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Old 09-28-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
Montana Fan
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: St. Clair Shores
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M.O.C. #10151
I Could Use A Hand

Lynne and I are unable to be at the rally this year. One thing I was looking forward to is the session on water softeners.

Several weeks ago I posted about being a workamper and the water stinks. The water smells pretty nasty like rotten eggs or an oil refinery. Especially when the water is hot. It leaves brown stains on everything including white clothes from the washing machine.

I would really appreciate it if someone would relate this issue to the presenter at the water softener session and get a recommendation on how to correct this problem. I plan to buy a solution as soon as the research is done. If someone would please post any information here, it would be great.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-28-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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Location: Omaha
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M.O.C. #7560
Walt-- I'll be at the session and I'll try to relay your concern and question. I'll try and get back to you tomorrow night or Monday to let you know the answer and/or cure!
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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Location: Greenport
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M.O.C. #8571
I have rhe same issue. I am thinking it might be that at some point the HW heater had water left in it and froze cracking the ceramic lining so now the water is coming in direct contact with steel. It smells just like a boiler being drained. I have also flushed it out real good and seen blue chips which are smoooth come out. Not 100% sure but after all of the boilers that I have replaced I think I know what that water smells like.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Location: Fort Myers
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M.O.C. #4282
My wife was just complaining about the smell coming out of the hot water tap. Talking to my daughter's boyfriend, Eric, today he told me to use hydrogen peroxide when I change out the annode later this week. Then earlier tonight, on the the forum here, I saw a formula for taking care of a skunk smell that included peroxide, baking soda and a couple teaspoons or tblspoons of Dawn dish washing liquid soap. I have to check back for the exact formula, but Eric was adadmant about the peroxide. He works for Michigan CAT. I will probably try the "skunk" formula.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:35 AM   #5
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Location: K.C.
Posts: 11,731
M.O.C. #5980
Here is something on the smell, but I lean toward the cracked liner for the rust coming out. You might contact the MFG> and discuss it with them, there may be a warrantee remedy.
Good luck!

1. Turn off your main water supply. Drain your water
heater tank. Reinstall drain plug. Remove the
pressure-temperature relief valve. With a funnel
use 4 parts white vinegar to two parts water. (In a
6 gallon tank that would be 4 gallons vinegar to 2
gallons water).
2. Cycle the water heater, letting it run under normal
operation 4-5 times. At no time do you remove the
vinegar from the tank Once this has been
completed, remove the drain plug and drain the
water heater.
3. After thoroughly draining the tank, to remove the
sediment, flush the water heater.
If you elect to use air pressure, it may be applied
either through the inlet or outlet on the rear of the
tank or applied through the pressure-temperature
relief valve. Remove the pressure-temperature
relief valve and insert your air pressure through
the pressure-temperature relief valve coupling. In
either case, with the drain valve open, the air
pressure will force the remaining water out of the
If air pressure is unavailable, your unit can be
flushed with fresh water. Fresh water should be
pumped into the tank either with the onboard
pump or external water pressure. External
pressure may be hosed into the unit either
through the inlet or outlet found on the rear of the
tank or the pressure-temperature relief valve
coupling located on the front of the unit.
Continue this flushing process for approximately
five minutes allowing ample time for the fresh
water to agitate the stagnant water on the
bottom of the tank and forcing the deposits
through the drain opening.
4. Upon completion of the steps above, replace the
drain plug and the pressure-temperature relief
5. Refill tank with fresh water that contains no
The Atwood water heater is designed for use in a
Recreation Vehicle. If you use your vehicle frequently
or for long periods of time, flushing the water heater
several times a year will prolong the life of the storage
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:02 AM   #6
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Location: Wilsey
Posts: 18,797
M.O.C. #11455
It may just be as simple as changing your anode rod (although the stuff coming out indicates it is probably more serious). If you have an electric water heater in an S&B when you start getting that smell it is the sign that you need to change the anode rod.
Dick, Joyce, Diego, Picatso and Gustav
2017 3720 RL, and 2013 HC 343RL
Pullrite Hitch, IS, Disk Brakes, 3rd AC, Winegard Traveler, Bathroom door mod, Dometic 320, couch for desk swap, replaced chairs, sun screens, added awnings, etc.
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