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Old 06-28-2016, 05:55 PM   #1
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Bad Taste In Water After Flushing RV Antifreeze

I have a bad taste in the water in my 77 Argosy after flushing out the RV antifreeze. It goes away if I run water from the street side fitting, but comes back if I let the water sit in the pipes for an hour or so. I replaced all of the pipes with new copper 5 years ago when I re did the entire trailer. Any idea of how to get rid of the bad taste for good?
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:09 PM   #2
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Maybe it would be helpful to sanitize your freshwater system? That involves lots of filling and flushing of the tanks and lines anyway, so it could do the trick.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:39 PM   #3
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If you haven't exposed your tank to see all fittings in and out, i would say flushing and dumping would take a long time to get residue out from a tank by dilution. My tank and previous tanks had fitting on the sides of the tank close to the bottom but each time it is emptied there is space between the bottom and the exit to hold about a gallon. You can improve chances of removing by lifting opposite side of exit tubing fitting. Hooking up hose to outside fitting bypasses going into tank, and that is what you are flushing, when you add water to tank and use the pump you are actually flushing the tank.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:42 PM   #4
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The bad taste is from the pipes, not the tank. Like I said it is hooked up to the street water connection, the tank is fine.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:46 PM   #5
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After sanitizing with bleach, try filling the tank and all water lines with either a solution of white vinegar, or (my favorite) baking soda dissolved in water. I use about 4 gallons of vinegar into the (48gal) tank, fill with water, run through all the lines, and let sit for 3 days. For baking soda, I use about a cup or so per 10 gallons, fill with water, run through the lines, let sit for 3 days. Drain and flush, and you won't have any bleach taste left.
It's a little putzy to do but works well.

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Old 06-28-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventport View Post
I have a bad taste in the water in my 77 Argosy after flushing out the RV antifreeze. It goes away if I run water from the street side fitting, but comes back if I let the water sit in the pipes for an hour or so. I replaced all of the pipes with new copper 5 years ago when I re did the entire trailer. Any idea of how to get rid of the bad taste for good?
Why not do as many of us do drink bottled water only use tank for sanitary purposes. If you put anti freeze into fresh water tank will be hard to get all out.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:24 PM   #7
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Was there a water filter in the system when winterized? The dealer winterized our first Airstream with filter in, had to replace the filter.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:28 PM   #8
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Yes indeed, as you suggest below, we sanitized and then gave it the baking soda treatment. Water from our fresh tank tastes and smells great.

We don't use bottled water because we're unwilling to contribute to the plastic trash stream unless there's absolutely no other option. Given we sanitized our system ourselves, we're confident it is clean enough to drink. Oh, and we don't use the inline filter under the sink. Instead, we filter all water that enters the system, at the point of entry.

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After sanitizing with bleach, try filling the tank and all water lines with either a solution of white vinegar, or (my favorite) baking soda dissolved in water. I use about 4 gallons of vinegar into the (48gal) tank, fill with water, run through all the lines, and let sit for 3 days. For baking soda, I use about a cup or so per 10 gallons, fill with water, run through the lines, let sit for 3 days. Drain and flush, and you won't have any bleach taste left.
It's a little putzy to do but works well.

Kay
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:39 PM   #9
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There is no filter in the system. The freshwater tank never had antifreeze in it and was taken out and cleaned a few years ago. The problem is from the copper pipes somehow reacting with the RV antifreeze to cause the bad taste. Since vinegar is an acid how will that react with the copper piping if I use that to flush the pipes? Also the hot water smells like sulfur. The hot water heater has a bypass on it so it never got the RV antifreeze in it either.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:11 PM   #10
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Ah, clearly we have different plumbing - our 2014 Airstream pipes are all pex, or whatever it is they make them from these days.

If you're concerned about vinegar with copper pipes, perhaps baking soda would be better.

Regarding the sulfurous fumes from the hot water heater, you might want to empty it, flush it out and try again. That smell could be from sediments.

Hey, here's another random thought - have you ever put sulfur-laden water into your fresh tank? Some places have this awful water that stinks of sulfur, especially if you heat it up. Might help to drain / flush and re-fill with a known good water source.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:30 PM   #11
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Sounds like leftover antifreeze in the system. It can be stubborn to get out. I had issues in 2 campers, then started winterizing with compressed air. Never again will I use antifreeze.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:43 PM   #12
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Sounds like leftover antifreeze in the system. It can be stubborn to get out. I had issues in 2 campers, then started winterizing with compressed air. Never again will I use antifreeze.
+1 to this. Our Airstream is still in the deconstruction stage, but we used antifreeze in our SOB camper for two winters and then I made an adapter using an air chuck connector, a piece of rubber hose, and a hose connector. For the last ten years I've been using air.

Once we start getting overnight freezing do the following:
  • open the low point drains to get most of the water out, then drain the fresh tank and run the water pump until it runs dry.
  • drain the hot water tank and put it in bypass
  • turn the compressor regulator down to 50 PSI and hook up to the city water connection on the trailer.
  • open each tap in turn until it blows air and do two or three rounds of this, going from the bathroom sink to the shower and to the kitchen taps, then repeat. Do both hot and cold taps at each location.
Takes maybe 20 minutes.

So long as you remove over about 75% of the water and there are no low spots in the plumbing, there is no issue if the dregs that remain in the pipes freeze.

As to water smells and tastes: We use one of the little (fist sized) Brita filter units that attaches to the strainer on the kitchen tap. It has replaceable filters and a selector to use or bypass the filter. That thing removes any residual taste including antifreeze residuals. I also use a shock treatment water cleaner on the fresh tank, every trip, but that doesn't do anything for antifreeze if you happen to have that in your pipes.
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Old 06-28-2016, 11:19 PM   #13
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Antifreeze and vodka seem to make the copper taste bad. I use wodka to wintrizze my Dragon, waitsing alll wintser to de winster party ans it tasst yecchhy copper in the spring.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:26 PM   #14
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Exactly what can happen.
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