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Old 05-10-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
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Sulphur odor coming from hot water heater

When burner is on. What can I do to get rid of that odor.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:30 PM   #2
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Needs to be drained and sanitized with bleach.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:34 PM   #3
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Rather than bleach, I'd suggest using a couple of gallons of white vinegar. It will dissolve the deposits in the tank that create the odor.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
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Drain hot water heater using the large plug, then rinse, rinse, rinse with a wand until the water comes out clean. There is a good video on You tube about . I had the same problem and question when I bought my RV. Took me hours to flush mine until the water came out clean.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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It depends

Bleach has always worked for me. If it's a suburban you probably need to put in a new anode rod as described above. You will be amazed at what comes out of the tank when you rinse it.

If it's an Attwood it doesn't have an anode. But rinsing it is still necessary.

Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:02 AM   #6
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The following is from Atwood:


FLUSHING YOUR WATER HEATER TO REMOVE THE ROTTEN EGG 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 sulphur. The Atwood water heater is designed for use in a Recreation Vehicle. If you use your vehicle frequently or for long periods of time, flushing the water heater several times a year will prolong the life of the storage tank.
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay L View Post
The following is from Atwood:


FLUSHING YOUR WATER HEATER TO REMOVE THE ROTTEN EGG 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 sulphur. The Atwood water heater is designed for use in a Recreation Vehicle. If you use your vehicle frequently or for long periods of time, flushing the water heater several times a year will prolong the life of the storage tank.
do not drain the water heater tank with the electric element turned on.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Rather than bleach, I'd suggest using a couple of gallons of white vinegar. It will dissolve the deposits in the tank that create the odor.
X2.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ewaldo View Post
When burner is on. What can I do to get rid of that odor.
Is the odor present only when the burner is on? The previous posts involved the odor of hydrogen sulfide in water, which can occur due to a chemical reaction involving the anode rod or a biological reaction involving certain bacteria. In these cases, the odor would occur whether or not the burner was on.

If the odor only occurs when the burner is on, it could involve a sulfur-containing chemical odorant added to the propane to warn of a leak. PLEASE CHECK FOR GAS LEAKS BEFORE USING YOUR WATER HEATER.
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