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Old 05-15-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
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Why would our water STINK?

So we took our first MH trip this weekend to try out the new (used) coach. We are complete NOOBS. So we needed (and still need) a lot of practice and education.

We filled our fresh water tank from our own well water and were on our way. Our well water is actually very very good. We do have a softener, but almost don't even need it. The water we used to fill the tank was NOT filtered through the softener.

So we arrived at camp, and started using the water...and were GAGGING. It had the worst smell. It was definitely not the smell you get from bad well water. It was completely different and so awful. I honestly can't even describe it other than it literally made us want to vomit.

Our thoughts.....maybe the coach still had some of the winterizing chemicals in it that we did not flush out? Or did the fact we didn't use our filtered water cause the problem? Or it is something else?
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:11 PM   #2
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When was the fresh water last last sanitized? If you don't know, then that's the first step I would do next.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:12 PM   #3
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Does it smell like rotten Eggs? Do both the hot and cold water smell bad? I suspect that the small comes from your hot water tank. The fact that you used untreated well water supports my suspicion. You have bacteria growing in your hat water tank.

We had the same issues couple years back. The solution is quite simple. Use chlorine to kill the bacteria in the tank. I can't remember what the exact mixture was, just google "Rotten Egg smell in RV tank".
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:18 PM   #4
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Does it smell like rotten Eggs? Do both the hot and cold water smell bad? I suspect that the small comes from your hot water tank. The fact that you used untreated well water supports my suspicion. You have bacteria growing in your hat water tank.

We had the same issues couple years back. The solution is quite simple. Use chlorine to kill the bacteria in the tank. I can't remember what the exact mixture was, just google "Rotten Egg smell in RV tank".
It it both hot or cold. And it definitely wasn't the rotten egg smell. I know that smell VERY well from our travels to one of our favorite getaways where all the water smells awful.

This was different. And (hard to believe) much worse. However, it still could have been bacteria. But we just purchased the MH a couple weeks ago and this was the first time putting water in. Unless there was still water left in there that was full of bacteria?

Any ideas if the winterizing chemicals could have been the cause. Although that seems hard to believe since it wasn't a chemical smell but something else.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:22 PM   #5
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When was the fresh water last last sanitized? If you don't know, then that's the first step I would do next.
No idea....never even thought about this until it was too late.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:43 PM   #6
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We bought an older Flair late last Summer that was about 900 miles away from where we live. Before starting back with it I filled the fresh water tank and headed out. After running a small amount of water I didn't want to be anywhere near the smell. After we got home I drained the tank and sanitized the system using a mixture of bleach and water. The MH manual had a section that described exactly how to do this. After sanitizing the smell was gone. I suspect yours will also.

I've used RV antifreeze for years and it does have a residual taste even after several flushings. I don't remember that much of an unpleasant odor from it. I'm not sure if sanitizing would remove the taste or not. I just flushed the system several times and run all our drinking water through a filter which removed any unpleasant taste.

Best of luck.

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Old 05-15-2016, 06:43 PM   #7
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Why would our water STINK?

Yup. Time to sanitize the fresh water system. Search here or google for the procedure, mixture, etc. Might want to do it a couple three times just to be sure.

Even with fresh water system sanitizing, we use bottled water for drinking and cooking. And try to not fill the tank when on the road, preferring the known of our water from home.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:46 PM   #8
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OK. So not the rotten egg smell. Still, I would use Chlorine (or White Vinegar, if you prefer) to sanitize the tank, including the hot water tank. If necessary, do this a couple of times. It helps when, after filling your tank with the Chlorine solution, you go on a longer drive (couple of hours, best on windy roads) to make sure that the solution in the tank sloshes around and gets to all areas. Don't forget to open all your faucets to get the chlorine to all your pipes.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:35 PM   #9
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I've seen RV anti freeze "skunk" on occasion. In any case though, whatever is causing your issue shouldn't be too tough to get under control using normal sanitizing procedures. Could take a while though...
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:46 PM   #10
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IIRC it's a quarter cup of bleach for every 15 gallon capacity of the system. Use your winterizing bypass to suck the water/bleach solution into the tank (if you don't have a winterizing bypass you can buy the Camco one). Once it's all in run each faucet until you can smell bleach then let the system set for a few hours or more.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:47 PM   #11
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:48 PM   #12
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This is the Camco winterizing bypass kit. http://www.amazon.com/Camco-36543-Pu...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:33 PM   #13
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IIRC it's a quarter cup of bleach for every 15 gallon capacity of the system.
1/4 cup per 15 gal tank capacity is a 50 ppm solution.

In OP's case I'd suggest a 100 ppm solution or 1/2 cup per 15 gal tank capacity.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:47 PM   #14
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At any rate, you should have sanitized it after you picked it up and got it home, then again if it is stored over winter, it should be done again, before your first outing with it. Even new coaches it is advised to sanitize after you take delivery.
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