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Old 03-05-2024, 05:06 AM   #1
RMcNeal
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Flushing the Water Heater

I was flushing the water heater and getting the rig winterized to go back to Elkhart yesterday and the hard plastic wand on my Camco water heater flush flew off and is now somewhere in the water heater tank. I've tried filling with water and floating it out, but that obviously isn't going to work. I put a camera inside the hole for the anode rod and I can't even see it anywhere to try and fish it out.
Should I be worried about it?
If so, How can I get it out? Any ideas?
 
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:12 AM   #2
Daryles
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An endoscope camera with the hook attachment is your best bet.
I got this one. I've used it many times for various problems.

USB C Endoscope for OTG Android Phone, Computer, 5.5 mm Borescope Inspection Snake Camera Waterproof, 16.4 Ft Semi-Rigid Cord with 6 LED Lights, Compatible with Windows PC, MacBook https://a.co/d/9cFJ1q5

If you can't get it out, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:28 AM   #3
Ram Montana High Country
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I'd be concerned it could melt around the electric heater element. As long as there is water it should not be a problem other than making it hard to remove at some point.
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:58 AM   #4
RMcNeal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryles View Post
An endoscope camera with the hook attachment is your best bet.
I got this one. I've used it many times for various problems.

USB C Endoscope for OTG Android Phone, Computer, 5.5 mm Borescope Inspection Snake Camera Waterproof, 16.4 Ft Semi-Rigid Cord with 6 LED Lights, Compatible with Windows PC, MacBook https://a.co/d/9cFJ1q5

If you can't get it out, I wouldn't worry about it.
I have a similar camera I bought on Amazon some time ago, but I cannot see it in there anywhere. I know it's in there, but I cannot see it.
I guess I'll just have to leave it for now.
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Old 03-05-2024, 11:22 AM   #5
Daryles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMcNeal View Post
I have a similar camera I bought on Amazon some time ago, but I cannot see it in there anywhere. I know it's in there, but I cannot see it.
I guess I'll just have to leave it for now.
Maybe it's against the wall (bottom corner) under the anode hole?
Try curving the camera back and looking where you go in at?
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Old 03-05-2024, 11:40 AM   #6
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Maybe get another flushing attachment and run a bunch of water through the thing.
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Old 03-05-2024, 12:01 PM   #7
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In your future, if you have an old washing machine hose, cut it in half and use that. No end to fly off. Works great! Been using several for over 25 years now. I keep giving them away. I'm down to my last 2 halves of the hose. (Fortunately).... I've not had to purchase any new washing machines in the last several years. But, those things work great!
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Old 03-05-2024, 07:43 PM   #8
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How about using one of the pickup or retrieval tools that you use to pick up bolts, nuts or anything dropped in a engine when working on them. They have a spring loaded end with four gripping prongs on the end that open up when you push on the button on the opposite end. I keep one in the Monte and have one in the in the shop incase I drop something while working in tight places. They have them at most hardware stores and also at Harbor Freight.
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Old 03-05-2024, 09:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryles View Post
Maybe it's against the wall (bottom corner) under the anode hole?
Try curving the camera back and looking where you go in at?

The tanks in these water heaters are cylindrical, not square walls and no corners. This is a photo of our old water heater that had leaked from a bad weld in the tank.
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Old 03-06-2024, 05:02 AM   #10
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Thanks for the picture, Bob. That's what I thought. Even with the LED lights on the camera, I didn't see it in there. The way it shot off the end, I think it is probably lodged on the far side of the tank. When I get the rig back, I'll have more time (and hopefully more patience) to get back in there and locate it.
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Old 03-10-2024, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottz View Post
Maybe get another flushing attachment and run a bunch of water through the thing.
My plastic rinse end came off just like OP. After a few hours of trying to remove it, I gave up.

Bought a new rinser wand and next time I cleaned the tank. The old one appeared just inside the drain. Pulled it out with a needle nose.

It floats on the top of water, so leaving it in the tank isn't an issue as heating elements are low in the tank

Don't open the pressure release valve because rinser could get caught.
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Old 03-10-2024, 02:28 PM   #12
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Just a thought, but I have flushed my tank using the port for the high-pressure valve. I remove it and the anode rod and flush from the top of the tank. I get a good flush of the tank from the top-down. I do use a high-pressure nozzle when flushing the tank and have not had a problem.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-11-2024, 07:11 AM   #13
pyoung47
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You can remove the heating element to give you another, and larger access. You will need a special socket to remove it.
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Old 03-11-2024, 08:00 AM   #14
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I bought one of the plastic flush wands, but never used it after I read about the end blowing off on someone else. I got this one and it's made so the metal wand can't come off. Highly recommend and it's under $10.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 03-11-2024, 01:53 PM   #15
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Thanks for the link. I was looking for a replacement that didn't just push onto a barb. That's all I need is to get another one stuck in there.
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