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Old 07-07-2004, 06:11 PM   #1
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Fresh water

Hi
We used RV antifreeze last fall to protect the water lines, etc.
We need help, please!!! We did all the "dewinterizing" the manual suggested, including bleach & vingagar in the fresh water tank. We have ran fresh water through the system so much the neighbors are starting to give us bad looks for the street being wet all the time. We cannot get rid of the terrible odor when we turn on any of the faucets.

What did we do wrong? Thank you for your help...oh wise & knowing "AIRSTREAMERS".
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:14 PM   #2
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What kind of odor are you smelling. Is it the same as the anti-freeze in the bottle? It sounds much like something else may be causing the odor. I'm assuming you see no pink tinge to the water. I've used RV antifreeze in the lines and tank for years and never did have a condition like this. I'm assuming the odor is only when you use the fresh water tank and not from city water.

When you used the bleach, what concentration do you use and how long have you left it in the tank?

Jack
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:42 PM   #3
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The smell is only when we use water from the fresh water tank. It smells a bit like the antifreeze, but it mostly smells kind of sour. The is NO pink tinge to the water.

Flushed the system with fresh water. then did the following...
We started with 2 boxes of soda & 10 gal of water, left overnight,
& flushed system. Then mixed 1/4 cup of bleach per a gallon of fresh water. Poured 3 1/2 gallons of this mix into our 50 gallon tank, filled tank with fresh water & let stand overnight. (Manual says 1 gallon of bleach solution for each 15 gallons of capacity into empty water tank.) Flushed system again, then added 10 qts of vinegar & filled tank. (Manual says 1 qt of vinegar to 5 gallons of water). That is a lot of vinegar too! Stinky!! Set overnight, & flushed completely several more times. Water seems to be ok, not great, for a day or two, but then goes south on us. What have we done wrong?
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:47 PM   #4
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This was our first winterizing and de-win. We did great! No problems and best of all no smell!

We followed the suggestions from a couple of threads here in the forums. They mentioned no vinegar instead suggested baking soda as part of the last step. (check threads for exact quantity, I keep our sheet in the AS).

The steps called for the clorox before the baking soda. I think that might have done it for you, together with all that vinegar.

Maybe if you just repeat the baking soda, a couple of times, you'll do fine.

...next time skip the vinegar...

Someone with more experience may chime in and add some extra info.
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:11 PM   #5
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A few questions that may help:

1) How old is Airstream? Are we talking about a vintage unit or a relatively new one? Has any part of the plumbing been replaced?

2) Did you run the bleach/water solutions through ALL the water lines by opening the faucets, before letting it sit overnight?

3) Does your local water normally have an odor (sulphur, etc)?

4) Can you smell the water from a distance when a faucet is opened, or do you have to taste it to notice the "terrible odor"?

RV antifreeze does put a little taste in the water, but it shouldn't make the water smell.

Try a few 500 mg ascorbic acid tablets (Vitamin C). Just toss them down the fill pipe into a tank of water and let them dissolve overnight. That always kills the antifreeze taste for us. But it does sound like your problem is a bit more severe.
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:22 PM   #6
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The "sour" smell makes me suspicious of algae. Here is the sad part: there is no way to completely drain the fresh water tank. At least not on the later model plastic tanks under the floor. The drain cock is positioned so that maybe a gallon or more will remain after draining.

You might try the old black tank cleaning trick of feeding ice cubes down the filler tube and then taking it for a ride. If it were mine, I'd add about 10 lbs. of ice cubes (boy, is that going to be tedious!) and a gallon or so of water. The ice may "scrub" any algae off the bottom, which repeated filling and draining just might empty out.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 07-07-2004, 11:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plains70
Hi
We used RV antifreeze last fall to protect the water lines, etc.
We need help, please!!! We did all the "dewinterizing" the manual suggested, including bleach & vingagar in the fresh water tank. We have ran fresh water through the system so much the neighbors are starting to give us bad looks for the street being wet all the time. We cannot get rid of the terrible odor when we turn on any of the faucets.

