Smelly Hot Water

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Foto-n-T

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Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
1,147
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
Let me start by stating that I am not new to the RV Lifestyle, I spend 5 months out of the year living in my 5th wheel and have had this current one since 2008. Now on to the issue...

For the last three years since my wife passed I've been spending the winter in Lake Havasu City AZ which has some of the worst water this side of West Texas. After about three months I start getting a foul smell out of my hot water. Three years ago I filled the water heater with ten gallons (Atwood by the way) of vinegar, fired it up and let it stew for 24 hours then flushed the crude out for an hour with a flush wand. I got plenty of scale out of it but it didn't help the odor much. I do a normal wand flush at least once per year by the way. Yesterday I drained and flushed the water heater once again only this time I pumped sanitizing water into it and let it sit overnite. I rinsed out the sanitizing water this morning and just took a shower this afternoon. The smell appears to be gone but I'd expect nothing less after sitting overnite with sanitizing water (2 cups bleach to 100 gallons fresh water).  My question is: What kind of bugs (bacteria) manage to procreate in water that is probably 140? twenty four hours a day??

Your thoughts?
 

Back2PA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Posts
5,766
What kind of bugs? Stinky bugs! Hot springs are filled with them. Need to sanitize every 6-12 months with bleach as you did, vinegar won't do it
 

Foto-n-T

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
1,147
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
Okay, that's what I was wondering. You'd think running water through this thing every day that it wouldn't grow critters but apparently it does. I've got a tankless at my house but before that was the old tried & true hot water heater. You never have issues with residential hot water heaters getting smelly, I wonder why RV water heaters are so susceptible to bacterial growth.
 

lynnmor

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Posts
1,586
Check the actual temperature, if it is under 140 degrees then bacteria can thrive.
 

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