but that don't make it pancakes

    1982 Sea Nymph Bass Attacker with 40 Evinrude
    1999 Lowe Lake Jon with 9.8 Merc

  2. #2
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    If this is a on demand water heater with a small holding tank, yes you can use vinegar. You will also need a bucket, small pump and a couple hoses. If you are refering to a 40 or 50 gal tank style heater, try flushing it first. Shoule be instructions in owners manuel. Problem is if build up is that bad, when you are done flushing the drain on bottom of tank may not shut off completely due to scale stuck in valve. Without taking pipes apart, how are you going to get vinegar into your tank style heater? Plus it would take a lot of vinegar to descale a 50 gal water heater
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  3. #3
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    The cold inlet in my 50 gal tank is easy to remove. I plan to pour about 5 or 6 gal down through the inlet. I believe that the problem is laying on the bottom over the burner so it won't take much. I have flushed it 4 times without success.

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    You can pour syrup on poop but that don't make it pancakes

    1982 Sea Nymph Bass Attacker with 40 Evinrude
    1999 Lowe Lake Jon with 9.8 Merc

  4. #4
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    I have made stoves out of old water heaters. That buildup is tough stuff. I just left in on and it would crack and pop when the stove was glowing. I think you need something more powerful than vinegar. I use a crystal concrete etching product to clean lime deposits on toilets but I wouldn't drink out of anything that stuff touched.

    I would be careful messing with it myself as you could just send it to all your fixtures. A few years ago I replace part of an old steel pipe system in my house and the lime deposits got into the copper replacement somehow ruining a hundred dollar shower valve.
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  5. #5
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    They make a food grade acid to use for cleaning water heaters but that stuff is expensive compared to vinegar. Not sure what I will use yet. Don't want to ruin any plumbing.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app



    You can pour syrup on poop but that don't make it pancakes

    1982 Sea Nymph Bass Attacker with 40 Evinrude
    1999 Lowe Lake Jon with 9.8 Merc

  6. #6
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    Please whatever you do, when you are done ensure that you check that your pressure relief valve functions correctly. A water heater with a faulty pressure relief is a BOMB! Check out some video's.

  7. #7
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    How old is this heater. Normal life span of a water heater is 7-10 years depending on water. If you are getting close to that age might be money ahead to replace. Spend a lot of time trying to clean it this week and it could start leaking next week.

  8. #8
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    Not trying to tell you what to do, but if it was me, I'd replace it. Like Bassing_52 said, they have a life span.

  9. #9
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    Soaking it with vinegar couldn't hurt. Vinegar is cheap. You are going to9 need to let it soak for at least 12 hours, probably 2 or 3 times that if it's bad. Check the relief valve when you are done.

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