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Old 07-03-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
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Stinky hot water in bathroom

A couple months ago I started noticing a 'sewer smell' whenever using the hot water in the bathroom sink and shower. Have since then, narrowed it down to the hot water coming out of the sink faucet and shower head and not the drain. It smells awful for about 20 seconds then is ok. The kitchen sink (which is closest to the hot water tank) is not affected so I'm doubting it's the water heater. Any ideas?
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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My friend had a similar water smell. He first drained hot water tank and found that the water stunk. He had never sanitized the water system. He did run the bleach through the water system, not flushing till next day. His smell is gone. A bad anode if your hwt has one could also be your smell. Just passing what I've heard,-- hope it helps!
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Some areas have water that has an aroma that blooms when it is heated or stored for a bit. It is sulfer.

Just draining and filling the water heater has solved this for me. Until it sits a bit.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:47 PM   #4
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I do know Suburban water heaters have an anode in them which needs to be changed occasionally. I understand they get a bad smell when they do.

Atwoods (which I have always had) have an alumimium tank and don't require them. Hopefully someone can confirm this soon.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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I tried to find a manufacturer name on the water heater but no luck yet, tomorrow will clean off the dust a bit better and see if I can find one and see if it has an anode. If it's the heater, wouldn't that affect the hot water in the kitchen and not just the bathroom?

Just finished another experiment:
I started running hot water in the kitchen and let it run about 3 minutes, no smell. Turned on the hot water in the bathroom and there was that awful smell. Turned it off and turned on the shower and again a bad smell. Seems to be after it gets past the kitchen. This area is not known for anything smelly in the water.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #6
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Irene, do you suppose the smell could be coming from the bathroom drains? Have you caught a glass of hot water from the bathroom to sniff? It's weird that the water would only have an odor at the bath faucets. You might try sanitizing your fresh water tank; the process includes running bleach/water through the pipes then turning off the flow at the faucets to let the bleach water sit in the pipes for an hour or so. Then flush the pipes with fresh water.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
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We had that problem. In our motorhome, the washer and dryer have been removed but the water connections are still there. We have to open the valves and run some water through that section of pipe occasionally. If we don't, we get a sulfur smell from our shower water.

-Joel
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:32 AM   #8
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I try sanitizing first. It's relatively quick and cheap. Be sure and run the clorox water into all the lines and let it sit for a couple of hours. Flush well.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:57 AM   #9
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Irene,

Try this experiment. Check the bathroom for smell the next time you get to the coach. If ok, run the kitchen sink and go right back to the bathroom and wait a few minutes. If the smell appears, you have the below possible problems.

1.) The vent for the grey tank is plugged. As water fills the grey tank, the air cannot escape and bubbles up past the sink or shower trap.

2.) The vacuum vent valve (usually under bath sink) is stuck open. If you have one, it will be a foot or two PVC pipe coming throught the floor, about 2 " in diameter, with what looks like a cap on it. When you dump your tank, the valve opens and allows air to enter the tank to stop any vacuum. If that sticks open, when water goes into the tank, the smelly air enters the bathroom under the sink.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:39 AM   #10
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I would first drain the hot water tank. That should tell you if that's the source, when you smell the water.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:22 AM   #11
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I too chased that smell and like EPROD found that the unused water lines for the washer/dryer were causing the problem. Running some bleach solution through those hoses was the cure.

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Old 07-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #12
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If you got any antifreeze into the hot water heater during the winterizing process or opened up the heater bypass before draining and flushing the water system, therefore getting antifreeze in the heater It will cause that terrible smell as soon as you heat it up. The only solution is to flush the system with a full tank of water and at least 1 cup of bleach. It is best to allow that solution to set for a few hours or even to take it on a ride(causing the water to splash around giving it a good flush). After doing that turn on the pump and open each faucet, individually, making sure all the lines are flushed as well. Drain all the water, refill with fresh, drain again, refill again and add 1 cup of white vinegar. Let that sit and then flush the lines then drain. (that gets rid of the bleach smell) Refill with fresh water and you are good to go. Some will add approx., 1 tablespoon of bleach into each tank of water to keep it all smelling fresh.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
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Read thru all the suggestions and will start going thru each one and try and figure out where the smell is coming from and then how to get rid of it. I looked at the hot water tank today and am befuddled at even how to open the darn thing up to drain but I'm learning as I go.

When my kids both left the nest I moved to a 5th wheel trailer full-time last fall and am learning a lot! Thanks to all the responses and if/when I figure it out I'll post it here.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckiest Dreamer View Post
If you got any antifreeze into the hot water heater during the winterizing process or opened up the heater bypass before draining and flushing the water system, therefore getting antifreeze in the heater It will cause that terrible smell as soon as you heat it up. The only solution is to flush the system with a full tank of water and at least 1 cup of bleach. It is best to allow that solution to set for a few hours or even to take it on a ride(causing the water to splash around giving it a good flush). After doing that turn on the pump and open each faucet, individually, making sure all the lines are flushed as well. Drain all the water, refill with fresh, drain again, refill again and add 1 cup of white vinegar. Let that sit and then flush the lines then drain. (that gets rid of the bleach smell) Refill with fresh water and you are good to go. Some will add approx., 1 tablespoon of bleach into each tank of water to keep it all smelling fresh.
I'm going to try this today. I've eliminated the possibility of the smell coming from the holding tanks or sewer, it's definitely coming out of the faucet in the bathroom.
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