Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-24-2019, 12:58 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SW Oklahoma
Posts: 252
Suburban Water Heater Issue - 12 Gallon Tank

Today was a greaat day to flush my Suburban water heater tank. I pulled the anode rod and opened the pressure relief valve to drain the tank. To my surprise the tank started to empty very slowly.

I used a probe to clear the blockage at the anode rod hole and out came some gel-like substance. The opening kept getting clogged and I had to keep working it to clear it to allow the water to drain.

The pictures below show some of the debris that came out of the tank. Has anyone seen this before? I am leaning toward an internal failure of the tank. The hot water has not lasted as long as it usually does (12 gallon tank). I am the original owner of the 2014 Dynamax Trilogy and perform regular maintenance on the camper and water system.

John

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0138.jpg
Views:	88
Size:	313.8 KB
ID:	199580
You can see some of the junk that came out just below the burner pipe.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0174.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	413.6 KB
ID:	199581
Collected some of the debris and put a quarter in the picture to give an idea of size.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0175.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	240.5 KB
ID:	199582
__________________

__________________
2014 Dynamax Trilogy 3850RL - South Hampton Interior, Full Body Paint (Black / Silver / White), MOR/ryde Independent Suspension, MOR/ryde Disc Brakes, ONAN 5500 Generator, Progressive Industries HW50C w/Dual Display, Winegard HD Dish w/DirecTV, Washer & Dryer, iSprings 7-stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter, Trail-Air Flex Air Pin Box, Third AC installed, AC Voltage/Amp Meters, DC Amp Meter, Garnett See Level Tank Sensors, TST 507 TPMS
Retired USAF - Full Timers!
John Hagen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Bill and Gail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: NJ
Posts: 319
It looks like a slime build up. I saw this in a fish tank once. I would get a water heater flushing adapter for the water hose and flush the water heater. Then I would put the old anode plug back in, remove the pressure relief valve, fill the heater with a mixture of bleach and water, let it sit 24hrs, then drain and flush again, hopefully that will clean it out.
__________________

Bill and Gail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 03:59 PM   #3
PPST Wannabe
 
kenandterry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,954
Great photos John. What does your anode look like?
I suggest you need to really power rinse your water heater. Filling it with water and vinegar might be an idea too.

Have you got one of these?
It’s like a giant size of the thing the dentist uses on you.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	7D10517D-FDBE-4ED5-8C07-2DCF3C1DC4F0.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	144.8 KB
ID:	199627  
__________________

Ken and Terry
2010 Georgetown 330TS being pushed by our
2017 GMC Terrain toad (4 wheels down)
kenandterry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 07:38 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SW Oklahoma
Posts: 252
The anode rod had some of the junk on it as well. I did power flush the tank with the tank wand. A lot of junk came out, including the debris from the anode rod sacraficing itself.

This is really odd. We have lived full time in the RV since Feb 2014. It has never been in storage. We have boondocked with it as well. Never had any issues. Just normal annode rod debris and that was it.

We are currently on Altus AFB and have been here since Aug 2018. The water here is dirty (I have to change whole house filter very often). I have complained to the base water department. They are next to worthless. They just open spigots and "flush" the pipes. Doesn't do a bit of good.

Will check the tank again in a week or so and if it is building up again I'll go with the bleach or vinegar suggestions.

Thanks to you both for the info.

John
__________________
2014 Dynamax Trilogy 3850RL - South Hampton Interior, Full Body Paint (Black / Silver / White), MOR/ryde Independent Suspension, MOR/ryde Disc Brakes, ONAN 5500 Generator, Progressive Industries HW50C w/Dual Display, Winegard HD Dish w/DirecTV, Washer & Dryer, iSprings 7-stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter, Trail-Air Flex Air Pin Box, Third AC installed, AC Voltage/Amp Meters, DC Amp Meter, Garnett See Level Tank Sensors, TST 507 TPMS
Retired USAF - Full Timers!
John Hagen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 07:48 PM   #5
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,315
This is completely normal.

The sacrificial anode and any calcium in the water will make debris/gel at the bottom of the hot water tank. This is why you ALWAYS isolate the water heater with the isolation valves and drain the tank through the outside anode/drain port. That junk will get sucked into your inside cold water pipes if you drain via the low point drains.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	keeping-the-water-hot-water-heater-maintenance-chunks-of-calcium.jpg
Views:	61
Size:	259.3 KB
ID:	199696   Click image for larger version

Name:	Sediment.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	60.8 KB
ID:	199698   Click image for larger version

Name:	Anode Protection 10 Gallon.JPG
Views:	61
Size:	90.2 KB
ID:	199699  
Attached Images
 
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 07:51 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
cavie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Port Charlotte Fl/Hinsdale Ma
Posts: 4,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hagen View Post
Today was a greaat day to flush my Suburban water heater tank. I pulled the anode rod and opened the pressure relief valve to drain the tank. To my surprise the tank started to empty very slowly.

