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Old 09-21-2020, 06:24 PM   #1
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Foul odor in hot water tank

We de-winterized back in May but didn't use the camper until this weekend. We filled and drained the water tank back in May, but I must've skipped the hot water tank. We got the camp all set up, water all filled up and hot where appropriate. I went to wash my hands and the nastiest smell came from the hot water and it was pink. I wonder if some antifreeze got in there and grew something scary while it sat empty. Any ideas on how to sanitize it so we can use it without worrying about catching something else (other than Covid-19)?
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:16 AM   #2
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This happen all the time when you don't drain your WH for an extended period when not in use. All you have to do is dump the tank and refill and all will be good remember you still have to flush the water out of the lines. RV antifreeze did not do this. This has happened to me several times when I didn't drain the tank.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:26 AM   #3
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The natural bacteria in the water had a chance to grow for several months. Flush it and you will be OK.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I was hoping it would that simple!
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:06 PM   #5
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You should check the anode also. May need replacement
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:56 PM   #6
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Sulphur Dioxide smell

The smell you have is Sulpher Dioxide or rotten egg gas. It is formed by anaerobic bacteria feeding on the Magnesium anode rod. The cure is Hydrogen Peroxide in the heater.

You will want to drain the tank and dump some Hydrogen Peroxide into the tank, best done through the temperature/over pressure relief valve on the heater. Unfortunately it points downward. So go to your hardware store and get a 3/4" male pip to barb fitting (plastic) and some tubing to fit on the barb of the fitting. This will allow you to pour H2O2 and water into the heater tank.

If you don't want to do this the at a minimum take out the anode rod, clean it to get rid of some of the white stuff and wash it in Hydrogen Peroxide. Flush the heater a couple of times and it should get much better. In to future, drain the tank if you are not going to use it for several weeks and leave the rod out of the heater. Even better is to go camping more.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:36 AM   #7
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I was wondering why leave the anode rod out of the heater when empty storing for winter?
Won't critters get in ?
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by This is True View Post
I was wondering why leave the anode rod out of the heater when empty storing for winter?
Won't critters get in ?
Only if you have a Critter problem. I never had a Critter problem storing in driveway, so I left my Anode out during the winter.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:10 AM   #9
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See video #5 here, where we keep instructional videos from Suburban about their water heaters. It will explain the causes and removal of the rotten egg smell.


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...es-135977.html
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:11 AM   #10
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Thank you! The smell coming from the tank is worse than rotten eggs, if you can imagine such a smell, so I'm going to do the bleach flush. This video is really helpful! Thanks again.
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Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
See video #5 here, where we keep instructional videos from Suburban about their water heaters. It will explain the causes and removal of the rotten egg smell.


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...es-135977.html
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:52 AM   #11
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You can get a PVC plug, drill it out and insert a faucet washer with a screen. That will allow for air flow and keep out the “critters”.
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