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Old 08-21-2015, 10:05 AM   #1
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The creature under the sink....

A few years ago we noticed a strange, organic odor emanating from under the kitchen sink in our Nash trailer. This odor appears when we fire up the hot water tank but subsides when the tank is emptied and the trailer is sitting in the yard. There is absolutely no evidence of water leakage, the floor and walls are solid, the connections are tight. At the suggestion of our RV people, we replaced the anode in the tank but that didn't help. Then we were advised to bleach the hot water tank to remove any organic material collected from using wild water. That didn't work. Then we replaced the check valve on the vent to the grey water tank but that didn't help either. We filled the holding tanks with Tank Boss and let it sit but that didn't help either. The odor is not coming from the drain and the water does not smell. We are wondering if it's possible that there is a tiny leak in the hot water tank and the water is dripping into the insulation but kept contained by the Styrofoam enclosure. Then when we empty the hot water tank the insulation dries out and stops smelling....anyone?

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Old 08-21-2015, 10:17 AM   #2
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You have a nasty problem and , it would appear that the tank has a pin hole leak, and possibly some mould that really starts to smell when wet.
Depending on the brand of tank the foam insulation could be removable with the tank out of the RV. Water heater removal on most RVs is not a big job, and removing it could very well be your next step to check and possibly repair your problem.

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Old 08-21-2015, 10:21 AM   #3
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You say it smells only when the tank is full or only when hot? Only hot may indicate a wet insulation. On Gas or electric? How long after its drained does smell go away? Anode??? No way was that going to help.
I was thinking drain vent check valve. No reason to think a new one would seal perfect. Did you clean out the sink p traps and as much drain line as possible?
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:47 PM   #4
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Had a similar problem when some foam rubber (or the adhesive that held it in place) stunk really bad when heated then dissappeared when it cooled off. Not on a hot water heater tank but may lead you closer the cause.
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