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Old 01-20-2019, 05:45 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Goodyear, AZ
Posts: 19
Shower water has the worst smell I've ever smelled.

I'm about ready to go visit the dealer I bought this rig from, Superstition RV in Apache Junction, AZ...should have known from the name.
I have not hit the road in this rig yet, good thing. Had to fix a leak in the tranny, not bad, no problem.
Replaced my batteries myself, no big deal.
Today I shampooed the carpet, which was supposed to be done by the dealer, he didn't do it. Fixed chips in the windshield, put on new tires.
So, today I decided to check out the plumbing system. Added some water to the fresh water tank, turned on the water pump, decided to check the faucets and the shower.
When I turned on the shower, the worst stench I have ever smelled came out.
Does anyone have any ideas other than the ones running through my head of what this is and more importantly, how can I correct this? Do I need to replace the plumbing to the shower?
Very discouraged, haven't even taken it on a trip yet.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:53 PM   #2
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Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 549
The water heater often ends up with a sulphur like smell in the water. You likely need to flush the HWH to get rid if the smell.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:20 AM   #3
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Goodyear, AZ
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Thanks Bob for your response. I'll try to dig up the instructions on how to flush the HWH. The confusing thing is that I was using the cold water knob in the shower.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:03 PM   #4
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Location: Full time RV'er
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Yeah, sounds like the water heater needs flushing. Probably the whole system could use a treatment.

Since that's the case, you should probably use the formula for a 'troubled RV water system' and add to the water tank 0.13 oz of bleach X tank size. So as example, 60 gallon tank X 0.13 = 7.8 oz of bleach into the fresh water tank, and fill, if not already. Then run that water through water tank, every faucet hot & cold, inside and outside showers too. Let it sit 24 - 48 hours. Than over time dump as much as you can into the gray and black tanks. Until they are full. Then dump.

You can drink that water but you can taste it too, and some find it less than tasty. After the faucets and shower flushings, you can add 1 & 1/2 cup vinegar per 60 gallons to help remove smells, and also add 1/2 cup baking soda per 60 gallons. (Adjust for your tank size). This treatment makes the water a bit more palatable and gives it time to work on killing stuff.

All this info is from a city water chemist who was also an RV'er.
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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Old 01-27-2019, 07:10 AM   #5
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Goodyear, AZ
Posts: 19
Thanks to all who replied to this thread. Looks like I may have the problem under control, or at least moving in the right direction. Who knows how long it's been since this vehicle had all it's tanks flushed and rinsed.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:08 AM   #6
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 415
Your water system has become contaminated with iron loving bacteria. They won't hurt you but they do create stinky water. This occurs when iron laden water is allowed to sit in the water system for extended times.

You need to sanitize the tanks (especially the hot water heater) and plumbing with bleach. Simply flushing will not work. Follow the directions for sanitizing your water system.

When you come home after a trip, be sure that you drain the water system through the low point drains. Make sure you drain the water heater as well. This will prevent the little iron loving bacteria from growing and make you repeat this process frequently.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:11 PM   #7
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Location: Lexington County, South Carolina
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Run a solution of bleach in the tank and through the lines or purchase a fresh water treatment from Amazon or CW and do the same. It takes about 3 flush outs with clean water to remove either solution.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:07 PM   #8
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Location: Goodyear, AZ
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Thanks for your reply.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:27 PM   #9
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Location: Full-timer/volunteer w/SOWERS
Posts: 2,426
I love threads like this. You all have hot water heaters! My coach came with a cold water heater. I feel slighted!!!
Be careful when you sanitize the system. Follow the directions in your owners manual. I got carried away once and did damage to my fill valve, The bleach degraded the plastic. I replaced it with a brass ball valve.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:52 PM   #10
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Louisiana
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Sanitizing the system works but when we had the problem it was the water filter. Once we changed it the problem was solved - now change it out regularly
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