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Old 08-22-2016, 11:25 AM   #1
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so smelly, so fast! what am i missing?

howdy airstream family, i am full timing and get water from a nearby home (which is on a well). during warm months my airstream's "city" inlet is connected to an outdoor house spigot by three 25-foot white potable water hoses (sold in 25 foot lengths at local lowes hardware).

i left for three weeks (backpacking in cooler climates) and now the water coming out of my faucets is really smelly even after running for a week. i use the fresh water system to wash dishes, wash my hands, and to fill up my berkey filter unit for drinking (i bath and use the bathroom in the house).

the hoses (FLEXON Marine & RV 1/2-in x 25-ft Light-Duty Garden Hoses) are all at least a year old, one segment may be two years old. the water coming out of the house spigot smells fine. is it just that stuff grows in the hoses and need to be replaced yearly like i saw somewhere on the forum? or is there an issue once the water is onboard? not sure if the fresh water tank and city lines overlap...just drained the tank and it smelled fine. thanks ya'll for any ideas on what went wrong and possible solutions!
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

If you left unfiltered and un-bleached well water in the hoses for three weeks in the sun, you were in effect running a science experiment to see what microbes you could harvest when you came back. Throw the hoses out and get new ones IMO. When potable water hoses are not in active use, they should be drained and left on a sunny slope to dry out as best as possible. Then rolled up and not capped.

You should probably add some bleach to your fresh water tank, and pump this solution through all your pipes. Like a cup of bleach per 20 gallons of water +/-. And let it sit for a few hours, then drain and rinse rinse rinse.

There are many threads discussing issues like this. Stand by for links.

Fresh Water sub-forum list of topics: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443/

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ud-154541.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ze-152974.html

The city water entering the trailer overlaps with the on-board system in all respects, except for the short line from the fresh water tank to the pump.

You might also consider getting an in-line filter to add right at the hose bib, like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-40043-T...v+water+filter

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:39 PM   #3
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thanks peter! i just ordered two new 50 foot drinking water hoses and the inline filter (it's about 88 feet from spigot to airstream). before i hook them up i will add bleach to the fresh water system and run through so i can start with a clean slate.

still confused by why now. the hoses are mostly in shade. and i left last year for a few weeks at the same time (hot summer) and didn't have any smell issues upon return (maybe because hoses were newer). i'd like to figure this out as once i've run the hoses under the house porch (shortest distance) it's a real pain in the butt to crawl around and disconnect and try to dry out 100 foot of hose. might just have to build that into my departure prep time for warm month trips longer than a week in the future.
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:16 PM   #4
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Why not add bleach to the house faucet end of the hoses and sterilize them before and after your next trip? You can raise the end up and use a funnel to add the bleach. This would prevent having to crawl under the porch again.

You can make up a gallon of dilute bleach, pour it into the hose, then reconnect it to the faucet. Slowly run fresh water through the hose to move the bleach solution through the whole hose. Let it bleed through a faucet in the trailer and you know you've bleached and rinsed the whole line and connections just by the smell of the slug of bleach.

It's amazing how fast bacteria grows at body temperature. If I remember correctly, one bacterium becomes a million in 8 hours. The difference between your smelly and not smelly experiences is a matter of time, temperature and especially how much "seed" bacteria was there to begin with.
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:17 PM   #5
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Bleach the bugger and kill whatever is growing in the system I bleach my lines every year in the spring after winter storage....
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:55 PM   #6
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Good plan! Yes it sounds like you lucked out last year with newer hoses.

You could save the old hoses and use them as "pull" to leave in place when you go away, so you don't have to crawl around under the house (if I am picturing this right). The suggestion earlier to put bleach in the hose is another possibility. Just don't leave it lying around full, as a warm weather "Petri Dish" science experiment the next time.

Also, if the hose is not used for more than 6-8 hours, we always disconnect it at the trailer, and run it for 5-10 minutes to get fresh water in the hose. You also reduce the lead content from old solder joints in the house this way. You can add an in-line hose-connection ball valve near the trailer to accomplish this.

Good luck!


