srfridley

Persistent Odor To Water After Winterizing Coach

20 posts in this topic

I winterized my 2006 Winnebago Tour last fall for the first time using the appropriate RV anti-freeze and the procedure from the factory manual. Now, on our first trip in the spring, I cannot get rid of the slight odor/taste in the water system. I have flushed all of the water taps several times for extended time periods but the taste/odor keeps coming back. The anti-freeze was purchased at Wal Mart, I don't remember the brand.

Anyone have similar problems or a solution?

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srfridley,

To you taste and odor problem, I have no advice. However I have never put the anti-freeze in my water lines. I will drain my water tank and hot water tank. I will then Blow out the water lines. I then add anti-freeze to the drains. This way when we de-winterize the coach we have nothing in the water lines to clear other then air.

Good luck and I look forward to the solution to your problem.

Herman

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Is it possible you left the filter in when you winterized .... or didn't empty the filter canister after the fresh water started coming thru?

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The only filter in my system is for the ice maker and a filtered water tap on the sink. The odor/taste is in all faucets, which are not filtered

The ice/drinking filter was isolated and saw no anti-freeze

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Sanitize with bleach including hot water heater. I blow out the water lines and then put in antifreeze every year, I have been doing it for 30+ years and I use Walmart antifreeze never had any problems. It may be overkill, but I sleep good when temps go below zero.

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Easiest to use Peroxide. It sanitizes your system, then breaks down to water and leaves no taste or odor. Try running some vinegar thru your system to neutralize any bleach or other stuff in your lines. Sometimes your lines just need to be flushed for quite awhile to remove most of the taste. Suggest you drink bottled water until your system has had time to clean itself with frequent use.

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emarq,

I am not disagreeing with you, but if you have drained your water heater and blown out the lines then you will not have any water in your system therefore, I see no reason for anti-freeze.

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Herman, I do it for peace of mind and if there is a pocket of water some where. It only takes a couple of gallons cheap insurance and keeps seals and washers from drying out. As I said it may be overkill but I sleep good at night all winter.

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I also suspect the weather in Connecticut is colder than in Texas!

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I too have had an odor in my water like a strong onion smell and was asked if I had a anode rod in hot water tank, and was told to take it out and just use a plug. Don't know if that was it or not but the odor is gone. I'm in Oklahoma with hard water. I also use water purifier from Wally World to put in tank.

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If you have an anode rod in your tank, don't take it out. It serves a purpose. You should remove it and inspect it. If its corroded badly it should be replaced.

When was the last time you changed you whole house water filter (assuming you have one) and sanitized your fresh water system? Also, you need to flush the water heater tank occasionally.

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Yes, if Suburban water heater, you NEED an anode.

If Atwood water heater, they recommend their nylon drain plug.

The difference is tank material.

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It is an Atwood, and I thought it needed an anode and put one in, and they told me to change it back to the nylon plug. The water sure ate up that anode. I also put water purifier in every load of fresh water and change filter after unwinterizing.

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Correct. The nylon drain plug is the proper one for the Atwood. Atwood does not even sell anodes.

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What is the "water purifier"? Does it sanitize the water system? You don't say how often you use your mh but if it is unused for several weeks bad stuff can begin to grow in the system creating bad smells and tastes.

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We use it once or twice a month. As for the water purifier, it is the bottle sold at Wally World, and it smell like clorox.

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Why Should you Sanitize Your RV Water System

This article will cover the Why, When and How to sanitize your RV water system for the DIY (do it yourself) RVer.

Why is Sanitizing Your RV Water System Necessary

Insuring clean, safe drinking water in your recreation vehicle is important to your health and requires sanitizing your fresh water system. Proper care and maintenance is a must.

If your RV has been sitting in storage, or has not been used for awhile, the fresh water storage tank, hot water tank and water lines are a great place for bacteria to grow and you don't want that to happen. In order to remove these problems from your RV, you should sanitize your water system.

