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Old 05-22-2015, 07:12 PM   #1
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Sulfur smell

When I use the bathroom sink I get a strong sulfur smell. I don't get it with the water in the toilet or the kitchen sink. I am assuming I have an issue with the water trap in the drain if it has one or the grey water tank. Any ideas on how to eliminate the smell?
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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Pour a cup of bleach into the drain, let it stand for several hours, then flush with some clean water. If there's something sitting in the trap, that should neutralize the smell.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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The Interstate uses a Hepvo trap which operates like a check valve. If the sink drains normally, I doubt it's the trap.

Is the plug in the shower drain? Does it drain normally? Have the tanks been drained? Did you use any chemicals in the black water tank to kill odors?
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:27 PM   #4
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When I use the bathroom sink I get a strong sulfur smell. I don't get it with the water in the toilet or the kitchen sink. I am assuming I have an issue with the water trap in the drain if it has one or the grey water tank. Any ideas on how to eliminate the smell?
Your profile says "Currently looking…" so we don't know what kind of Airstream B-van you've got. One can presume it's an Interstate since that's the most common here on the Forums, but it also makes a difference what model year, and we don't know that, either.

Newer Interstates have Hepvo valves instead of P-traps. They are basically check valves of a special type; the Brits call them "joker valves." They do not retain water, but they do not usually allow odors to pass, either.

Try this… put the sink stopper in. This will block any odors coming up from the drain. Then run some hot water in the sink and see if you still get the odor.

Then drain the hot water, and try the same experiment with cold water.

1 - If you don't get the odor at all with the sink stoppered, then you know that it's from the drain.
2 - If you get the odor with the drain plug in and when you run both hot and cold water, you know the odor source is your fresh water tank.
3 - If you only get the odor when you run the hot water, you know the source is your water heater.

Once you've narrowed down the source, it will be easier to figure out what to do about it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:32 PM   #5
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Good call on the HW. I mistakenly put some non-potable water in and had a pretty bad smell for the rest of the trip. And didn't even have the HW heater on. That won't happen again.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:39 PM   #6
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Don't have an Interstate but did have trouble with the sulfur smell. Years ago I filled the fw tank with some "local" water while on the road. It was high in sulfur content and I experienced the same smell. Mine was in both the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Flushing out the system did it for me. If your problem is with the sanitary trap I would think that the smell you are getting wouldn't be sulfur but something more disagreeable.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:04 PM   #7
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The drain plugs in the AI are cheaply chrome plated, so if you pour bleach over them, always rinse with water, otherwise the chrome plating is quickly destroyed.


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Old 05-22-2015, 09:04 PM   #8
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If you find the smell is not coming from the waste water system, make sure your battery is not boiled dry. A cooking battery will emit a sulphur like smell also!
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:22 AM   #9
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You may want to check if coming from cold vs hot lines. As you said not from toilet (cold line), most likely from hot. Various bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfur in stagnant warm water- not cold& this is common in hot water tanks not sanitized or not used often. If you haven't sanitized water system recently do this: drain hot water tank & water tank. Add bleach & water as you normally would. Let sit few hrs and run thru hot water system until chlorine smell noticed. Do same thru cold. Do again. Let sit. Drain & flush several times especially thru hot water heater lines until no smell. This should do it. Has happened to me & with Google search found this is most common cause. Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:23 AM   #10
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If you find the smell is not coming from the waste water system, make sure your battery is not boiled dry. A cooking battery will emit a sulphur like smell also!

That is what I was gonna say in my 1969 Sovereign international the battery is right under the bathroom sink!!
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:11 PM   #11
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That is what I was gonna say in my 1969 Sovereign international the battery is right under the bathroom sink!!
Not a problem for Interstates, though. The older Sprinter 2500-based Interstates have the house battery under the passenger-side front seat (AGM, not vented to outside), the Sprinter 3500-based Interstates have them at the rear (2 AGMs, battery box vented to outside).
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