Quote:
Originally Posted by simple sanctuary View Post
thanks peter! i just ordered two new 50 foot drinking water hoses and the inline filter (it's about 88 feet from spigot to airstream). before i hook them up i will add bleach to the fresh water system and run through so i can start with a clean slate.

still confused by why now. the hoses are mostly in shade. and i left last year for a few weeks at the same time (hot summer) and didn't have any smell issues upon return (maybe because hoses were newer). i'd like to figure this out as once i've run the hoses under the house porch (shortest distance) it's a real pain in the butt to crawl around and disconnect and try to dry out 100 foot of hose. might just have to build that into my departure prep time for warm month trips longer than a week in the future.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:44 PM   #7
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If you're going to leave for a while coil the hoses up, put some bleach in one end then connect tho hose ends to keep out dirt. Swirl the hoses a little then store until you get back.

Well water is well water it comes from the ground where conditions are not constant not necessarily clean. A well can easily have varying bacterial load from year to year.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
Well water is well water it comes from the ground where conditions are not constant not necessarily clean. A well can easily have varying bacterial load from year to year.
FYI I've been on a well for 30 years. House water goes through a softener.

Smells on the untreated well water vary by season and rainfall. I've inadvertently left campground water in the heater and have had unusual results after the trailer sat for a month.
Often times I've seen the full timers at Rallys with a dual whole house filter setup, one partial and one charcoal, on a stake by the city water outlet.

I've seen RV sized water softeners At Camping World but I don't know if that would be practical on the road.

Good luck.
Tom
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:09 PM   #9
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You may also want to clean out your hot water tank well. I once had stinky water and it was due the amount of sediment held in the tank that does not drain out simple by pulling the plug. Had to get a Camco hot water tank cleaner attachment for the hose to clean it out well for under $5
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simple sanctuary View Post
howdy airstream family, i am full timing and get water from a nearby home (which is on a well). during warm months my airstream's "city" inlet is connected to an outdoor house spigot by three 25-foot white potable water hoses (sold in 25 foot lengths at local lowes hardware).

i left for three weeks (backpacking in cooler climates) and now the water coming out of my faucets is really smelly even after running for a week. i use the fresh water system to wash dishes, wash my hands, and to fill up my berkey filter unit for drinking (i bath and use the bathroom in the house).

the hoses (FLEXON Marine & RV 1/2-in x 25-ft Light-Duty Garden Hoses) are all at least a year old, one segment may be two years old. the water coming out of the house spigot smells fine. is it just that stuff grows in the hoses and need to be replaced yearly like i saw somewhere on the forum? or is there an issue once the water is onboard? not sure if the fresh water tank and city lines overlap...just drained the tank and it smelled fine. thanks ya'll for any ideas on what went wrong and possible solutions!
simple sanctuary, not knowing the site setup or the performance but you may want consider running some schedule 40 PVC from the spigot to a point close to the trailer. You could even connect to the spigot with a F hose thread connection and a male at the other end and use an easier to reach short section of Flexon. Parts and pipe are cheap....recycle/repurpose when you're leaving.

Bob
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Old 08-30-2016, 05:18 AM   #11
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BillyDump - Purogene Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by simple sanctuary View Post
howdy airstream family, i am full timing and get water from a nearby home (which is on a well). during warm months my airstream's "city" inlet is connected to an outdoor house spigot by three 25-foot white potable water hoses (sold in 25 foot lengths at local lowes hardware).

i left for three weeks (backpacking in cooler climates) and now the water coming out of my faucets is really smelly even after running for a week. i use the fresh water system to wash dishes, wash my hands, and to fill up my berkey filter unit for drinking (i bath and use the bathroom in the house).

the hoses (FLEXON Marine & RV 1/2-in x 25-ft Light-Duty Garden Hoses) are all at least a year old, one segment may be two years old. the water coming out of the house spigot smells fine. is it just that stuff grows in the hoses and need to be replaced yearly like i saw somewhere on the forum? or is there an issue once the water is onboard? not sure if the fresh water tank and city lines overlap...just drained the tank and it smelled fine. thanks ya'll for any ideas on what went wrong and possible solutions!
I highly recommend Purogene Fresh Water and Black Water treatment from BillyDump. When used as directed it will keep your water system fresh and clean.

I also had a "summer" experience, leaving untreated water in my fresh water tank. The smell was terrible! But disinfecting with Purogene solves the problem. To maintain the water quality it only takes 1 ounce of Purogene for 30 gals. of water.

The black tank chemical is also excellent and uses the same ratio of treatment per waste water. It keeps the odors down better than any other product that I've tried.

I started using Purogene in 2008 on my 25' Flying Cloud and still use it today in a 2010 FC. You can purchase direct form the link below.

http://secure.billydump.com/store/in...iewCat&catId=2


Happy Streaming! joe
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