Ask Dave: I lost the water heater tank rinser inside the tank. Help!

Hello Dave,
When cleaning my water heater, I used a pipe attached to a hose to remove the dirt. I used the Camco (the water heater tank washer pictured below) with the little gray tube on the end. When I opened the black valve, the hose shot into the water heater! I tried to fish it out but I just can’t find it. Will that do any harm? Any ideas? Many Thanks. -Robert

Dear Robert,
My only concern is the hot temperature and if the water heater tank washer plastic melts or dissolves and gets clogged in the pipes or faucets. I just did a test with mine and it floats so you could try putting the bottom plug back in and taking the relief valve out at the top as it’s a larger opening. Fill the tank with water and look inside with a flashlight. You could use a coat hanger with a slight hook to move the water around and you might get lucky and see it.

Here is Robert’s answer. Sometimes we are lucky!

It worked! You are a genius. I lowered the right side of the trailer where the water heater is. That seems to help get the pole closer. I then used the curved hanger to bring the tip out and used needle nose pliers to pull it out. Thank you very much.

It looks like it may have been a problem for others. I found an article on RV Travel by Nanci Dixon dated April 18, 2022 addressing the same issue. I’ve attached a few images in case it would be helpful to others. Many many thanks. Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving. -Robert

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of The RV Handbook.

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