How to Clean Your Hot Water Tank using Vinegar

Most of the house has a hot water tank to get hot water for bathing and other uses. But the efficiency of these water tanks keeps getting low as time passes. This is because there are certain minerals and calcium present in water that keeps settling up to the base of the water tank and this cause the tank to use more energy to heat water.

The great way to check your home is using your energy and giving you hot water efficiently in minimum time is to ensure your water tank is acting normal.

How to Clean Your Hot Water Tank using Vinegar

One of the general way to get these minerals out of your tank is to empty it. However, there are always chances that all the minerals will not come out with that so adding a little vinegar in the tank can do the rest. Vinegar acts as cleaning agent and breaks down the settled minerals so that they can come out of the tank easily.

So, follow the below procedure to take out the gunk out of the hot water tank.

Tools and things you require to do this job

  • Vinegar
  • Wrench socket
  • Hose and bucket
  • Funnel and Teflon tape
  • Towel

How to add vinegar to the hot water tank?

This procedure is time taking and if you are not sure that you can do this then call the professional technician for this. However, this maintenance task is easy, everyone can’t do this easily.

Removal of Anode rod

This is the first step that you need to do. Follow the below steps in order to do it easily.

Turn off the power to the tank – Find the home circuit break and turn it off so that your hot water tank would not receive any power.

Open a home faucet – you just need to open a faucet which provides hot water and is attached to the tank. Doing this would not create a vacuum and the water will easily drain out from the tank. You can open the faucet a little only and put a bucket below so that your water is not wasted and keeps moving into the system.

Attach the hose to the drain valve – This is the time when you require the tool as you need to place the valve to the base of the tank. Turn the level to the off position and your work is done.

Turn off the cold water entering the tank – You just have to turn off the lever. You will see a pipe that is attached to the tank from the above. This is the cold water inlet to the tank.

Drain water from hot water tank – In this step, you have to drain water just small amount of water not the whole water present in the tank. Open up the drain valve, this is located at the bottom of the tank. Allow some water to drain out from the tank. Now, close the faucet you opened in the previous step. You can also empty the water from the tank in a bucket but if your tank is larger then you must have to dump water 3-4 times from the bucket.

Find the location of anode rod – You have to find the location of the anode rod and remove it. Anode rod is a metal rod which is placed in the tank to prevent the rust from building inside the tank. Generally, it is located at the top of the tank and is covered by a lid. So, in order to take out the anode rod you would have to remove the lid first. This lid is screwed so use a screw driver to take out the screws placed and then remove it from the tank.

Once the lid is removed, use a wrench to loosen the socket and carefully take it out as it may be rusted from inside or eroding.

Add vinegar to the Tank

Pour the vinegar in the tank – Since, you can access the tank now it is the time to add the vinegar solution to the tank. So, take the funnel and place that in the place from where you took out the anode rod. Pour the vinegar and once it is done take out the funnel and place that aside.

Placing the anode rod in its place – Now, if your anode rod is in good condition, place the same rod in its place from where you took it out. In case it needs to be replace put a brand new anode rod and then tighten it with the wrench. You can also use a Teflon tape to ensure it is air tight.

Adding water to the tank – Since we have already placed the anode rod back inside, now we have to add some water to the tank. Open the cold water valve and let the water go into the tank for 5-10 minutes. In 5-10 minutes the tank will not get full but it will stir the vinegar to the whole tank.

Keep the vinegar solution inside the tank for 5-6 hours– The solution that we have put inside need time to break up the mineral deposits at the base and other parts of the tank. So, let it remain inside the tank for more time if possible. Also, let everyone in your family know about this.

Drain the water and vinegar solution from the hot water tank– The water and vinegar solution would have done the work in 5-6 hrs and therefore, it is time to drain out the solution from the tank. Open a faucet as we did earlier and then open the drain valve. The solution will start draining out with the sediments of the materials. If gets clogged, use your hand and clear up the hose.

Fill the tank again – Since the tank is now cleaned from the vinegar solution, it is time to refill the tank again. Remember to close the drain valve before filling up the tank.

Supply the power to the tank – Go to the circuit breaker from where you stopped the power supply to the tank and turn on the power.

Voila! You have cleaned your hot water tank and now your tank will show its efficiency again.