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Old 09-04-2013, 03:32 AM   #1
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Odor in Fresh Water

We live in our MH full time for the last year and recently we have had a problem with a foul odor in our fresh water. I am beginning to think it is making us sick. I am stumped as to what is causing the problem.

The problem persists even though we have been to multiple campgrounds. We rarely have a need to use the on board drinking water. I replaced the main water filter 3 weeks ago and this did not correct the problem. As I said we live in our coach full time so the water has seldom been allowed to sit in the lines for more then a few days.

I can drain the main tank and run fresh water through the lines but is this really going to clean the system if it is contaminated? I have read about putting chemicals into the fresh water tank but I have a 40 ft DP and there does not appear to be any easy access to the fresh water tank or easy way to clean the lines.

There are no leaks, I have replaced the water filter every 6 months, I have run water through the kitchen sink for 30 min, I have been to many campgrounds on both well water and city water. The odor has been getting worse for the last 2 months and the DW is complaining a lot the last two weeks of of an upset stomach. I could use some help on what I should do next.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:49 AM   #2
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good old chlorine bleach would be a starting point, I think a cup full is recommended for mixing with every 15 gallons of water, fill the tank and run the bleach water thru the lines including the water inlet hose and water heater, then let it sit for several hours, like over nite, to kill off any bacteria that may be contaminating your system and possibly causing odor
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:10 AM   #3
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A cup of bleach to 15 gallons of water is WAY TOO MUCH bleach. You will be forever getting the bleach smell and taste out.

I would definitely drain the fresh water tank, there is a drain somewhere. Add some bleach, re-fill the tank, let it set for a while, over nite if possible, then run it out thru the various lines using the onboard pump. Your problem maybe that because you full time and are hooked up to outside water most of the time, the onboard water just sits in the tank and goes bad. Don't over look the water heater also, the anode rod may need replacing, this can cause a bad odor.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:23 AM   #4
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It's 2 cups per 100 gal. Also, be sure to drain and flush several times before using flushing need to be done until no bleach odor is detected.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:30 AM   #5
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Water heater anode cause a metallic/rotten egg mix taste/Oder last year for us (for both hot and cold water). I pulled and cleaned the anode, flushed the water heater tank, then bleach treated water lines/tanks. All has been well. Your 2010 model shouldn't show much anode rod sacrifice - it should be as thick as your thumb.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:20 AM   #6
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You say you replaced the filter but did you ever sanatize the system?

1/4 cup of bleach per 15 gallons of water.. Standard directions are to mix it up in a gallon pail and pour it in, here is what I do.

First: REMOVE FILTER or filter cartridge if cartridge type, you may need a bypass for the filter.. You will put in a NEW filter/cartridge when finished.

Now. Fill the tank 1/2 full (I use the city water quick fill normally but you can use the gravity feed.

Disconnect and blow out the hose.

Using a funnel pour as much bleach as you can into the hose, recalling you will use no more than 1/4 cup per 15 gallons. Re-connect the hose and turn the water on, slowly at first, then full bore, to finish filling the tank.

Turn on the water pump and open all valves, both hot and cold, till you SMELL the bleach (or taste it with a drop on your finger tip) Flush the toilet.. You can let it run a lot longer if you wish, BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE HOT lines in this.

Remember to cycle the ice maker a few times too (use a towel to catch the water)

Now, drain the system. (including the fresh hose,) and drain the water heater as well.

now re-fill the tank, adding (Via gravity feed) a mix of water and 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda (I use 1/2 cup with 70 gallons)

Run this through all lines as before

Drain again and refill, Just water

Run this through all lines.

Taste

Optional (If you still taste either bleach or soda)

Drain and flush again.

NOTE.. If you hook to real city water. this normally does a fair job of it all by itself. (They add bleach to teh water)_
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
You say you replaced the filter but did you ever sanatize the system?

1/4 cup of bleach per 15 gallons of water.. Standard directions are to mix it up in a gallon pail and pour it in, here is what I do.

First: REMOVE FILTER or filter cartridge if cartridge type, you may need a bypass for the filter.. You will put in a NEW filter/cartridge when finished.

Now. Fill the tank 1/2 full (I use the city water quick fill normally but you can use the gravity feed.

Disconnect and blow out the hose.

Using a funnel pour as much bleach as you can into the hose, recalling you will use no more than 1/4 cup per 15 gallons. Re-connect the hose and turn the water on, slowly at first, then full bore, to finish filling the tank.

_
I will try this today. Thanks to those who posted. From your posts I suspect the problem maybe because I have never drained the 100 gallon fresh water tank since I have owned the coach (18 months) I just top it off every so often. I will post the results later today.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
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So as to not offend anyone using an inline hose filter, apologies in advance.

If you think about it, a good city water supply most likely has a certain amount of chlorine in the water delivered to the end user, you. It is there to keep the water sanitized while it lays around in water mains, pipes, and tanks for some unknown amount of time. By using one of the inline hose filters, designed to remove the chlorine taste, you remove the protection it provides. The water may sit in your tank for months as you travel from one hook up site to another, seldom using the water in your tank. If you find a tank drain and pull some water that has been sitting in the tanks for a long period of time, it will most likely have an odor and be slightly green in color.

Leave the city water as is when you fill your tank. Even if you are using well water, a few cap fulls of chlorine bleach added will keep the bugs out of the water and will be easily removed with a charcoal filter as and when you use it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #9
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Ditto on the bleach. You may want to do this twice a year....
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:42 PM   #10
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I have read about putting chemicals into the fresh water tank but I have a 40 ft DP and there does not appear to be any easy access to the fresh water tank or easy way to clean the lines.
For an easy way to add chemicals, remove the filter cartridge, and put the chemicals into the filter housing and re-assemble, and then run water through it like you normally do.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPO_Retired View Post

I will try this today. Thanks to those who posted. From your posts I suspect the problem maybe because I have never drained the 100 gallon fresh water tank since I have owned the coach (18 months) I just top it off every so often. I will post the results later today.
It certainly doesn't hurt to do this periodically and now is a good time. However, if you have a Suburban water heater, I think it would be prudent to test the hot water first. I would draw a glass of cold water from the bath. Then in the kitchen, draw a glass of hot water, then compare the smell of both outside.

Of course if you have an Atwood or are 100% sure the smell is in all the water, then carry on
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Water heater anode cause a metallic/rotten egg mix taste/Oder last year for us (for both hot and cold water). I pulled and cleaned the anode, flushed the water heater tank, then bleach treated water lines/tanks. All has been well. Your 2010 model shouldn't show much anode rod sacrifice - it should be as thick as your thumb.
A little more info - I have a Suburban water heater and this happened right after camping on a border island off the SC coast (east coast). I had the camper 2 years by then, no previous issues and 1 1/2 years later no more issues. I suspect the SC island campground water had some salt in it which caused the anode corrosion and stinky metallic water.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:08 PM   #13
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For an easy way to add chemicals, remove the filter cartridge, and put the chemicals into the filter housing and re-assemble, and then run water through it like you normally do.
I just did mine using this method. If you don't have a filter in the wet bay you can buy the housing and use it in the water hose. I fill the filter housing with bleach for my 100 gallon tank. I flush the tank with fresh water twice.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:13 PM   #14
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For one after you sanitize the system I for sure would not fill the fresh water tank again. When sitting anywhere for a while I totally empty the fresh water tank while hooke-up to city or well water. When we get ready took leave I'll put. In just what I think we will use for the time we may be on the road. We never use water from the. Onboard tank for drinking anyway. We always carry bottle water for that. Good luck I hope you get rid of the smell.
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