Smelly water problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-18-2013, 07:45 PM   #1
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Smelly water problem

Just returned from a trip to southern Missouri (it was wonderful thank you), the water in my hot water heater smelled like onions! I'm not blaming Mo. but I am afraid it was sitting too long with water in the hot water tank. I really haven't used the Scamp since June. Could it just be "old" water? And if that is the answer how do I get rid of the smell? It's winterizing time so now is a perfect time.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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Add some bleach to your water tank and run your hot water.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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A sulfur smell from the hot tank can be the result of a bacteria that thrives in dark places & warm water that creates the sulfide gas your smelling or it could also be from a natural high sulfur level in the water you last filled it with. Often a problem if the water is left to sit in an used tank during warm weather.

As others have said the tank should be cleaned out. Due to the design of most of our hot water tanks what ever may be in the bottom of the tank doesnt drain out. You could have yourself depending on where you have getting your water from a bunch of gunk in the bottom of the tank which can lead to the bacteria issue.

If you dont already have one a Hot Water Tank Rinser is a good tool to have. Attach to your hose and stick the rinser with the little hook down towards the bottom of the tank and it will help clean out the bottom area of the tank of gunk. I am told that leaving gunk in the bottom of the tank will regrade the life of the tank, so its a good $6 investment if it helps your tank live a number of years longer.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:16 PM   #4
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Our water in the Ozarks is noted for its lime content.....not saying that is it, but drain and rinse. For my house i use baking soda and vinagar to try to get rid of the lime that collects in lines and drains....once a year do the vinager thing to the camper.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #5
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An in-line water filter should also help. A good ceramic will remove most stuff, one that has an activated charcoal inner core will reduce water problems even more.

I've been amazed at what a good ceramic water filter can do. I discovered this during our backpacking years. A good water filter fill remove foot coloring from the water. That was how I tested the backpack filter, a bowl of water colored with food coloring, pumped into another bowl. The second bowl had to be clear.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Name: Jim & Mary
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Used up anode could be problem

I've read that a water heater anode that is used up could be causing smelly water. I just bought a '07 Casita and when I checked the anode found it was just the core wire with a few fragments of the magnesium material left on the rod. I did not have smelly water but replaced the anode so I could use the heater. You might want to drain your water heater ( the drain plug is also the anode) and replace the anode if it has
been used up. Might solve your smelly water. Jim
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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Not all drain plugs are anodes. Most are simple plastic plugs. There is an optional drain and anode assemble that you can purchase to replace the standard plastic plug though, Attwood and other hotwater tank manufactures may sell their own version of this.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #8
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This is the reason I drink bottled water. You just don't know what's lurking in those systems and the pipes. The bacteria growth others referred to is a serious problem. Can be the cause of legionnaires disease. I'm not usually a worry wart, but this is one area I take extra precautions.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Most bottled water comes out of a tap ( municipal water system - the pipes ).
And, bottled water has a 'best before' date because it may contain stuff you wouldn't want to drink, if kept too long.
And, of course, plastic containers are a pollutant that lasts hundreds of years and break down into minute pieces that end up in the food chain.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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All good points Glen. I try to be green but fail when going camping I'm afraid. I llike to refill the bottles with my great water from home. But its still plastic containers and a big concern if it gets hot. I don't like to take glass with me camping, so I'm looking for larger plastic water bottles (1-2 gal size) that are BPA free like the smaller ones. I really care about what I put in my body.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #11
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I just found these and ordered a couple. Thanks for the nudge Glenn to get me to finally make this change. Now I just have to find the lowest price.
Amazon.com: Bluewave BPA Free 1 Gallon Round Bottle: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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If you are passing through Hope, B.C. you should fill up your containers. It's where Nestle fills theirs...
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:45 PM   #13
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Thanks for all your suggestions, I never drink my camper water but do wash dishes in it, still I'll try the vinegar thing and see what happens...easiest first.
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