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Old 06-14-2015, 12:26 PM   #1
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stinky water

I'm not sure if I have the right area to post this but here goes. We bought this 2014 31L Chateau in April this year. We have always blown the lines out on our old unit to winterize but this one was winterized with antifreeze through all the lines. (I think most do it this way) Anyway the water really stunk with the pink antifreeze. We are on our third full water tank and although the water hasn't been pink it still stinks. It's not as strong but it's there. When any of you winterize does it take a more than three full water tanks to get the smell out? I am assuming it's the antifreeze. I don't know what else it could be. Thank you.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JoandRandy View Post
I'm not sure if I have the right area to post this but here goes. We bought this 2014 31L Chateau in April this year. We have always blown the lines out on our old unit to winterize but this one was winterized with antifreeze through all the lines. (I think most do it this way) Anyway the water really stunk with the pink antifreeze. We are on our third full water tank and although the water hasn't been pink it still stinks. It's not as strong but it's there. When any of you winterize does it take a more than three full water tanks to get the smell out? I am assuming it's the antifreeze. I don't know what else it could be. Thank you.
Normally when I de-winterize After flushing out the antifreeze the first thing I do is sanitize the tanks and lines with a chlorine solution per the owners manual. After doing this and sanitizing my fresh water hose as well I have never had a stinky water situation unless it was the result of the local water supply at a campground.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #3
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Thank you. That makes sense. We'll have to do it because this smell is not going away.
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:28 PM   #4
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I looked in our manual and there is nothing about after winterizing. We don't know what the guy did last winter since it's a 2014 and we bought it used. We always blow our lines out so we've not had this issue before. The manual does say to put the antifreeze in the fresh water tank and run it through the lines. Funny. That's why I like this forum though, you get help on these things with others experiences. Thank you.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoandRandy View Post
I looked in our manual and there is nothing about after winterizing. We don't know what the guy did last winter since it's a 2014 and we bought it used. We always blow our lines out so we've not had this issue before. The manual does say to put the antifreeze in the fresh water tank and run it through the lines. Funny. That's why I like this forum though, you get help on these things with others experiences. Thank you.
Does your manual provide directions for "Sanitizing the Fresh Water" system?

Here are the steps from the 2015 manual.

1. Drain the fresh water tank by opening the drain valve. All of the faucets should be in the closed or off position.
2. Prepare a solution of 1/4 cup household liquid chlorine bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) to one gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. Do not pour bleach straight into tank. Bleach must be diluted in water prior to filling.

Example: Add four 2/3 gallons solution to a 70 gallon tank.
Add five 1/3 gallons solution to a 80 gallon tank.
Add six 1 gallon solution to a 90 gallon tank.
Add six 2/3 gallons solution to a 100 gallon tank.
This mixture puts a 50 PPM (parts per million) residual chlorine concentration
in the motorhomeís water tank.

This will act as quick- kill dosage for some harmful bacteria, viruses, and slime-forming organisms. Concentrations higher than 50 PPM may damage water lines and/or tank.

3. Close all faucets and drains, and fill the fresh water tank with the rinse solution through the potable water fill.
4. Turn on the pump switch and circulate the rinse solution throughout the entire system.
5. Once the rinse solution has been circulated through the entire system, fill the
fresh water tank until it is full.

6. Close all faucets and drains and let the system sit for approximately three (3)
hours.
7. Drain the entire system.
8. Flush the complete system with fresh water until chlorine odor disappears.

9. Finally, close all drains and fill the fresh water tank as you normally would. Make
sure the water heater has water in it prior to igniting.

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Old 06-14-2015, 09:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoandRandy View Post
I looked in our manual and there is nothing about after winterizing. We don't know what the guy did last winter since it's a 2014 and we bought it used. We always blow our lines out so we've not had this issue before. The manual does say to put the antifreeze in the fresh water tank and run it through the lines. Funny. That's why I like this forum though, you get help on these things with others experiences. Thank you.

If you blow out the lines there is no need to put the pink stuff in the fresh water tank if it is completely empty. You should however put some pink stuff down the drains and some down the toilet for the black tank.
Now for your stinky water, have you drained and rinsed your water heater?
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:03 PM   #7
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I never put antifreeze in the tank. Our unit has a port in the plumbing where you feed in antifreeze. I do let the tank drain by leaving the drain valve open for a few days (including leaving it open on the drive from home to the storage lot to get the last bit of water sloshing around).

We've also always used antifreeze and done the sanitize procedure in the spring similar to the one Dave uses and never had water that smelled like antifreeze.

What does the water smell like? If its a sulfur like smell (rotten eggs) it may not be the antifreeze; it could be the water heater.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brad13 View Post
If you blow out the lines there is no need to put the pink stuff in the fresh water tank if it is completely empty. You should however put some pink stuff down the drains and some down the toilet for the black tank.
Now for your stinky water, have you drained and rinsed your water heater?
Blowing out the lines may be fine for folks in the south, however, it is not sufficient for folks in the north were winter temps drop below 0 for days at a time.

On my coach, the winterization and sanitation system (same system different solution) first puts the solution in the fresh water tank and then the valve is switched over to normal use and the pump is used to circulate the solution throughout the system. If the solution is not first pumped into the fresh water tank, it will not be circulated through the pump or the line from the tank to the pump. This also holds true if someone uses a hand pump to winterize through the city water connection.

