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Old 03-19-2016, 04:33 PM   #1
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Hot Water STINKS!

We have a Atwood 10 gallon heater and the water stinks when you flow the hot water. And I do mean stinks. So I drained and flushed it while we were on a trip this week and that took care of mist of it but there is still a hint of the hydrogen sulfide smell. So now that we are home, I went to the atwood website and read to use vinegar mix and cycle the heater 4-5 times and then drain and flush it and that should cure the problem.
So what does Atwood mean by cycling the tank? Has anyone done this? I'd call them but they are closed weekends.

Here is the link to the cleaning procedure. You have to use 6 gallons of vinegar and 4 gallons of water for the mix.

http://www.askforatwood.com/images/W...ceTri-Fold.pdf
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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Heating cycles

Turn it ON (electric & propane)
Let it heat up....cool down (naturally--not by adding water)\\\\ 4-5 times
Then turn off..drain & flush

Initial heat cycle from cold water to 140*F (t-stat opens)
Cool down to 110*F (t-stat closes) Repeat this heat cycle

This will take overnight if you start in AM
Fastest recovery rate is using both electric & propane at same time

Hardest part is removing Temp/Press Relief Valve to pour 6 gallons of vinegar into WH tank

Hot Vinegar soak works...........
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dnystrom View Post
We have a Atwood 10 gallon heater and the water stinks when you flow the hot water. And I do mean stinks. So I drained and flushed it while we were on a trip this week and that took care of mist of it but there is still a hint of the hydrogen sulfide smell. So now that we are home, I went to the atwood website and read to use vinegar mix and cycle the heater 4-5 times and then drain and flush it and that should cure the problem.
So what does Atwood mean by cycling the tank? Has anyone done this? I'd call them but they are closed weekends.

Here is the link to the cleaning procedure. You have to use 6 gallons of vinegar and 4 gallons of water for the mix.

http://www.askforatwood.com/images/WaterHeaterServiceTri-
Fold.pdf

The problem is that you may have algae in your fresh water system. This in turn can become DMS (dimethylsulphide) when the algae die from the heat in the hot water tank. Some water supplies (city/camp) actually have DMS in them normally because it exists in the ground water they draw from. It's typical in some Florida aquifers. Not much you can do about contaminated water supplies but if it's algae you can sanitize your system. See post 10 from the link below for the procedure.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/sulp...-a-282963.html
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:00 PM   #4
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Old Biscuit nailed it.
This is caused by well water with a high sulphur content. If you go to a CG on well water, you should drain your hot water heater after leaving if you let your RV sit unused for a while and you won't have this problem.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:07 PM   #5
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I have "flushed" my Atwood water heater to get rid of the rotten egg smell ... by that I mean

  1. Remove the drain plug
  2. Insert a 1/2" outside diameter hose into the drain hole ... fasten the 1/2" hose to my garden hose (rube Goldberg attachment ... get inventive here) and turn the water on and move the hose around inside the tank ...
  3. Pull the hose out ... the water that comes out will be *milkfish* ...

Repeat 2) and 3) until the water that comes out is clear ... it may take 5 or 6 cycles before you are done ...


The hose is about 2 feet long ... it is clear plastic ... I bought it at a farm store ... in the dairy supply section


This gets rid of the *rotten egg* smell ...
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Heating cycles

Turn it ON (electric & propane)
Let it heat up....cool down (naturally--not by adding water)\\\\ 4-5 times
Then turn off..drain & flush

Initial heat cycle from cold water to 140*F (t-stat opens)
Cool down to 110*F (t-stat closes) Repeat this heat cycle

This will take overnight if you start in AM
Fastest recovery rate is using both electric & propane at same time

Hardest part is removing Temp/Press Relief Valve to pour 6 gallons of vinegar into WH tank

Hot Vinegar soak works...........
OK!!! Thanks for the info on that! I have the pressure relief valve off now and going to sams club for the vinegar. I'm going to just pump it in with my spare pump thats all set for gallon jugs and inlet to the pressure relief opening to get the tank filled with the mix. We are in the driveway at home so it's going to be a simple operation. I just wish atwood would just say 4-5 HEATING CYCLES. Thank you for the clarification! Sounds like you have done it before. Lots and lots of applications for vinegar!
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
I have "flushed" my Atwood water heater to get rid of the rotten egg smell ... by that I mean

  1. Remove the drain plug
  2. Insert a 1/2" outside diameter hose into the drain hole ... fasten the 1/2" hose to my garden hose (rube Goldberg attachment ... get inventive here) and turn the water on and move the hose around inside the tank ...
  3. Pull the hose out ... the water that comes out will be *milkfish* ...

Repeat 2) and 3) until the water that comes out is clear ... it may take 5 or 6 cycles before you are done ...


The hose is about 2 feet long ... it is clear plastic ... I bought it at a farm store ... in the dairy supply section


This gets rid of the *rotten egg* smell ...
I think the vinegar will get rid of the white scale. I have rinsed and rinsed but I would still get the scale bits out of the tank and I think that scale will cause the stink. I was really rank. I was just using a tool that hooks up to a garden hose and stuck it in the drain hole. Wet Feet!
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:28 PM   #8
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What I use is hydrogen peroxide. For the water heater at my shop I just pour a bottle in and let it set. Then just start using it. Works great
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightab View Post
What I use is hydrogen peroxide. For the water heater at my shop I just pour a bottle in and let it set. Then just start using it. Works great
Wondering how you pour it in the hot water tank?
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
Wondering how you pour it in the hot water tank?
As said above, pull the pop off valve and use a funnel or put it in a squirt bottle, put calve back on and let the water heat upand start using. I don't know if a whole bottle would be necessary for RV but I use a whole bottle on my 40 gallon tank. You would be drinking it so I don't think it would be an issue. If t is. Am source someone will post.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
Wondering how you pour it in the hot water tank?
When I had this issue on mine, I blocked the heater outlet valve, opened the pressure relief, and used the Winterize suction hose to draw from the Vinegar jug into the hot water heater until it came out of the relief. Once I had it full of the Vinegar/Water solution, I closed the relief, turned on the heater and let it heat up. Shut the heater off at the end of its cycle and let stand for a few hours to cool and the pulled the plug to drain. Filled with fresh water (city or my house) and then drained once more..

A bit of a PITA so like I said in my post, if I'm at a CG that uses well water and I'm going to put my coach into storage mode for more than a few days, I pull the plug on the heater and drain it.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:52 AM   #12
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caution:
make sure that the electric water heater element is turned off before draining the hot water tank.
it only takes a few seconds to burn out the heater element without water in the tank.
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:00 PM   #13
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Vinegar soak will remove scale (calcium/magnesium) which reacts with microbes in water supply

Drain/flushing routinely helps eliminate scale from building up.

Using a 'wand' helps direct water spray up/around tank top to bottom

Atwood by design inhibits good draining/flushing/rinsing because of their use of a 1/2" drain hole. And location of drain hole so that crud/sediment is left below drain hole opening.

What I do to help overcome the small drain hole is:
*turn water supply off
*open a faucet hot side to relieve pressure then close facuet
*remove drain plug
*turn water supply back on full.......letting it blast out drain hole (cold water inlet has a dip tube that points downward)

Then I turn water supply off......finishing draining and then do a rinse/flush with wand. Afterwards I give it another flush pressure blast with water supply.

Helps get that scale/crud out of bottom of WH tank
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:52 PM   #14
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After 5 cycles I drained the tank and it looked like skim milk. Took about 5 flushes until clean and no vinegar taste. Hope this lasts for awhile. I should have done this a lot sooner.
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