Allow your water heater to cool once it has been turned off (gas or electric if applicable). By using the pressure relief valve, you can release the pressure in the water heater when the water pump and city water are turned off. Once the drain valve has been opened or the anode removed, drain the water heater.
Once you have removed the odor from the water heater, you are ready to use it again.
Make sure the drain valve is closed or that the anode is reinstalled. A solution of two parts vinegar to one part water should then be prepared in a clean bucket or other suitable container. Your water heater tank should be filled with enough water. Your water heater will then be filled with the solution. Two methods are commonly used to transfer the solution into your water heater:
- Stuff the other end of the flexible plastic tubing into the open pressure relief valve after inserting the funnel into one end. Fill the funnel with the solution so that it can flow into the heater.
- Water heaters are refilled using transfer pumps via the hot water faucets closest to them.
Turn on the water heater once the water heater is full of solution. Close the relief valve after the water heater is full of solution. You should let the solution sit in your water heater for four to five hours after it is turned on. RVers agree that turning on the water heater with vinegar solution in it will speed up the process of breaking down buildups.
If the solution has not worked after a few minutes, turn off the water heater and let it cool. The interior of the water heater tank should be drained and thoroughly flushed after it has cooled. It is not uncommon for RVers to use a rinse wand for enhanced cleaning. Replacing the anode or drain plug and refilling the system with fresh water is the last step.