What is all that gunk inside my water heater?
Don't know if anyone else has ever dealt with this. We purchased our '02 RT a few months ago. Yesterday, I pulled the drain plug out of the water heater to inspect and pre-winterize if you will. I discovered the anode on the plug was almost completely covered in the whitish calcium buildup and promptly fell off of the plug. No big deal, I can get another plug/anode somewhere. However, I can see a fair amount of additional calcium gunk inside the heater, and am assuming the previous owners either never used the heater, or never bothered to open the drain to winterize it or flush it out.
Any suggestions as to the best way to clean the thing out? I'm not going to use CLR or anything harsher than vinegar, but am trying to figure out the best way to attack the problem. There is a bypass with upper and lower 2 way valves, and the weather is going to be warm for a few more days here in Ontario. I was thinking of blasting a stream of water with my garden hose into the heater through the external drain plug hole, with the inside bypass valves in the bypass position, but I'm not sure if that might damage any internal parts. I was also thinking of running street water through the system and keeping the hot water bypass closed, with the plug out to allow water to run in through the cold in, and then out through the drain hole. Or, I might try adding vinegar to the fresh water tanks and trying to pump it through the system to the heater and out the drain with the bypass valves set as in the previous scenario. Should I try leaving some vinegar and water in the thing for a few days?
If anyone has any comments or warnings or ideas or suggestions, I'm listening. I'd like to try whatever I do no later than tomorrow, as the warm weather is only here until Friday, and I'd like to "dry out" the plumbing system as soon as possible thereafter.
Thanks for any help,
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2018 Navion 24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU