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Old 12-06-2022, 07:56 PM   #1
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2016 Jamboree hot water tank smell

We have a Atwood propane only hot water tank.I rinsed with vinegar one time. Another I used bleach. Iíve even installed an Anoid rod. It seems nothing keeps it from starting to smell like sulfur after a few months using it. We are full timers and Iím even considering replacing with a tankless hot water system mainly to get rid of the smell.

Any ideas Iíve not tried?
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Old 12-07-2022, 07:59 PM   #2
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I used to have a similar system. I would pull the anode about once every couple months and flush the tank with clean water. I made an extension probe that fit on the end of my hose so I could probe around and get everything off the bottom of the tank. I also cleaned the anode at the same time.
Other sources could be the water you're using. Lots of iron, sulphur or others can really stink given time.
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Old 12-07-2022, 08:42 PM   #3
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1st off Atwood doesn't use/require an anode rod so that is NOT helping with your sulfur smell
Sulfur smell is result of sulfates and microorganisms in the water reacting with hydrogen being produced by galvanic action

You stated you did vinegar rinse and then did a bleach ------but smell came back

Questions:
Vinegar-----did you do a 'SOAK' (add solution of4 parts white vinegar to two parts water. (For a 10 gallon tank, use 6 gallons vinegar to 3 gallons
water). and then do 4-5 full heat cycles (heat until T-stat opens/cools reheat etc) ????
Vinegar needs time/heat to etch the inside of tank clean

Bleach....was that a 'sanitize' treatment (1/4 cup bleach to 15 gallons capacity....fresh water tank/pumped thru RV Plumbing lines the allowed to soak before fully rinsing)?????

Water source.....you mentioned FT
Are you traveling or parked in one place with same source water supply?

Hose laying in sun can allow sulfates and microorganisms to thrive.
Have you done a bleach soak for the hose.....bought a new hose?
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:48 PM   #4
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The vinegar treatment was an overnight soak. With a few cycles of heating. I did insert a water cleaning wand and sprayed around until clear and no chunks. Okay just need to do every couple of months. We travel all over the US, so water is different all the time.

The bleach treatment was like you described. I can’t remember the ratio right now, but it was the recommended ratio for our 70 gal tank. I did run it complete thru all the plumbing system.

I’ll vinegar clean more often than I have been.
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:54 PM   #5
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FT'd for 7 yrs traveling weekly all over the USA
Atwood WH

Only had sulfur smell ONCE and that was due to water source. No lasting effects once we left. Did a drain/rinse at next place. No more smell

Surprised you are experiencing it every few months

Are you using same potable hose??
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:45 PM   #6
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We have had a few different hoses. We also travel every 2 to 3 weeks to a new location. Some times are worse than others.
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Old 12-09-2022, 03:45 PM   #7
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If you have a recurring problem with the sulfur-producing bacteria, your sanitizing process is missing something. Once you kill off all the bacteria in the coach water system, it should not come back unless you encounter another contaminated source.


I don't think vinegar will kill the sulfur bacteria - use bleach or peroxide. And get rid of that anode - it's not helping anything.
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