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Old 09-30-2020, 01:37 PM   #1
Bnrc73
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Suburban WH smell

On our last outing before heading south, there was a terrible smell in our water. Seems to be coming from the hot. What is the earliest way to clean the WH. Iíve already winterized so the heater is in bypass and empty. Iím thinking of removing the pressure release valve and flushing it out several times. Is there something I can put in and let set before I flush? The anode rod looks like itís at least 80%, but Iíll be replacing it anyway. My Monty is a 2010 3400RL. Any tips would be appreciated.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:20 PM   #2
DQDick
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Usually that smell would indicate an anode rod problem. I wonder if the rod you have isn't a magnisium rod and that's the issue.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:44 PM   #3
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Check YouTube, there is lots of good info showing you how to perform maintenance on your water heater.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:51 PM   #4
rohrmann
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This is copied from the Suburban manual:

ODOR FROM HOT WATER SYSTEM
Odor from the hot water system is not a service problem and many water supplies contain sufficient amounts of sulphur to produce an odor. The odor is similar to rotten eggs and is often referred to as "sulphur water". It is not harmful - only unpleasant to smell. Sulphur water can be caused by a chemical action or by bacteria. The solution to eliminate is chlorination of the water system. Add about six (6) ounces of chlorinated common household liquid bleach to each 10 gallons in the water tank. Then run the chlorinated water throughout the system, opening each faucet one at a time until you smell the chlorine. Let the RV sit for a few days and the chlorine should take care of the problem. Then you will need to take care of the chlorine. Remove the chlorine by flushing the system with fresh water. This may take several attempts. You may consider adding a filtering system that removes chlorine and prevents sulphur water. If the sulphur or rotten egg smell continues, flush the system once again as described above and replace anode rod as necessary.
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:20 AM   #5
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A flush wand is great for spraying water into and all around the inside of the WH and to help get all the sediment out of the bottom of it.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Rinser-...23020441&psc=1


And lots of info on the whys and what fors of water heater odor.

https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAw&uact=5
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Old 10-01-2020, 12:33 PM   #6
team bradfield
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I had the same problem, I read that magnesium anode was the cause and to replace with aluminum anode, no more smell.
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:30 PM   #7
BB_TX
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Originally Posted by team bradfield View Post
I had the same problem, I read that magnesium anode was the cause and to replace with aluminum anode, no more smell.
I never had an odor, but my OEM magnesium rod eroded so fast I replaced it with an aluminum rod. After 3 yrs or so it still looked practically new. Didnít seem to be doing a lot of protecting so went back to magnesium.
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Old 10-07-2020, 01:47 PM   #8
bcrvman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bnrc73 View Post
On our last outing before heading south, there was a terrible smell in our water. Seems to be coming from the hot. What is the earliest way to clean the WH. Iíve already winterized so the heater is in bypass and empty. Iím thinking of removing the pressure release valve and flushing it out several times. Is there something I can put in and let set before I flush? The anode rod looks like itís at least 80%, but Iíll be replacing it anyway. My Monty is a 2010 3400RL. Any tips would be appreciated.
Clean out as usual, then make a vinegar solution (find YT vid about that) and let it set for an hour or two with the heater on (DO NOT forget to turn off the electric heater before emptying the tank) If it's a recurring problem replace magnesium rod with aluminum.
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Old 10-07-2020, 02:01 PM   #9
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We had the same smell but it was only in the bathroom hot water taps. Flushing HW tank never fixed problem. Saw a link somewhere that noted if you have washer/dryer lines, they are connected to bathroom lines and if not used can cause bacteria build up in the dead lines. I flushed the unused washer water lines with bleach water mixture and cleared up the skunk smell.
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:03 PM   #10
DonMar
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We are having a terrible smell from the bathroom sink. We have cleaned the p-trap (not much in there) and flushed the washer (hot & cold) lines, since we don't have the washer. Thought that would clear it up, but last evening, there was that smell again. Would the anode rod be an issue for us?
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by brisam View Post
We had the same smell but it was only in the bathroom hot water taps. Flushing HW tank never fixed problem. Saw a link somewhere that noted if you have washer/dryer lines, they are connected to bathroom lines and if not used can cause bacteria build up in the dead lines. I flushed the unused washer water lines with bleach water mixture and cleared up the skunk smell.
We had the same problem and the smell was eliminated once the lines to the washer connection were rinsed and cleaned.
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:09 PM   #12
brisam
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If smell is not in other sinks or taps I would say your smell is not coming from hot water tank. Try putting water from tap in glass and smell water to narrow the problem to the water or the sink.
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:53 AM   #13
Drdon1057
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Hi, we had this problem in the past. All I do is, take the supply line from campground, drain water out of hose and pour in Clorox antibacterial bleach. Then open faucets, closest to inlet first, until you smell chlorine coming out. Then I did all the rest the same way. Oh I forgot to mention, we had this problem when we first got our rig,(2010 3000RK) and after much research, found it was the washer lines, I cut lines and installed shut off valves, and never had this problem again. I guess the bleach is just preventable measure now. We don't like that smell and seems since I do this when we open up for the season, a quick bleach flush couldn't hurt. Good Luck, and Happy Trails to You.
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:57 AM   #14
Clyde n Deb
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Previously owned motorhome and our Montana both did this if not sanitized the beginning of each season. Bought some commercial cleaner from CW once, but found the chlorine method totally effective each spring. Pump the mix into the whole system, let sit for a few hours, then drain and flush with fresh water. Done. Can't imagine having to leave it for days.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:26 PM   #15
Drdon1057
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Sorry didn't mean it to sound like you needed it to stay in for days, we would do it when we opened up for the season and flushed it the next day.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:50 PM   #16
Mikelff
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Here is the formula I have seen recommended, and I use it with great successes. 1/4 cup bleach for every 15 gallons of water. Let it sit 24 hours. Flush with fresh water well. You are done. I sanitize at least once a year, but usually every 6 months. When calculating your gallons donít forget the water heater and donít bypass it. Drain hot water tank. With my rig I am able to run a tube through my overflow into my fresh water tank. Iíll fill fresh tank 1/3 full, add bleach amount to 1 gallon milk jug of water, then feed water with funnel into fresh tank. Fill fresh tank. Fill water heater from fresh tank using your water pump, not city supply. Run each faucet, hot and cold , and toilets until you smell the bleach. No need to turn on hot water heater, just let bleach water run through hot water lines. Let it set 24 hours. Drain fresh tank and water heater. Refill both with City water. Flush faucets and toilets well with fresh water using your pump. If you cannot smell any bleach after a good line flush you are good to go. You can flush tanks and lines twice if you want but I find its not necessary. What LITTLE bleach that might be left in the lines will not hurt you as it is probably less that what the city puts in their water.
I havenít had any issues with the washer lines but draining and installing shut off valves sounds like a great idea. Ends that problem.
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