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Old 06-14-2021, 11:26 AM   #1
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What is that icky smell?

Hi we have a 1992 Travelaire trailer that we love and it's in really good shape. However we have been getting a smell when running water that smells just like a hair permanent solution - ugh! It's not there when the taps are not turned on. It only seems to be there when we are hooked up to water at a campsite. It doesn't seem to happen when we are dry camping and running/using the water from our fresh water tank.



It's not methane or rotten eggs, its just like at the salon getting a hair perm.



At first I wondered if it was the water source at the campground but it happens at different ones. Then I wondered if it was our water hose or our lines in the trailer but if it was either of those then I'm thinking it would smell when we are not hooked up and just using our own fresh water tank because we fill our fresh water tank with the same hose we use to hook up at a campsite.



It also doesn't smell if we sniff the drains - it's only when we run water. I think it might be when we run the hot water but I'm not sure - it could be cold as well - but we don't drink our water from the RV so it's usually being used for dishes or washing/showering so we'd be turning the hot on first for sure and that's when we notice it.


Any ideas?



Happy camping everyone!


Deb
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:41 AM   #2
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First idea, do you have a filter for the incoming water from city source? Could be the filter element.


Second idea, could be from the water heater. Double check to see if the smell comes from the hot side of the faucet only. If so, it should happen whether or not you are connected to city water.


Third idea, related to the second, it could be from your water lines on the hot side. Don't know the materials used in a 1992 vintage, but they may not be PEX.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:43 AM   #3
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Before you waste any more time change the water filter!!
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:48 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying! We will try your suggestions!
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:51 AM   #5
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Thank you bdpreece! I see poster Ljwt330 mentioned the water filter as well so I think we will try checking the water filter as our first step!
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for replying! We will try your suggestions!
And report your results!
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:47 AM   #7
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Did you use the pink RV antifreeze to winterize? That stuff smells and tastes awful, and takes a while to completely flush out, in my experience. Especially if you put it in your fresh water tank or water heater.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:15 AM   #8
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yes mamcgoron we have always used that pink anti-freeze. I wonder tho if that could be it because this smell doesn't happen every year and doesn't seem to happen when we are dry camping using our fresh water tank. However, it may be that we didn't flush it out well enough this year but after my having had a short blast of a "pink" shower our first trip out one year DH is VERY careful about giving it a good flush LOL!


Which anti-freeze do you use if not the pink one? I don't usually go to buy it so I didn't know there was any other colour/formula. Has to be pet friendly as we live in a condo and there are furries that could step in it and lick their paws.


On another note (not to do with the anti-freeze) but when we do the sani-dump we always pour a bit of the toilet chemical down all the drains in addition to the toilet to avoid odours in the drains.
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:50 AM   #9
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I quit using antifreeze all together, because I didn't like dealing with the smell and taste. Now I just thoroughly blow all the lines out with compressed air. It has worked well for me the last few years, but I know this is one of those hot button topics, where everyone has their own method and preference...
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:33 AM   #10
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I agree with the filter change. I would also flush the water heater and check the anode rod
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:45 AM   #11
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I agree with the filter change. I would also flush the water heater and check the anode rod
The only things that water passes through on city connections that are not used when using water from the tank would be the water filter or the water hose. You may need to replace the water hose. Did you sanitize the house you are currently using?
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:16 AM   #12
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The only things that water passes through on city connections that are not used when using water from the tank would be the water filter or the water hose. You may need to replace the water hose. Did you sanitize the house you are currently using?

Good catch Kirk. I never thought of the hose even though I have replaced my short hoses connecting the filters and my water softener when I found them growing green stuff.
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:31 AM   #13
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The OP said they fill the water tank with the same hose and don't get the odor. It can't be residual anti freeze as water running through the system doesn't stink when drawn from the fresh water tank.
If there is a filter in the city line hook up I'd remove it and flush the line out and install a new filter.
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