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Old 11-22-2017, 10:18 AM   #1
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A lot of Scale In Suburban Water Heater

We have a 2011 Forest River V-Lite 30WKSS that we purchased used 2 years ago. Last year I noticed that there was a pretty good amount of white scale in the bottom of the water heater when I drained it. I got about 90% out. I then added an outside water filter that you put before the city water connection. I used it all this season. I also found out that there is an in-line system with the charcoal filter near the pump that I didn't know existed. When I drained the water heater to winterize it, I noticed even more white scale than last year. Is there anything that I am doing wrong? What more can I do to stop this or is this normal? I will probably need to change the anode rod at the end of next year. I am probably at 50% now. The water heater has worked flawlessly. I just want to stop the build up if possible. I have to thank this forum for the information. In another thread I found a wand tip that I can stick in there and flush it out better.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:24 AM   #2
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Is it scale, or is it remnants of the anode that has sluffed off? It could possibly be a combination of both.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:18 AM   #3
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It is a pretty good amount on the bottom. I would guess that I would be able to fill a 12 oz cup with the scale on the bottom.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:28 AM   #4
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Very common when the anode/sacrificial rod decomposes. On my first unit(2 years old) there was at least a cup that came out. I bought a flusher to help get her out.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:30 AM   #5
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If this is normal I am okay with it. I just want to keep it in the best shape I can. Maintenance is cheaper than repair.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by KKonyha View Post
If this is normal I am okay with it. I just want to keep it in the best shape I can. Maintenance is cheaper than repair.
It's normal. It's the result of the anode rod reacting with the minerals in the water. The amount of crud and the rate of loss from the anode rod are a function of how much water you put through your water heater and the amount of minerals in the water. More water and/or more minerals = more crud.

It shows your anode rod is working.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:38 AM   #7
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If this is normal I am okay with it. I just want to keep it in the best shape I can. Maintenance is cheaper than repair.
Spend about $7 bucks and get one of these:

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Old 11-22-2017, 11:51 AM   #8
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I don't think the scale is caused by the anode. Scale builds up in both Suburban and Atwood heaters - Atwoods which don't have an anode are also subject to scale buildup. I think scale is caused by hard water. As the water is heated, the minerals in the water precipitate out. A lot of it builds up on the electric heating element if you use it. Just rinsing the tank helps but there is still a lot of scale left that is solidly attached to various surfaces. There are a number of sources that suggest soaking the tank with a vinegar solution to get rid of more of the buildup. Here is one u-tube on the subject:
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:01 PM   #9
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Some of this makes sense. I did buy the flushing wand, which I didn't know existed until someone posted a link. We do use the hot water heater more than the previous owner.
Apparently, the filters do not stop the minerals in the hard water?
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:07 PM   #10
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Some of this makes sense. I did buy the flushing wand, which I didn't know existed until someone posted a link. We do use the hot water heater more than the previous owner.
Apparently, the filters do not stop the minerals in the hard water?
No, the minerals are dissolved in the water (similar to mixing water and salt).
The minerals are why folks with home wells add water softeners. The softener swaps the hard water minerals for salt. Same process is what causes stalagmites and stalactites to grow in caves.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Great thanks to everyone. I will just continue to flush the hot water tank out. With the ease of the wand, I will probably do it more than once a year. That way the build up will not get too bad.
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:40 PM   #12
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:32 AM   #13
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Check out this very helpful video by RVGeeks: http://www.thervgeeks.com/water-and-...flush-inspect/
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