What did we do wrong? Thank you for your help...oh wise & knowing "AIRSTREAMERS".
Is there any chance it is a sulfur smell coming from the hot water tank. I had trouble this spring after returning from the winter in Texas. The hot water tank was full from March until we started to use it in May. Terrible sulfur smell that had to be flushed out.
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream Life
A few questions that may help:

...2) Did you run the bleach/water solutions through ALL the water lines by opening the faucets, before letting it sit overnight?
This has worked for us. The A/S manual says "4 hours min. of full contact (w/ bleach solution)...on the entire system..."
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:51 PM   #9
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Hello. Thanks for all the gret suggestions. We are going to drain everything again this weekend. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 07-09-2004, 11:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plains70
Hello. Thanks for all the gret suggestions. We are going to drain everything again this weekend. I'll keep you posted.
This is a long shot. Are you filling your fresh water tank with city water or well water? Well water can react with the anode rod in the water heater and cause a bad odor. Another thought might be that you are not flushing all the anitfreeze out of the water heater and that could be causing you part of the problem.
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Old 07-10-2004, 07:34 AM   #11
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I haven't heard of any mention of the everpure filter under the sink. Its a good idea to replace this filter annually. With a little clorox in the water I have found that it will remove most of the odors. Just a personal note, I had a 74 that I did not trust the condition of the potable water tank. I filled it with a 10% soultion of clorox and water, yes I put 5 gallons of clorox in a 40 gallon tank. I pumped the solution through all of my water lines and hot water heater to give me the piece of mind that everything was clean including the gray water tank that filled in the process. It took about 5 fillings and drainings, I use the pump because I wanted to flush the lines as well. It took about a week for all of the clorine odor to go away but it did go away. I was satisfied that the system was clean and replaced the filter under the sink. I have well water and therefore no clorination. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-10-2004, 07:49 AM   #12
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What did we do wrong?

going back to the original question.

why put antifreeze in the fresh water tank in the first place?

my manual suggests that draining it by the petcock is o.k., the one or two remaining gallons of water can freeze solid and not harm anything.

the rest of the fresh water system can be winterized by blowing out the lines with air, and filling the lines by disconnecting the suction side of the water pump and using a 3 foot section of food grade hose to draw antifreeze directly out of the containers.

i have been doing this since my trailer was new, and has survived wisconsin winters with NO damage!

dewinterizing is easy and requires little time, as there is only about 2 1/2 gallons in the whole system. i have never had a problem with "taste" with my water system.

john
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:36 AM   #13
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I disagree

"Here is the sad part: there is no way to completely drain the fresh water tank. At least not on the later model plastic tanks under the floor. The drain cock is positioned so that maybe a gallon or more will remain after draining."

Driving around with the drain open is a good way to get most of the water out
of the freash water tank.

To flush the water heater tank I opened the water heater drain, hooked up to city water and blew it out.
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Old 07-10-2004, 09:01 AM   #14
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Fresh water!

Quote:
Originally Posted by plains70
The smell is only when we use water from the fresh water tank. It smells a bit like the antifreeze, but it mostly smells kind of sour. The is NO pink tinge to the water.

Flushed the system with fresh water. then did the following...
We started with 2 boxes of soda & 10 gal of water, left overnight,
& flushed system. Then mixed 1/4 cup of bleach per a gallon of fresh water. Poured 3 1/2 gallons of this mix into our 50 gallon tank, filled tank with fresh water & let stand overnight. (Manual says 1 gallon of bleach solution for each 15 gallons of capacity into empty water tank.) Flushed system again, then added 10 qts of vinegar & filled tank. (Manual says 1 qt of vinegar to 5 gallons of water). That is a lot of vinegar too! Stinky!! Set overnight, & flushed completely several more times. Water seems to be ok, not great, for a day or two, but then goes south on us. What have we done wrong?
Hi,

Do you get a strong bleach smell? All the other things already mentioned, could be possible. However, you should only use 1/4 cup of bleach to ten gallons of water. It appears that your dosage for bleach is ten times too much. This might be your problem.

Hope you gets fresh tasting water soon.
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