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Old 09-05-2014, 07:21 AM   #1
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Hot Water Stinks!!!

Hi All,
Turned the hot water on in my 2011 Journey 34Y this morning and it smelled like raw sewer. Stunk the whole MH up. I first thought it was the RV park water, but after some checks, I narrowed it down to the hot water only. I drained the hot water heater and refilled, the smell is gone. The MH has only sat for 4 weeks since out last trip. My concern is where did the foul smelling water come from on the hot water side, and what made it happen? I guess more importantly will it return......:(
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:56 AM   #2
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I had that problem on our previous 2003 Chieftain. I never determined what caused it but I solved the problem by draining the hwh if I knew it was not going to be used for a few weeks. If I failed to drain the hwh I flushed 10 gallons through the HW system before heading out. On our Horizon I always drain the water tank if we are not going to use the rig in a couple of weeks especially in the hut summer weather.


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Old 09-05-2014, 08:07 AM   #3
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Chiefbvfd, here is a good link on sanitizing the hot and cold water system. I always drain the hot water tank when I return from a trip.

How To Sanitize an RV Fresh Water System - TheRVgeeks
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:29 PM   #4
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I think you got some bad water somewhere. My water heater sits for weeks at a time with water in it and no smell when I start using it again.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:35 AM   #5
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I think maybe I did too. I never drain the WH during the season and have never had this problem before. After draining the issue has cleared up for now. grtharris, I will definitely sanitize my system per the RV Geeks article. Thanks to you all for your help...
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:39 AM   #6
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The following is from the Atwood water heater manual. It blames sulfur in the water as the cause and tells how to eliminate the odor.

"1. Turn off your main water supply. Drain your water
heater tank. Reinstall drain plug. Remove the
pressure-temperature relief valve. With a funnel
use 4 parts white vinegar to two parts water. (In a
6 gallon tank that would be 4 gallons vinegar to 2
gallons water).
2. Cycle the water heater, letting it run under normal
operation 4-5 times. At no time do you remove the
vinegar from the tank Once this has been
completed, remove the drain plug and drain the
water heater.
3. After thoroughly draining the tank, to remove the
sediment, flush the water heater.
If you elect to use air pressure, it may be applied
either through the inlet or outlet on the rear of the
tank or applied through the pressure-temperature
relief valve. Remove the pressure-temperature
relief valve and insert your air pressure through
the pressure-temperature relief valve coupling. In
either case, with the drain valve open, the air
pressure will force the remaining water out of the
unit.
If air pressure is unavailable, your unit can be
flushed with fresh water. Fresh water should be
pumped into the tank either with the onboard
pump or external water pressure. External
pressure may be hosed into the unit either
through the inlet or outlet found on the rear of the
tank or the pressure-temperature relief valve
coupling located on the front of the unit.
Continue this flushing process for approximately
five minutes allowing ample time for the fresh
water to agitate the stagnant water on the
bottom of the tank and forcing the deposits
through the drain opening.
4. Upon completion of the steps above, replace the
drain plug and the pressure-temperature relief
valve.
5. Refill tank with fresh water that contains no
sulfur."
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:08 AM   #7
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Thanks CLAY L........
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay L View Post
The following is from the Atwood water heater manual. It blames sulfur in the water as the cause and tells how to eliminate the odor.
"
I agree with Atwood if there is sulfur on the water but when I was having the problem I was using city water. I can't vouch for the water I used in camp grounds. I always left home with a full tank of my water. As you know City Water is required to have some chlorine in it to start with.

Don
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:02 AM   #9
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Well Water at some campgrounds that is left to site in the tank for long periods is the normal culprit. I had this happen a year ago so I can relate to the smell you experienced. A good rinse with bleach will fix it.
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:07 AM   #10
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Had the same problem last month I don't drain or winterize while stored over the winter and have had the bus going on 4 years now. We went out in June and all was well, we filled at a place just before going home and never checked it before leaving on this trip. About 5 weeks later we left on this trip, what a surprise when the hot water was used the first day out.

Drained, refilled and sanitized overnight then flushed and all has been well since then.
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:14 AM   #11
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If it was the CG water then the cold water would stink also. The odor is caused by decaying mineral sediment or anode rod if you have one. Follow the Atwood instructions and replace the anode if you have one. Sometimes just a good flushing will do the trick.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:21 PM   #12
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My opinion is yes sulfur would be the culprit. What would be unremarkable or not even noticable in fresh water will change in the hot water side due of course to the heating of it. My opinion is that over time it will continue to slowly evaporate in the tank. There is always a little air in a hot water tank and this air can continue to allow the sulfur to compress in that small void affecting the water with its taste and odor.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:06 AM   #13
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Thanks All...
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