Some after market winterization / sanitation kits (depending on how they are installed) will pull antifreeze through the pump without going through the tank. However these systems generally by pass the line from the tank to the pump and the strainer leaving them unprotected.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:08 AM   #9
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In a perfect system blowing out will work, but in the real world a low spot may let air through and collect water in the low spot which will freeze and split. When a tank is drained, a small amount of water across the bottom can freeze but will expand without force. As to the supply line from the tank, after the tank is drained, simply running the pump until dry will remove water and avoid expansion. Many current coaches are factory installed with a capped pickup line at the intake of the pump and water heater bypass valves to specifically avoid antifreeze in the fresh tank and water heater. The pump must be protected and blowing out lines may not clear the pump. Not bypassing the water heater wastes a huge amount of antifreeze before entering the lines after the heater. Like the fresh water tank, the water heater is totally safe with just a drain. Done properly, most coaches can be made safe with one to two gallons of antifreeze.
On coaches (new or older) with the Anderson Termination center, such as the Challenger, the antifreeze and sanitation solution is pumped into the tank before being circulated through the system with the pump.

On my prior class C I had the capped pickup line (winterization kit) you mention. The issue there was the kit was installed between the strainer and the pump so antifreeze never entered the strainer and it had to be disassembled for draining.

Back to the original question regarding stinky water, they may want to check that strainer. If it has never been cleaned or replaced it is hard telling what kind of crud build up may be inside.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:38 AM   #10
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During recommissioning this year, I used one of those Propylene Glycol refractometers to measure the residual antifreeze in the line after flushing the lines. I found that by the time the water runs clear, there is 0% antifreeze in the water.

Now the refractometer may not be sensitive enough to measure a very tiny amount which might still result in residual smell as the gauge is calibrated in %/freeze point.

However, it was at least interesting that as soon as the water ran clear, the gauge no longer measured anything.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:38 PM   #11
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No we haven't Brad13. We were going to do the sanitizing so that would be good to do too.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:41 PM   #12
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JamieGeek, It doesn't smell like rotten eggs and actually I've never smelled antifreeze before. It was strong and ran out pink then the pink is gone but there is still a smell although much lighter when you run water.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoandRandy View Post
No we haven't Brad13. We were going to do the sanitizing so that would be good to do too.
When you do the sanitizing I would by pass the water heater so as not to have the high concentration of Chlorine in the water heater for 3 or 4 hours.

You can go to an RV parts store and purchase a small wand that you can use to flush the water heater through the drain plug.

Does you coach have a whole house water filter installed? If so take the element out of the filter housing before sanitizing (screw the empty canister back on) and then change the element after flushing the solution out of the system.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:40 PM   #14
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Stinky water found (hopefully)

Just in case anyone was interested in the cause of the stinky water we think we found it. When my husband was winterizing he went to drain the outside shower, which we have never used. He said the smell was horrible. It was only about a cup of water but it was bad. It seems that is where the smell was coming from. Strange and I'm not understanding it but were hopeful and will find out when we head to Florida in January.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:39 PM   #15
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This is my third year of blowing out the lines and antifreeze in traps and a small amount in gray and black tank. Maybe I'm just lucky and may regret it. We live in central Illinois and we do have some below zero days.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JoandRandy View Post
Just in case anyone was interested in the cause of the stinky water we think we found it. When my husband was winterizing he went to drain the outside shower, which we have never used. He said the smell was horrible. It was only about a cup of water but it was bad. It seems that is where the smell was coming from. Strange and I'm not understanding it but were hopeful and will find out when we head to Florida in January.
Was the last water you were last connect to, city water or water from a home well? The only time we have had a problem with stinky water was when we left well water in the RV for a month or more. Apparently city water has enough chlorine in it to prevent the growth of what ever causes the smell.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:08 AM   #17
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Depending on how much antifreeze was used in the tanks, 3 tanks worth of rinse might not be enough.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:09 AM   #18
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoandRandy View Post
Just in case anyone was interested in the cause of the stinky water we think we found it. When my husband was winterizing he went to drain the outside shower, which we have never used. He said the smell was horrible. It was only about a cup of water but it was bad. It seems that is where the smell was coming from. Strange and I'm not understanding it but were hopeful and will find out when we head to Florida in January.
When you de winterize the coach sanitize the fresh water system with a solution of bleach and water. Open all of the spigots (hot and cold) and let the solution flow until you smell the chlorine. Then let the solution sit in the system for 3 to 4 hours before rinsing it out. This will get rid of all dirty water in the system and should eliminate the smell.

The owners manual gives you the correct mix of bleach to water and the procedures for sanitizing.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov
Open all of the spigots (hot and cold) and let the solution flow until you smell the chlorine.
Don't forget to do the outside shower when going through the spigots!
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:48 AM   #20
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I've winterized by putting the antifreeze in the fresh tank for years. This year, on opening, I can't get the antifreeze sweet smell out of the hot water tank. I don't usually put antifreeze in there since I drain it. Got in by accident this year since I forgot to switch the bypass. I've drained the hot tank twice, and rinsed it out multiple times with fresh cold water through the drain plug opening using a small diameter hose. The water hasn't been pink since the first flush, but the smell will not go away, even after a week of camping, including about 14 showers. Any thoughts?
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