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Old 06-07-2015, 11:38 AM   #1
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Hot water smells

What is the proper way to clean it? Drain it? Add bleach and water? Run it threw the lines?
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:25 PM   #2
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A rotten egg smell is often due to deposits in the water heater tank. You didn't specify if it's a Suburban or Atwood WH, here's a video on cleaning a Suburban tank, similar videos on YouTube on cleaning an Atwood also available.

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Old 06-07-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
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On the Damon I used to have, I would get the rotten egg smell. I would drain the HWH, put bleach in my fresh water hose and refill it. Then I would open the hot water taps until I smelled bleach. I would let that sit for a while and drain the tank again, and run fresh water through the lines. Every couple years I would have to do this. I was told it was from bacteria you would get from campgrounds water.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:24 PM   #4
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This is from the Atwood manual:
"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."
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Turn off WH breaker first.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay L View Post
This is from the Atwood manual:
"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."
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:30 PM   #6
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Whether bacteria or minerals, (iron, sulphur) vinegar is the better route. While bleach will kill the bacteria, it doesn't really dissolve deposits in the HW tank that harbor the bacteria and causes the odor. You can't just blame campground water for the issue, minerals are found in all drinking water, but well water is a main source.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:57 PM   #7
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Alright guys I went ahead and put some bleach in the fresh water supply. I ran water thru the lines and I'll leave it overnight.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:02 PM   #8
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Did you run it through the hot water lines, including through the tank? You need to get a reasonable concentration of bleach in the tank water as well as all the lines.

While a cannot disagree with the previous comments about minerals, I've never had a thorough sanitizing with bleach fail to remove hot water tank odors.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:26 AM   #9
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Rotten egg smell is H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide) there is a bacteria that concentrates sulfur out of the water, and yes it stinks.

Drain and flush

then sanatize with bleach water (1/4 cup per five gallons)

Then flush with clear water

Then soda water (Concentration not critical but make sure its liquid not toothpaste, I usually use about half a box per 70 gallons)

Then fresh water again (optional on the hot side)

That should clean it.
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