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Old 07-02-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
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Water tank maintenance

My 2004 Monaco Monarch 30' PDD has a onion-like smell to the fresh water from the taps and shower; to the point of not wanting to use it. I used "Spring Fresh" by Taste Pure to clean it before the first use because the water had that onion smell when we purchased it in January; after de-Winterizing it. The water was fine after that but we had a month long break when I stored the TV after running the tank to empty.

This week we refilled it and took a short trip to a KY state park. After arriving we were able to get a site with city water so we used that instead of the on-board tank. Even that water had a strong onion smell.

What do I need to do to eliminate that smell so we can dry camp comfortably?

Also what is the best way to drain the fresh water tank? I run the pump and drain it through the outside fresh water faucet.

Would it be good to rig a way to blow out the lines with air?

Thanks!

Steg
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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Carefull you don`t burn out your pump, running it dry -- You should have a drain for the tank -- I drain the tank, & open the low point drains --- Over many years of RVing, I`ve never used any bleach or such in the tank, & I live in AZ, so I don`t winterize -- Do you have a water filter? Maybe it needs changed -- Billy Paul Willard
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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Steg......Check your water heater. Remove the water heater cover, pull the pressure relief lever and smell the water there. It may be where your smell is coming from.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:14 PM   #4
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Sounds like sulphide bacteria. Bleach out the entire system and avoid water with sulphur. Good luck!!
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:33 PM   #5
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I second what Don said about the hot water heater especially if you have and anode rod. On my 97 Monterey when I first got it had a foul smell and was instructed to check the rod. I pulled it out and the rod was gone. At first nothing came out the hole but as I poked a stick in the hole the stuff that came out looked like oatmeal and smelled awful. After flushing the tank I replaced it with a new rod and the smell was gone. Rod should be checked annually and replaced when necessary.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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Agreed. But the bacteria must still be neutralized with bleach. Good luck!!
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:42 PM   #7
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I found the ball valve to drain the hot water tank located in the electric bay. I did drain the hot water tank but it is the type with no anode. Note to self - make sure hose connection to house water is off next time. Drain plugs hurt when you are hit with them

Ill chlorinate the hack out of the system and run the water taps in all locations also
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:47 PM   #8
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TandW Thanks for the sulphide bacteria idea. I don't think our water has high sulpher content but how might I find out? That sound like a possible source.

Also Don and KKettering I'll do what you recommend. As usual you guys are a great help! Many many thanks to all of you!
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:49 PM   #9
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I should explain that sulphide bacteria loves the warm water in the water heater. If your heater is running below 160 degrees, it is the perfect environment. Good luck!!
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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Every late fall the water tank is completely drained through the tank drain in the "water" compartment. Then in the spring I put in a cup of bleach and fill the tank "to the brim." Run the treated water through all the lines. Completely drain the tank and refill with fresh water and drain it again. Then refill for the last time and run this fresh water through the lines until the bleach smell is gone. Usually that it enough to clean out the bleach taste. Then I drain the waste tanks into our septic system. Good to go for camping.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #11
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Thanks to all of you I like the hot water and sulfide bacteria ideas. The water heater is a no anode type. I forgot to turn off the water from the house when I removed the drain plug. They hurt when they hit you in the face!

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Old 07-02-2010, 01:01 PM   #12
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The nose test goes like so. Get away from your home or rig for several hours. Your water heater is on. Immediately upon returning draw glass of cold water. Sniff it. You may notice the odor if you've been away long enough. Next run hot water at tap closest to heater and catch it in a glass as it turns hot. Sniff it immediately and then look at it. If odor is obnoxious and or there are fine bubbles in water it is likely you are infected with sulphide bacteria. Good luck!!
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandW View Post
Sounds like sulphide bacteria. Bleach out the entire system and avoid water with sulphur. Good luck!!
+1
onion (and garlic) smells = sulphur
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:32 AM   #14
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I flushed the tank and refilled with diluted bleach solution and ran that through the system. I then drained and refilled with fresh water several times.

I think that the problem originated when the original owner spent a couple of Winters in FL. I know the water by my sister's winter house is very smelly with sulfur. There was a dark substance that coated the hot water drain plug. I suspect that as the culprit.
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