When Should you Sanitize Your RV Water System
  • Do you notice a stale odor when using your water from the fresh water system? It usually occurs when water was left in the system for quite some time. It is time to sanitize the entire water system.
  • Has your RV been sitting for a month or more and the RV water system has not been used? It is time to sanitize the entire water system.
  • Have you filled your water tank then been informed that there is a boil water advisory? It is time to sanitize the entire water system.
  • Do you have a problem with algae or slime in your tank? It is time to sanitize the entire water system.
  • If you do not drink water out of your fresh water tank, you might think that you will never have to sanitize, however, if you use water from your fresh water tank for any purpose? It is time to sanitize the entire water system.
  • You must remember that filters will remove contaminates such as sand and rust and will improve taste and odor but a filter is not a purifier and will not kill bacteria and other microorganisms. It is time to sanitize the entire water system.
How do you Sanitize Your RV Water System

The generally accepted method of sanitizing your RV's fresh water system as outlined below involves filling the fresh water system with a solution of household bleach and running the solution through the entire RV water system. Then letting it stand for at least four hours. Finally, flush the system to remove the bleach taste and smell.

This procedure is one you'll find in most books about RVing but be sure to read on to find out what we do.

  1. Read through these sanitize RV water system steps before you begin!
  2. Some things to consider before you start.
  3. Time, you need at least 5 to 10 hours to complete the task.
  4. Do you have internal and or external water filters? If so, you should change the filters after you have finished sanitizing the RV system.
  5. Do you have a hot water tank? If you do, now might be a good time to flush out your hot water tank.
  6. Drain all of the water out of the water system, this includes hot water tank, fresh water tank, and the water lines and then close all of the drains valves. You do not want to start this process with water that is questionable or of unknown quality in your RV water system.
  7. Determine the size of your RV water system, the fresh water tank plus the hot water tank and 2 to 3 gallons for water lines depending on the size of your recreation vehicle.
  8. Chlorine as a purification and disinfection, chlorine is an important chemical for water purification (such as water treatment plants), in disinfectants, and in bleach. Chlorine in water is more than three times as effective as a disinfectant against Escherichia coli than an equivalent concentration of bromine, and is more than six times more effective than an equivalent concentration of iodine.
  9. Prepare a 5% sodium-hypochloric solution using chlorine bleach (non-scented and non-gel) and water.
Chlorine Solution Chart

Fresh water tank size

Amount of Bleach

Mix in container

40 gallons (152 litres)

1 cup (240 ml)

4 gallons (16 litres)

50 gallons (190 litres)

1 1/4 cup (300 ml)

5 gallons (20 litres)

60 gallons (227 litres)

1 1/2 cup (360 ml)

6 gallons (24 litres)

80 gallons (302 litres)

1 3/4 cup (420 ml)

7 gallons (28 litres)

100 gallons (380 litres)

2 cups (480 ml)

8 gallons (32 litres)

  1. Add bleach mixture to the water tank - Never pour straight bleach into the RV fresh water tank!
  2. Top up the fresh water tank with water.
  3. Run the chlorinated water through all lines (hot and cold one at a time) for one or two minutes, you should be able to smell the chlorine.
  4. Top up the fresh water tank with water again.
  5. Let it sit for 4 hours minimum, over night is better. The most important thing is to wait the appropriate amount of time for the tank to be properly sanitized.
    Note: Double the bleach is not half the time
  6. Drain and rinse the water tank and water lines several times with fresh water.
  7. The water should now be safe to drink but if the chlorine odor is too strong you can add a mixture of 1/2 cup of baking soda and a gallon of water to the fresh water tank, repeat the fresh water flush.

Happy RVing!

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  • You must remember that filters will remove contaminates such as sand and rust and will improve taste and odor but a filter is not a purifier and will not kill bacteria and other microorganisms.

Though perhaps not technically a "filter", a UV sterilizer will kill bacteria and other microorganisms.

The numbers you provided were for a 50 ppm bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach per 15 gal tank size) and let sit at least 4 hours.

However, you can also use a stronger 100 ppm bleach solution (1/2 cup of bleach per 15 gal tank size) and let sit at least 1 hour.

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