RVers should perform a maintenance check on water heaters every six months to a year — that is, if you want to enhance its operation, extend the life, and prevent high repair costs. This is especially true if you’re spending most of your time in areas where the water has a high mineral content. It’s a simple task that just takes a little know-how. And we are here to help.
Draining and flushing is necessary because mineral build up corrodes components inside your heater over time.
- Safety first. Make sure water has completely cooled off — you might even want to turn it off the night before you plan to work on it
- Flip the breaker to turn off power
- Close gas supply and water pump
- Open all hot and cold fixtures through the unit
- If you have a bypass valve, place it in the bypass position
- Open the exterior door to your unit and remove anode rod if you have one (you may need a socket).
This works best if you have a flushing wand attached to the end of a garden hose. It works like a water pic for the interior of your drain hole. Don’t be surprised if the water coming out is white looking at first — just keep flushing until it’s clear and clean.
If you won’t be using your hot water heater for while, simply drain your water heater before storing it. This will prevent damage from freezing and mineral content in your tank.
As a side note, it’s a good idea to also clean your tank every couple of years. Just put a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar in your tank via your winterizing system intake. Then just turn on your water heater and allow it to boil for an hour or so. When complete, turn off and allow complete cooling before you drain and flush as instructed above. As always, read your owner’s manual for specific instructions related to your model.