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Old 06-22-2015, 02:30 PM   #1
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Hot water odor

have odor coming from hot water when on electric. OK when on gas. unit is 10 gal and less than a year old in a new Phaeton. have replaced the heating element and anode but still have the smell that is like something burning. the heater is under a cabinent and the odor can't be detected from outside the heater. has anyone else had this problem and fixed it?
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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Interesting scenario.....

Have you seen this occur at different campgrounds with different water supply quality?

Is it the water that smells when it comes out of the tap, or is it a smell inside the coach from something else?

If it is the water that smells, the electric element has a higher surface element temperature in contact with the water, as compared to LP gas heating through the heat exchanger. The higher contact temperature may be altering the physical chemistry of the water - evolving gases out of the liquid phase creating a smell. Changing water sources may resolve the issue.

If you boil a pot of cold water on the stove, do you get the same smell?

Not sure if this helps, but I cannot think of anything else which may be contributing with the limited information you have provided.

Brian
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:29 PM   #3
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If it's a sulfur smell flush tank.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:35 PM   #4
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You need to install a magnesium anode -- not aluminum.

Bruce
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:37 PM   #5
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If the odor is in the water, flush tank with vinegar or bleach. If not in the water and it's only on electric setting, I would be looking for a hot wire or connection. Some electric water heaters are controlled with a 12 v relay that turns 120 v power on to the heat element. The relay could be overheating or a weak wire connection could be building up resistance and creating heat. As you can see, it could be a fire hazard. If you can't find it and it still smells, consult a pro.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:18 PM   #6
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I thought the Phaetons have an Atwood heater. If so, do NOT use an anode. It doesn't use one and Atwood recommends against it. It has nothing to do with odors anyway, so save your money.

If the smell is only when using 120v electric power, you have something seriously wrong with the power to the heater. Get ot checked out and fixed!

If its both gas & electric, you have a species of germ in the water that thrives in dark hot places and emits a sulfur-like smell. It's not harmful but it stinks. Flush the entire water system with a sanitizing solution, e.g. chlorine bleach and water. Follow these instructions for the solution:
CDC - Cleaning and Sanitizing - Water-related Emergencies and Outbreaks - Healthy Water
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:44 AM   #7
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Your Phaeton has a Suburban water heater and yes, it has an anode.

Water heaters can generate bad smells in the water but that is not what you are complaining about. You complained about a burning smell.

1. Stop using the electric elemant now!
2. Your Phaeton uses a 12V relay to switch the 110V line that powers the water heater. You need to locate that relay (it's mounted in a junction box) and inspect all of the wiring. A loose connection can lead to overheating and a fire.
3. Either take the motorhome to your dealer or repair it yourself but you have a potentially serious (as in fire) electrical problem.

Call the Tiffin Service Center and tell them what is going on. They will most likely send you a new assembly for the connection. Have your VIN number handy.

To the rest of you responders - don't you guys read? You all jumped on the stinky hot water description and missed the OP's real complaint - burning smell inside the coach.
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
To the rest of you responders - don't you guys read? You all jumped on the stinky hot water description and missed the OP's real complaint - burning smell inside the coach.
Did you not read #4?? I said the same things you just did, in different words, but also warned of fire hazard and suggested a pro should take a look.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
To the rest of you responders - don't you guys read? You all jumped on the stinky hot water description and missed the OP's real complaint - burning smell inside the coach.
I did read, and I went back and re-read, before I posted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Barditch View Post
have odor coming from hot water when on electric. OK when on gas. unit is 10 gal and less than a year old in a new Phaeton. have replaced the heating element and anode but still have the smell that is like something burning. the heater is under a cabinent and the odor can't be detected from outside the heater. has anyone else had this problem and fixed it?
Hopefully the OP posts back and clarifies, but it does not "read" that the burnt smell is coming from outside the water heater - ie no burning smell inside the coach, but the water "smells" like something burning.

My interpretation.

Brian
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:16 PM   #10
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Bottom line, we need clarification of exactly what is happening in order to help.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
To the rest of you responders - don't you guys read? You all jumped on the stinky hot water description and missed the OP's real complaint - burning smell inside the coach.
Perhaps you should brush up on your reading comprehension skills.

He made it very clear that the "electrical" smell is coming from his water and not from outside of the water heater. Try reading it again and see if you can understand what he is talking about now.

Bruce
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad297 View Post
Perhaps you should brush up on your reading comprehension skills.

He made it very clear that the "electrical" smell is coming from his water and not from outside of the water heater. Try reading it again and see if you can understand what he is talking about now.

Bruce
As a retired educator of 35 years, far be it that I would criticize anyone wanting to increase reading comprehension skills. That being said, Barditch has yet to respond to help clarify any of the questions or points that would explain the issues raised.

A new electric element in a tank less than a year old is suspicious, I wonder if he, or someone else, turned on the electric element on an empty tank? The tank or a new element might have contaminates on it that could transfer to the water when heated. Has he flushed and cleaned the tank with bleach or vinegar to remove the burnt odor? After cleaning and flushing, does it still smell? These are the things that could help us help him.
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