It is not uncommon for RV owners to complain of bad water. The first sign of a contaminated water system is usually a bad taste, followed by strange odors emanating from the water supply.  Water will break down in storage, releasing hydrogen which could be explosive and give off the sulfur/rotten egg smell.  Bacteria may have built up in the water tank, especially if the water tankís supply has not been used frequently and has not been replenished with fresh, clean water on a regular basis. When a rig comes out of storage or is being used extensively on a city-water connection, the tank and entire water system should be sanitized before use. Some of the bacterial buildup can cause serious illness; donít take chances!

1. Drain the water tank completely, then refill halfway with clean, fresh water.

2. Mix ľ cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons of tank capacity in a container with a gallon or two of clean water.

Bleach helps kill bacteria in the fresh water system.

3. Pour this mixture into the water tank.

4. Top off the water tank with fresh water. Drive the rig around the block to mix the water/bleach.

5. Pump water through each faucet so that all the lines are filled with the water/bleach.

6. The hot-water tank holds at least 6 gallons. Run the hot faucets until this much solution has passed.  Insure that the old water has been purged from the tank, and it is now filled with the water tank solution.

7. Let the water stand for several hours.

8. Drain the entire water system, hot-water tank included.

9. Reinstall anode/drain plugs.

Remove the anode rod in a Suburban Heater.   

Atwood Water Heaters have a plastic plug. Do not replace with a metal plug, anode rod, or pet cock.

10. To remove the bleach odor, mix Ĺ cup of baking soda with a gallon of water and pour into the freshwater tank.

Baking Soda helps remove the bleach odor.

11. Fill the tank completely and pump this solution through the water heater and the rest of the water lines. This solution can sit in the system for a few days. Driving the rig will slosh water around and help clean the tank.

12. Drain the entire system and refill with fresh, clean water.


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