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Old 09-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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2007 20' Safari SE
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Smelly/foamy water

New owner of an '07 Safari here. A few weeks ago, when I took my first trip in the AS, I stayed at a full-hookup campground, so I had a city water supply. The fresh water tank was empty, and still is. When I ran the water from any faucet (kitchen, bathroom, shower), the water was foamy (white foam) and had an awful chemical stench.

At first I thought there might just be some antifreeze in the lines from the last winterization, so I ran the faucets for a long time to clear them out. Nope. No change.

Then I thought maybe the campground's supply or their fresh water hose might be contaminated, so I unhooked it and ran the hose. Nope. Clear, clean, un-smelly water.

I'm at a loss. The total distance from the city water inlet to the sinks is only a few feet. What could be causing this dramatic change in water quality? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Is there an inline filter that could be contaminated?
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Possibly the water heater still has a dose of antifreeze? I would fill and drain the WH a couple of times and then just keep flushing the lines. I would try the fresh water tank and flush it until it is clear. Then maybe put some vinegar in the water tank and use the pump it to flush the lines once. And the comment to look for contaminated filters is a good suggestion. But they are hard to get to and take apart when you do find them. Wish Airstream had just left them out.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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I had a Safari go through the shop that had several gallons of RV antifreeze put in the fresh water tank. It didn't smell very good.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #5
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I'm with Bill M......the water heater probably wasn't drained & flushed. I unplug mine from the outside each time I finish using the trailer so it completely empties. Solved the stinky problem!
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #6
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Another vote for residual antifreeze in the hot water heater.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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There are bypass valves at the water heater under the forward dinette seat to bypass the hot water heater, used for winterization. Bypass the heater and see if it's still foamy/smelly.

Under the kitchen sink is a fresh water filter. That may be a source of antifreeze contamination. You'll probably have to replace it.

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Old 09-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
There are bypass valves at the water heater under the forward dinette seat to bypass the hot water heater, used for winterization. Bypass the heater and see if it's still foamy/smelly.

Under the kitchen sink is a fresh water filter. That may be a source of antifreeze contamination. You'll probably have to replace it.

doug k
That filter is only for the galley sink, so if the smelly water is anywhere else, it is probably not the primary cause.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #9
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Thanks folks! It's definitely not the fresh water tank (I checked that, and I don't think the city water line goes through the tank anyway), but I hadn't thought of the water heater. That makes sense, and I'll check it and post again either way.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
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That filter is only for the galley sink, so if the smelly water is anywhere else, it is probably not the primary cause.
On that kitchen faucet water filter, if it has anti-freeze in it you may want to change it anyway, as the taste may remain. Keep the old one and put in before you winterize each year (if you winterize) so you don't spoil the new one.

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