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  • cleaning domestic water tank

    Hi all, just new to the site, great job, some really great discussion and tips!

    I have a Dettson HMD series boiler with an internal domestic hot water tank. Earlier this year the aquastat hi-limit failed and the boiler overheated, pushed hot water back through the cold water supply and damged my water treatment system(yes, I now have installed a back flow preventer). The water treatment system uses resin beds to treat for taste, odour, and colour (I am on a shallow well in a rural area), seems the hot water melted the resins, and sometime during the "melt down" pulled the melted mess into the domestic tank. I have managed to flush out about 2 gallons of the burnt smelly mess, but some must still remain in the tank, as the hot water is still discoloured and still smells.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can dislodge the rest of the resin trapped in the domestic tank? There is no access to the tank other than the supply and discharge lines, 3/4 stainless nipples on top of the boiler body. I have pushed a rigid plastic tube down the discharge side with some success, but I'm not reaching the main part of the tank.

    Is there a chemical solution that I could use to flush the domestic tank?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Thanks for an awsome site!!

  • #2
    Re: cleaning domestic water tank

    not sure what size tank you have. but i would think there would be a drain or hose bibb at the bottom portion of it.

    start by draining it and then remove the bibb to allow for a quick look. a micro seesnake would be great for this. too bad you asked today as yesterday josh gave 1 away to the 100,000 poster.

    you might want to check with the resin supplier to find out what chemical would be required to help dissolve it.

    i know i have a jetter/ pressure washer that would be able to blast it from the top nipple opening and flush it out through the bottom opening.

    you might also have an anode rod dissolving making the bad taste.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: cleaning domestic water tank

      Might be smarter to replace the tank!! What the cost?
      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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      • #4
        Re: cleaning domestic water tank

        Thanks Rick,

        I contacted the resin supplier and they didn't have any idea, it's a synthetic polymer blend product, I guess they don't get many requestes for this application. I'm sure there is a product out there to dissolve the build up, I just haven't found it yet. I was hoping with all the experienced members on this site I might find the answer.

        As for the drain Bib, the supplier tells me that there is no drain on the tank, which I find hard to believe, I'm guessing they didn't want to remove the sheet metal shroud on the furnace to access the bib......Thers's got to be a drain on that tank, am I right in saying that? How else would you drain it to move the furnace? I believe it is about 30-40 gal capacity. If I could find the anode well, I would remove the anode to get a look into the tank to see what I'm up against. I am assuming that the anode in under the sheet metal shroud as well, so I guess I will have to take the bull by the horn's and do it myself. As a further frustration, the dealer who installed it wants to sell me a new one, so their level of intrest in fixing the problem is very low.

        Thank's again

        Gord

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        • #5
          Re: cleaning domestic water tank

          The domestic hot water tank is inside my oil fired hydronic heating system, otherwise Toolaholic I agree, I would just replace it.....and of course the model is not made anymore.
          Next compareable unit....$8500.00 OUCH!!

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          • #6
            Re: cleaning domestic water tank

            Sorry Tech ,Last time we installed those, is when I was In Mass.
            We Generally see hot air and radiant in N Ca. Don't miss those winters!!
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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            • #7
              Re: cleaning domestic water tank

              What is the consistancy of the resin beads left in the tank?

              Are they soft and mushy or did they harden and gel together?

              If they are still soft you might be able to eventually flush them out.

              If they are hard, you're screwed. You need a new complete system. I would call my insurance company.

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              • #8
                Re: cleaning domestic water tank

                Plumberscrack,

                The resin that I have flushed out is still very fluid, it is burnt and smells awful, and is also very dirty, it flows well once I dislodged it with a length of nylon tubing. The problem is that I can only reach so far and I suspect the main body of the tank is still quite full. As plumber Rick suggested, if I could find a drain bib or anode well I could get at it better and actually clean it out properly....I looked last night and I cannot see anything other than the inlet and outlet nipples on the domestic water side. What do you think of the idea of a high pressure flush, maybe 125 psi or so? I'm running out of options, and actually thinking of installing a stand alone electric tank, I can't bear the thought of having to tear everthing out as I cannot get a direct replacement.

                Thank's everone for your suggestions and help.

                Gord

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                • #9
                  Re: cleaning domestic water tank

                  The Dettson HMD has no drain and no anode rod. The relief valve is also externally mounted. Most indirect fired water heaters are set up this way.

                  So this is what you have; an inlet tube that extends to near the bottom and a hot water outlet to work from. Those beads are heavier than water. You could try to pressure wash them some to break then up a bit. It's a stainless steel tank so you can go a bit higher with the pressure if you needed to. After pressure washing you will have to vacuum then out using a wet vac. with a skinny hose.

                  You had a catastrophic failure of a safety device on the combination boiler that left your hot water heater and a portion of the filtration system unusable. Call your insurance company, stay on them and don't let them off the hook.

                  I still think you're screwed

                  Good luck and report back with any info. I'd like to hear how it goes.

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                  • #10
                    Re: cleaning domestic water tank

                    Thanks for the advice Plumberscrack,

                    I'm going to have a go at using the pressure washer on it, and then like you suggested the wet vac approach. I called the insurace company, they won't touch it as my furnace insurance is supposed to cover the damage, they are the ones I'm fighting with.

                    I'll keep you posted, have a good weekend.

                    Gord

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                    • #11
                      Re: cleaning domestic water tank

                      I have made "special/ custom" washing wands out of 1/8 pipe and then drill small hole in the side of the pipe, by angling the holes one should be more able to direct the water to where it you should be able to wash all areas of the tank inside, by drilling a section on the end of the pipe and having a pipe the length of what ever the depth of the tank is you should be able to reach the entire interior, (if the supply is on the end of the tank), unless the anode or drop tube makes a shadow area but more than likely you would have enough wiggle room to get around it,

                      You may want to put a whole house filter on after the tank to catch any thing that could wash out after you put it back into service.
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                      • #12
                        Re: cleaning domestic water tank

                        Hey Guys,

                        Had a pretty successfull week with my custom cleaning wands, wet vac and hours of patience, thanks to all for the suggestions, I managed to pull out lots of black burnt resin material. I still have a slight discoloration to the hot water, and I suspect that the inner walls of the tank are still retaining a bit a sediment that I cannot displace with the high pressure water. Any Ideas abot some kind of chemical wash that I could use to rinse out the tank? Something like CLR.....any other formulas that might work?

                        Thanks guys for all the info, it made the job much easier.

                        Gord

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                        • #13
                          Re: cleaning domestic water tank

                          i would try vinegar first as it's a weak acid and is not caustic like clr. clr is a stronger product, but i wouldn't want to drink it.

                          plus vinegar is pretty cheep. much cheeper than clr.

                          i don't think it will break down the resin, but it will clean the tank. we use it on tankless heaters to delime them. also on tank heaters, but not as necessary as a tankless.

                          have you spoken to the resin supplier to find out what might be a good product to break it down with? does it just need some heat over a period of time?

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

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                          • #14
                            Re: cleaning domestic water tank

                            Thanks Rick, I'll try the vinegar first, it's cheap and easy, and safer than CLR. No luck with the resin supplier, they have never heard of the resin being burnt, I guess my situation is very rare. Also, maybe you are right about it just needing some time and heat to let go.

                            All things being said, my wife is getting happier, and we all know that
                            happy wife=happy husband

                            Thanks again, and have a great weekend.

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