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Old 10-11-2017, 12:44 PM   #1
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Location: Farmington HIlls
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M.O.C. #20490
Hot water & Hot water tank SULFUR Smell

We have RV'd for years but recently our hot water and probably the tank has smelled like sulfur. This Montna is but 4 years old. I have changed the anode with not lasting results.
Is there a way to cleanse & sanitize the Hot Water tank in my Montana?
(No I am not interested in buying a new tank or selling the whole she-bang!)
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:50 PM   #2
Lenny K
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M.O.C. #14417
Instructions are in your manual and look like this:

Water Supply and Odor Local water supplies (well or city) sometimes contain high levels of sulphur or other chemicals which can causes unpleasant odors. Some, like sulphur, can be very unpleasant. Sanitizing the water system, as described and allowing the sanitizing solution to remain for a few days, should eliminate the odor.

Sanitizing the Fresh Water System Keeping the fresh water system clean and free of any potential contaminations should be a top priority. Sanitizing the system before initial use and thereafter annually, or whenever water remains unused for prolonged durations, is recommended. This will help keep the water system fresh and discourage harmful bacterial or viral growth. To sanitize your system, perform the following:
1. Drain the tank by opening the low point drains. Close the drains after water has drained.
2. Prepare a chlorine bleach solution of ¼ cup to one gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. Example: Use 2 ¾ gallons of the solution for a 40-gallon tank. If using Ultra bleach concentrations, reduce bleach to 1/8 cup to one gallon of water.
3. Add solution to tank and fill with water. Open each faucet/fixture until a distinct chlorine odor is smelled. Close faucets and let stand 4 hours.
4. Drain system and flush with fresh water until chlorine odor and smell is gone. (If a water filter has been added, change it at this time).
Lenny and Ros
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:48 PM   #3
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After sanitizing and flushing your hot water heater system, the general recommendation is to install a zinc-aluminum anode rod. The zinc supposedly helps prevent the odor causing bacteria. Both magnesium and aluminum rods can cause the bacteria. Problem is worsened by softer water.
Bill & Patricia

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Old 10-11-2017, 07:34 PM   #4
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M.O.C. #20490
Anode question

Thanks for the advice. It is good to be at the end of the season to get this done.

Ancillary question: Upon emptying the hot water heater between trips or after winterizing, should the anode be removed or remain installed. I have heard both opinions. (My routoine is to winterize by adding antifreeze to the water system, hot water heater included.)
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:45 PM   #5
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M.O.C. #17535
No need to pull anode after each trip, but at end of season maint it is a good idea and you will see if it needs replacement.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:18 PM   #6
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M.O.C. #20490
Thank you - that is my usual routine. Looks like I have some sanitizing to do.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:09 AM   #7
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M.O.C. #1328
There is also another source of that smell. If you have the washer/dryer prep be sure to drain an sanitize the water lines to that area. It will give you the same smell after a year or two of not being cleaned. Ask me and others how we know.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:13 AM   #8
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We recently had the same issue-after using the trailer most of the season with many tanks of water and city hook ups. Then it dawned on me that I had neglected to drain off the antifreeze that was in the washer lines that we do not use. After draining them, the odor was and has remained gone. My guess is, through some sort of hot to cold transfer, some of the antifreeze made its way back to the water heater.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:47 AM   #9
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bethandkevin, I put valves at all the fixtures so if there is a problem with one I can turn off the valves to the leaking fixture and continue to use the rest of the plumbing.

I also do not have a washer/dryer so I put valves in the lines very close to the conveiance center and the antifreeze stays in the lines and does not mix with anything. Also I don't have to winterize those lines anymore.
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