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Old 04-30-2011, 03:37 PM   #15
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Methane nightmare

Another thought of a possible cause for an objectionable odor could be the water heater, particularly if you are staying in a campground with well water. Certain well waters can impart a sulphur-dioxide odor when heated in an RV water heater. I know that certain RV water heaters have a sacrificial metal rod that can lessesn the odor.

Kevin
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:37 PM   #16
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One year our son bought us a multi gas detector for use in our home. We proudly installed it near the bedroom door. My wife's hair spray set it off every time.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:53 PM   #17
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Thank you for the help....well I learned Methane is lighter than air, and it has no smell. Sooo, what was I breathing? It must have been so concentrated it was in a layer, that had not yet lifted. The smell must be sulpher from poop. From now on, I will dump the Blackwater and cap it......
Thank you everyone.....
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #18
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ya just gotta stop the missus from chewin' on them kitchen matches...
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:29 PM   #19
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Hydrogen Sulfide?

Sounds like it may be Hydrogen Sulfide gas. It will form in sewers and areas with anaerobic digestion. Humans are more sensitive to it than dogs are...with good reason. Many rotting foods give of sulfide gas. The gas is slightly heavier than air.

The coughing and and so forth really make it sound like sulfide. The gas H2S will combine with water (eyes, mouth, throat--LUNGS!) and form sulfuric acid. That would account for the irritation feeling. A good dose will also provide one with a pounding headache.

This gas is often associated with methane from the anaerobic digestion processes and is also explosive. A concentrated version is know as silo gas, it can be very damaging and has been known to be fatal on rare occasions.

The post about the reversible vent fan is one to take note of. I have heard of that happening more than once. Leave the valve on your tank closed until the tank is high then flush the tank and close the valve.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:33 PM   #20
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One year our son bought us a multi gas detector for use in our home. We proudly installed it near the bedroom door. My wife's hair spray set it off every time.
She said it was hair spray.

Methane ("natural gas") and propane are both odorless and have mercaptan added to give them what is usually described as a rotten egg smell. It smells like mercaptan to me, not rotten eggs.

Propane is heavier than air, methane is lighter than air.

Sewer gas comes from the breakdown of the wonderful stuff in the fluid—and produces many odors including hydrogen sulphide (H2S, a compound each of us can produce on our own). All college male freshman learn it is flammable, an experiment conducted in the dorm, not a lab. The compound breaks down fairly quickly in air.

Battery acid is sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and the gas may break down into hydrogen sulphide when in contact with air, but I don't know that for a fact. I believe when a battery is overheated, it gives off hydrogen which is explosive in the proper concentration. Perhaps some of the hydrogen binds with some of the sulphur to make H2S.

Then there is the BTEX group—butane, toluene, ethane, xylene. These are really nasty and quite poisonous. Methane is not poisonous and is sometimes found in drinking water. When gas companies drill for natural gas, sometimes people suddenly get a lot of methane in their well water and can light the water when they open the faucet. They may also get fracking fluids which are also nasty as well as the BTEX group.

This all comes from someone who had an awful time with basic chemistry and was so bad at it he didn't know what he didn't know or thought he knew things he didn't know.

At some campgrounds there is a powerful odor of sewer gas when I open the drain, at others, not so. I suspect it is a function of how well the system was installed and how well it is maintained. Some don't have threaded drains and we use rocks, boards and anything else we can come up with to create a positive seal—sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Someone nearby may have a broken drain and sewer gas may be blowing your way.

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Old 04-30-2011, 06:33 PM   #21
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My gas sniffer would also react to certain bodily functions also.
So you're saying next time we need to test the detector, head to Taco Bell?
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:48 PM   #22
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So you're saying next time we need to test the detector, head to Taco Bell?
I'm sure that would work just fine. I think Taco Bell should change their slogan from " run for the border" to "run for the toilet"
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:01 PM   #23
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Here we live by the golden rule . . . she with the gold rules. If "she" said it was hair spray I would never challenge that:-)
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:02 PM   #24
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Here we live by the golden rule . . . she with the gold rules. If "she" said it was hair spray I would never challenge that:-)

yea.....sing it, brother.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:01 AM   #25
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LOL, thanks people, I think Smokin Camel nailed it, BTW the battery was fine, I checked it......
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