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Old 09-03-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
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Hot water sulphur smell

I know there are a lot of threads on "rotten eggs" smell. Mine is coming from the hot water tank. I tried flushing it but that only helps for a few minutes. I have a Forest River park model 392fktb. It has an Intertherm electric hot water tank, but I don't see an anode rod anywhere. I heard the smell can come from a bad rod. Is it possible it doesn't have one ?

This is a park model so the water heater is on most of the summer even though it is used mostly on the weekends. Could this be a factor too?

Thanks for the advice!




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Old 09-04-2014, 05:05 AM   #2
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That odor could be coming from the water itself. Then the water heater just makes it worse. Maybe a water filter will help if your rig does not have one?
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:38 AM   #3
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If you have it set up on your own property or a campground that uses well water, then I would have to agree with mlangdn. Well water is usually high in sulfur content, and heating it just magnifies it more. If that's the case, get a really good water filter and you should be good.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:09 AM   #4
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You will get a sulfur smell when bacteria forms in the water heater from water sitting. You will need to sanitize the water in the tank. draining it won't work. You can use a sanitizer for this or a 50% bleach solution. I put several gallon in the fresh water tank and ran it through the hot water fuacet until several gallons ahd passed then let it sit for a couple hours and drained.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by harderd View Post
You will get a sulfur smell when bacteria forms in the water heater from water sitting. You will need to sanitize the water in the tank. draining it won't work. You can use a sanitizer for this or a 50% bleach solution. I put several gallon in the fresh water tank and ran it through the hot water fuacet until several gallons ahd passed then let it sit for a couple hours and drained.
50% ? No no no.

1/4 cup per 15 gallons.
Flush water system with solution then let sit over night.
completely drain including water heater.
use this for normal maintenance.
http://www.rvwholesalers.com/catalog...FbFDMgodOwQA8A
Walmart has this to.

Refill with fresh water and enjoy.

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:36 AM   #6
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Thanks! We do have well water, but I am the only one having the bad smell. I have a water filter also, so I am going to assume it's the bacteria in the tank.

I will try sanitizing the system. Thanks!


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Old 09-04-2014, 06:38 AM   #7
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Thanks! We do have well water, but I am the only one having the bad smell. I have a water filter also, so I am going to assume it's the bacteria in the tank.

I will try sanitizing the system. Thanks!


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remove filter before sanitizing.
Replace with new when done.

Also check the condition of your anode rod when you remove it to drain your water heater tank.

Your unit is a 2006 it may have never been replaced.

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:42 AM   #8
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remove filter before sanitizing.
Replace with new when done.

Also check the condition of your anode rod when you remove it to drain your water heater tank.

Your unit is a 2006 it may have never been replaced.

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That was my original thought. I have a larger electric water heater. It is in the closet in the back bedroom and I do not see any anode rod. Is it possible there is not any? It is an intertherm heater and is about 2' tall and 18" in diameter.


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Old 09-04-2014, 06:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jimh64 View Post
That was my original thought. I have a larger electric water heater. It is in the closet in the back bedroom and I do not see any anode rod. Is it possible there is not any? It is an intertherm heater and is about 2' tall and 18" in diameter.


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Since it's more of a "residential type" water heater it may not.
Contact intertherm with model number to find out for sure.

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:48 AM   #10
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Since it's more of a "residential type" water heater it may not.
Contact intertherm with model number to find out for sure.

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Ok thanks!


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Old 09-04-2014, 06:48 AM   #11
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Most people don't know this but most home water heaters have an anode rod that NEVER gets changed.

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Old 09-04-2014, 07:09 AM   #12
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After you get through sanitizing the system, run about a gallon of white vinegar through the system. Let it sit for a little while, then flush again with clear water. It will remove any residual bleach odor and/or taste.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:38 AM   #13
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Being a residential electric water heater, the anode might be on the top.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:13 PM   #14
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If I am in a stuation such as camping and my hot water smells like sulfur I want to fix it and fix it fast. A 1/50 bleach solution will do this quick. Just flush with plenty of fresh water after. If I am at home I would use the santizing solution over bleach and leave it over night. I never use my fresh water tank so keeping several gallons of the sanitizer mixed in the fresh water tank makes it easy to do regular sanitizing after each time camping.

I mis-spoke in my first post, had something else on my mind at the same time. I use a 1/50 bleach solution for fast kill.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:24 PM   #15
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As some "Old Coot" mentioned, most residential hot water heaters have an anode rod that's accessed from the top. You usually have to pop off a cover and dig through some foam insulation to get to it, though.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:34 PM   #16
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If I am in a stuation such as camping and my hot water smells like sulfur I want to fix it and fix it fast. A 1/50 bleach solution will do this quick. Just flush with plenty of fresh water after. If I am at home I would use the santizing solution over bleach and leave it over night. I never use my fresh water tank so keeping several gallons of the sanitizer mixed in the fresh water tank makes it easy to do regular sanitizing after each time camping.

I mis-spoke in my first post, had something else on my mind at the same time. I use a 1/50 bleach solution for fast kill.

I don't use our fresh water tank either, so that is a great idea to keep some sanitizing solution in there, because you are right, I want to try and clean it up quick! Thanks for the advice!


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Old 09-04-2014, 07:36 PM   #17
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As some "Old Coot" mentioned, most residential hot water heaters have an anode rod that's accessed from the top. You usually have to pop off a cover and dig through some foam insulation to get to it, though.

Geez, my luck that is where it is. My water heater is built into the closet in the back, so to access the top I will need to remove a couple shelves. It is nice having an electric heater, but it is difficult to work on or drain. Thanks!


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