Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Steps to rinse sediment from an RV water heater

Rinsing sediment from an RV water heater is an essential maintenance task to ensure its proper functioning and longevity. Sediment can accumulate in the bottom of the tank over time, which can reduce the heater’s efficiency and potentially cause damage.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to rinse sediment from an RV water heater:

Note: Before performing any maintenance on your RV water heater, make sure the heater is turned off and has had enough time to cool down.

Locate the water heater

The first step is to locate your RV’s water heater. The water heater is usually located near the outside of the RV and can be identified by a metal door or panel.

Shut off the water supply

Find the water heater’s water supply line and shut off the water flow to the heater. This may involve turning a valve or disconnecting a hose, depending on your RV’s setup.

Relieve pressure

Before you proceed, it’s essential to relieve any pressure that might have built up inside the water heater. You can do this by opening a hot water faucet inside the RV.

Access the drain plug

The RV water heater will have a drain plug at the bottom of the tank. It is typically a small valve or cap. You may need a wrench or pliers to open it, depending on the design.

Place a bucket

Position a bucket or container beneath the drain plug to catch the water and sediment that will come out.

Open the drain plug

Carefully open the drain plug, allowing the water and sediment to flow into the bucket. Be cautious as the water might still be hot, so wearing gloves is advisable.

Flush the tank

Once the water has drained, you can flush the tank to help remove any remaining sediment. To do this, briefly turn on the water supply to the heater while keeping the drain plug open. The water will flow into the tank and flush out through the drain, carrying away loose sediment.

Close the drain plug

After flushing, close the drain plug securely.

Refill the tank

Turn on the water supply to the water heater again to refill the tank.

Check for leaks

Check for any leaks around the drain plug and water supply connections to ensure everything is properly sealed.

Turn on the water heater

Once the tank is filled, you can turn on the RV water heater following the manufacturer’s instructions.

It’s generally recommended to perform this sediment-rinsing process at least once a year or more frequently if you notice reduced hot water performance or if you frequently camp in areas with hard water. Regular maintenance will help keep your RV water heater running efficiently and extend its lifespan.

Before installing a new anode rod, I would also recommend flushing out the tank using a flush wand like this one.

Flushing out the sediment in the bottom of the tank will help prevent damage.

Other RV water heater tools

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Thank you,


Dustin Simpson
Dustin Simpsonhttps://calrvspecialists.com/
I have worn many hats in the RV industry through the years. From an RV Technician, Warranty Administrator, Parts Administrator, Parts Manager, Service Manager and now Business Owner. I have even been deemed an RV Expert by the California court system, working on behalf of the customers, dealers, and manufacturers. My repair facility has been servicing customers at the same location since 2003. What sets us apart from the dealerships is we are here to fix and maintain what you have, and not sell you a new one. Whether you own a million-dollar unit or an entry level, my message to you will be the same, it needs to be maintained.


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Tim Fuller
2 months ago

No where do you mention turning off the gas or electric supply to the water heater. This has to be done first for safety reasons.

2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Fuller

First sentence under the picture: “Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to rinse sediment from an RV water heater:”

“Note: Before performing any maintenance on your RV water heater, make sure the heater is turned off and has had enough time to cool down.”

2 months ago

Every 2 years I pump a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water through the water system. I turn on the water heater for about 6 hours to get it nice and hot. Even though I use a water softener I’m always amazed how much lime buildup and other gunk comes out the heater when I drain it and rinse it with a wand. The vinegar/water mix is also good to clean out all of the buildup in faucets and shower heads.

2 months ago

If you have a garden hose nozzle, the long kind, unscrew the end and remove. There are 2 or 4 small holes; insert the nozzle into the tank thru the drain hole and turn on the water. It will wash the interior of your tank and remove a lot of sediment. The nozzle will reduce the size of the drain opening, but it will still allow a lot of sediment to flush out. Following this you can use a wand type flusher tube for final cleanup if needed.

2 months ago

What about the step of using a RV Water Heater Tank Rinser, Metal Tube Water Tank Flusher, Powerful Water Spray, Flushes and Removes Sediment and Scale from RV Water Heater? Amazon about $12 bucks!Snoopy

Brad Teubner
2 months ago

Should give procedure to refill the tank. Turn on a hot water faucet until there is a steady stream of water.

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