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Old 08-13-2018, 02:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 87
Angry Hot Water smell

We were out camping with the grandchildren and my wife turned on the hot water tank. Later she went to use the hot water and thought we had a gas leak. I checked the gas detector and all was fine except for the smell! I drained the hot water tank when I discovered the smell was coming from the hot water. I purged all the hot water from the lines and tried again. still same problem. I put a sample of the smelly water in a med bottle, as I am retired and have a lot of them! I then turned off the tank and purged the water again. The hoe water tank was now off line. We could heat up the water and not smell. A few days later I opened the sample and there was no smell.
Do I replace the hot water tank, can we clean it or is it some thing else? I am out of ideas!

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Old 08-13-2018, 05:06 PM   #2
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Is there an annode rod in your heater? Check the condition.

1999 Harney Renegade
Used mostly for weekends at the dragstrip with my rear engine dragster and my son's jr dragster.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:07 PM   #3
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Try diluting vinegar 1 part vinegar and 2 parts distilled water fill the tank and let it set for a few days. Leave at least one hot water outlet open. Then flush it good with water. If it still smells like the vinegar add a package or baking soda fill it one more time let it set for a couple of hours agin leave one outlet open. The sulfate smell should be gone. This works with home water heaters it should work in a RV tank.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:54 AM   #4
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So far

So far, the anode looks good, but I have never seen one before. I have vinegar in the boiler over night. I was thinking I should heat it up in the hot water tank, run the solution though the lines to clean them, empty the hot water tank, put new water in, run the water through and see if it worked.
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:50 AM   #5
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Your water heater (and probably the rest of the water system) has a microbe that emits sulfur dioxide. It's not harmful to humans, but it stinks when the water is heated. You need to sanitize at least the heater tank, but preferable the entire system. Otherwise, the smelly microbes will probably soon return.

The vinegar solution described above may work, but a chlorine or peroxide sanitizing is more reliable.

This video from Suburban describes the problem and solution.
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Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:06 PM   #6
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I think I have it under control using vinegar, but will use the bleach next spring and if I have any problems

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