I used a probe to clear the blockage at the anode rod hole and out came some gel-like substance. The opening kept getting clogged and I had to keep working it to clear it to allow the water to drain.

The pictures below show some of the debris that came out of the tank. Has anyone seen this before? I am leaning toward an internal failure of the tank. The hot water has not lasted as long as it usually does (12 gallon tank). I am the original owner of the 2014 Dynamax Trilogy and perform regular maintenance on the camper and water system.

John

Attachment 199580
You can see some of the junk that came out just below the burner pipe.

Attachment 199581
Collected some of the debris and put a quarter in the picture to give an idea of size.

Attachment 199582
That's the same thing I have found in my house WH evey 2 years when I drain it. just clean it out and move on.
__________________
2002 27rk Wildcat 5er.
Port Charlotte Fl/Hinsdale Ma
Retired Master Electrician.

I know you believe that you understand what you think I said but I'm sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant
cavie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2019, 08:01 PM   #7
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,315
John,

As far as the "the hot water does not last as long", you can check:

1) The water heater winterizing isolation valves. The crossover valve may be open (or partially open) causing cold water to mix with the hot water coming out of the heater. See photo

2) The outside shower wand valves may be open and the wand handle shutoff cross-valve button closed. In that case, cold water may be mixing through the open valves.

Herk
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	winterize8.jpg
Views:	57
Size:	95.5 KB
ID:	199701  
Attached Images
 
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2019, 12:54 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SW Oklahoma
Posts: 252
Thanks Herk and Cavie. In my 10+ years of RV ownership and 30+ years of owning a house I have never seen the gel stuff. The anode rod debris, yes I have seen it and understand it. I know the water here is pathetic and constantly fails water testing standards. Maybe that is reason for this gel junk.

Will see what it looks like in a week or so.

As for the hot water not lasting long... The RV has never been winterized or put in bypass. All of the valves for those tasks are behind a basement wall. They should still be in the condition they were in when installed in 2014. I suppose they could be failing and leaking but I kinda of doubt it. However, it has to be something and your suggestions are valid. Will have to open up the panels in the basement to check it out.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

John
__________________
2014 Dynamax Trilogy 3850RL - South Hampton Interior, Full Body Paint (Black / Silver / White), MOR/ryde Independent Suspension, MOR/ryde Disc Brakes, ONAN 5500 Generator, Progressive Industries HW50C w/Dual Display, Winegard HD Dish w/DirecTV, Washer & Dryer, iSprings 7-stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter, Trail-Air Flex Air Pin Box, Third AC installed, AC Voltage/Amp Meters, DC Amp Meter, Garnett See Level Tank Sensors, TST 507 TPMS
Retired USAF - Full Timers!
John Hagen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2019, 06:02 AM   #9
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,315
Check the valves in your outside shower; that my be the culprit.

My house water heater had so much gel it had plugged the drain. Water pressure did not help; I stuck a wire up there to free it and it painted the cellar with that goop.

Took forever to clean it up.
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2019, 06:31 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
nomad297's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2,649
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hagen View Post
Today was a greaat day to flush my Suburban water heater tank. I pulled the anode rod and opened the pressure relief valve to drain the tank. To my surprise the tank started to empty very slowly.

I used a probe to clear the blockage at the anode rod hole and out came some gel-like substance. The opening kept getting clogged and I had to keep working it to clear it to allow the water to drain.

The pictures below show some of the debris that came out of the tank. Has anyone seen this before? I am leaning toward an internal failure of the tank. The hot water has not lasted as long as it usually does (12 gallon tank). I am the original owner of the 2014 Dynamax Trilogy and perform regular maintenance on the camper and water system.

John

Attachment 199580
You can see some of the junk that came out just below the burner pipe.

Attachment 199581
Collected some of the debris and put a quarter in the picture to give an idea of size.

Attachment 199582
Many of us plumbers refer to that stuff as “oatmeal” because of the way it looks and the consistency of it. It is mostly calcium deposits. I replace 3-4 residential water heaters every week and every one of them has this stuff in them — even those where the homeowner has flushed it regularly. Most of the heaters won’t drain quickly enough, if at all, because of this stuff, so we almost always just connect a pump to the drain and suck it out. Quite often, we have to remove the boiler drain from the heater and quickly swap it out with a 3/4” nipple because the openings in most boiler drains are so small, they clog.

It’s nothing unusual or something to be worried about. Just flush it out and go on with life.

Bruce
__________________

__________________
2016 Rockwood Windjammer 3029W Diamond
2015 Chevy 3500HD LTZ 6.0 Crew Cab 4x4 Long Bed 4.10:1 SRW
nomad297 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heater, suburban, tank, water, water heater

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:19 AM.