Remove mineral deposits in water heater with chemicals?

I have an oil-fired water heater that collects mineral deposits from our hard water. It's driving me nuts - bits of the stuff keep coming off and clogging aerators, shower heads, etc. Also makes a mess when the tub is used. However when I drain the tank almost nothing comes out - seems the deposits are pretty well attached!
I'm wondering if it's possible to use Lime-Away or CLR to remove these deposits, or would this damage the tank? I drained the tank, removed the drain valve, and looked inside - it seems the layer of deposits is pretty thin, 1/8 or maybe 1/4 of an inch.
Eric Law
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Far better and safer to remove or eliminate the deposits before the tank. Look into a softener and if you have solids, an in line filter. Chemicals may remove the deposits, but you may also have residue for a while after. Do you want to wash your hair with Lime Away? If the deposits are truly well attached, the are not the ones you want to catch.
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I would also be concerned about blowing up the heater when lime away hits the deposits and there is pressure built up from the chemical reaction.

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There is a product out there that you hook up to the piping. It provides a small electric current that breaks the ionic bonds of the chemical scaling.
For the life of me, I can't remember what it is called... Maybe someone else here knows.
Art wrote:

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It is a gimmick.
wrote:

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