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Old 09-25-2014, 01:07 PM   #1
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Unhappy Stinky hot water heater!!

Help! Our hotwater heater stinks! Literally! We have only had our TT since spring (2008 jayflight g2 31bhds), and have only had the hot water tank running on electric for 1 nights stay in an RV park. Boondocking, I have just turned it on to gas when needing to do dishes. Then turned it off again. This past week we stayed in a RV park again and as hydro was included, I turned it on and left it on. I noticed an odour coming from the closet above the tank first. It smelled like a wet rag that had been sitting too long in the laundry basket. After a bit of detective work I realized it was coming from the hot water tank cupboard. We moved out of that site, and after 36 hours it still smells. The whole TT smells like wet rag. Any ideas on what this could be caused by. It appears dry in the cupboard, no drips....Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:17 PM   #2
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In your owners manual there is a procedure for sanitizing the tank

http://www.atwoodmobile.com/manuals/...2011.19.07.pdf
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:26 PM   #3
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In your owners manual there is a procedure for sanitizing the tank
+1 it sounds like you need to sanitize your system.

But I wonder if that will fix the smell problem? If the whole trailer smells, I would be worried about a leak somewhere. Typically when my water gets smelly, it's only noticeable when I run some water, like when I fill up a cup, or when I'm doing dishes... There is no overt smell throughout the trailer. You shouldn't be able to smell the water inside the WH from outside the WH unless it's leaking or running...
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #4
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I have run into this problem and solved it by draining the water heater, flushing the system thoroughly with fresh water. I've found it to be and issue when we spend time in AZ.(minerals), and also whenever we're hooked up to well water for some peroid of time. I have found adding a carbon type water filter helps as well.
Plus, I drain the water heater any time the trailer isn't going to be used for a couple of weeks or more, while at home.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:21 PM   #5
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I`ve been a victim of the well water stink as well, after leaving water in the HW tank a couple months. I sanitized the FW system with bleach and all was well.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:22 PM   #6
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I agree with Camper_Bob the only times I have had a problem with water smells in when a tap is open when closed there is no smell. If your whole trailer smells after 3 days then I think you must have a leak and something is wet and that is what you are smelling.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:32 PM   #7
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I agree with Camper_Bob the only times I have had a problem with water smells in when a tap is open when closed there is no smell. If your whole trailer smells after 3 days then I think you must have a leak and something is wet and that is what you are smelling.
True in my case as well. We did not use the hot water the rest of the trip and there was no odor.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post
+1 it sounds like you need to sanitize your system.

But I wonder if that will fix the smell problem? If the whole trailer smells, I would be worried about a leak somewhere. Typically when my water gets smelly, it's only noticeable when I run some water, like when I fill up a cup, or when I'm doing dishes... There is no overt smell throughout the trailer. You shouldn't be able to smell the water inside the WH from outside the WH unless it's leaking or running...
I agree with Camper_bob and others. Your water heater may be producing stinky water - usually due to sulfur compounds - which can be cured with flushing and sanitizing with a dilute bleach solution.

HOWEVER: If you smell this problem when no hot water is running, then you may have a water leak somewhere - from either rain water or your water supply - that is causing something to moulder.

Good luck, and let us know what the cause of the problem is.
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:42 PM   #9
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Yep, chlorine bleach kills EVERYTHING!
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