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Old 04-24-2010, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default hot water heater

My very first RV experience....ever!!!!!! It went amazingly well....the Rialta was fun....but....and how I that those "buts"....there is something festering in the hot water tank. LOL we put enough blue stuff in the black water to paint the sky thinking that was the "waifting aroma" permeating the vehicle. When I washed dishes for the first time the hot water was what stinking. O.K. how do I get bleach in the many times.

I am supposed to sign this Freddy since that is my husbands name but I'll sign it cownurse and as soon as I register y'all will hear from me


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Old 05-01-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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Default hot water heater

I'm new here too, but your topic aroused my inner "wanna-fix-it". After purchasing our 2002 from a dear friend I too discovered the mysterious odor usually associated with the latrine after removing winterizing antifreeze from the potable water system. Draining and refilling did not make much difference, so we poured about 4 cups of bleach into the system, ran the water to fill all the lines and let it sit overnight.
Emptied the water and refilled the system a few times until the bleach odor was gone. In hind site I think we could have used less bleach, but all in all it worked out well for us.
Now... if this doesn't work, the odor may be coming from the coils in the hot water heater and the only remedy may be to remove them and clean or replace. A Camping World could do that repair if you don't feel up to tearing apart your hot water heater.
If the above frightens you, Camping World has a product that claims to sanitize your freshwater system. I have not used it, but maybe others have. Here's a link to their product page:

Happy Trails!


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Old 07-17-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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Default hot water heater

the procedure I read for my old spirit manual stated 1/4 cup bleach diluted in one gallon of water before adding the water - leave it in 4 hours. When adding then turn on your pump & open each faucet (one by one) until you smell bleach then close them. (Do hot & cold - no need to have the water heater in operation)

the main thing is just to change the water -- feel the tank - you can drain it from the winterization drains or just run it through the faucets. I would do that first - get old water out & new water in. Note that using the city water hook up should bypass the tank.

Bleach is hard on plastic and the washers so be sure to flush it all out when you are done.

And never add water until you can verify the water - at least pour a gallon in a jug and let it settle & smell it. Once in Colorado I got water that smelled like gas - the rv park was behind a gas station - you tell me how that happened. We pulled the drain on that right away. turns out they had part of the park on another well which did not have that issue

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Old 07-18-2010, 01:27 AM   #4
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Default hot water heater


Hydrogen sulfide can result when the protective cladding on the interior of the tank is doing its’ job by preventing corrosion and therefore premature tank failure. The electro galvanic action of the cladding material releases hydrogen from the water. If sulfur or any of its’ combinations are present in the water the two will combine and produce hydrogen sulfide. This compound produces the “rotten egg odor”. Hydrogen sulfide can also be present in your fresh water supply. It is the product of the decay of animal matter and as little as one mg/liter can cause a perceptible odor. Smell the water before starting the flushing procedure. If your fresh water has the rotten egg odor, you will need to find another source of fresh water before flushing and refilling the entire water storage system.

Turn off your main water supply – your pump or your water hook up source.

Drain your water heater tank. Due to the location of the drain plug, approximately two quarts of water will remain in the bottom of the tank. If while draining the unit you note that it is flowing sporadically or trickling, instead of flowing steadily, we recommend one of two things. First open your pressure-temperature relief valve to allow air into the tank and secondly, take a small gauge wire or coat hanger device and prod through the drain opening to eliminate any obstructions.

After thoroughly draining the tank, to remove the smell, flush the entire system from water inlet all the way to holding tank.

For flushing, use four parts vinegar mixed to two parts water 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 part. 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 unit.

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.

Upon completion of the steps above, replace the drain plug and the pressure-temperature relief valve. 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 tank.

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Old 10-27-2010, 05:56 PM   #5
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Default hot water heater

Could someone please tell me where the drain valve is for the hot water tank? I can see the pressure relief valve, but can't figure out where the actual drain is located. Thanks.

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Old 10-27-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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Default hot water heater

I finally found the valve. It was well hidden under a big 4 inch plastic pipe that had been installed to contain the dump hose/tube.


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