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Old 09-07-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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Smelly water

I use the prescribed white water hoses for our Airstream. One or more of my hoses are stinking up the water. My wife calls it a "mothball" smell. I think it's more "plasticky". Has anyone run into this and how did you correct it?
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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Get one of those blue RV hose water filters at WalMart.

Normalizes the taste from water source to water source, and removes any from the hose.


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Old 09-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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Have you changed the under the counter water filter??
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #4
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We use the proper RV hoses and also one of the blue RV water filters, but even so, we generally carry a large container of filtered water from home for drinking, coffee, cooking etc. and if need be, refill it from one of those self-service reverse osmosis stations if we can find one.

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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how old are the hoses? i've hear of hoses developing 'growth' inside them from sitting in the sun a long time. i use a wire cable to pull a piece of washcloth through twice a year.

have you tried a new hose yet? have you asked your neighbors about any water issues?
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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how old are the hoses? i've hear of hoses developing 'growth' inside them from sitting in the sun a long time.
This could be exacerbated by questionable water. Just because you hooked up to the potable water connection, there's nothing saying that somebody is out there testing that water on a regular basis.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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... My wife calls it a "mothball" smell. I think it's more "plasticky". Has anyone run into this and how did you correct it?
The hoses that are labeled safe for drinking water are not supposed to contain lead or other compounds that are known to be harmful. That doesn't guarantee that water sitting in the hose in the sun won't pick up an odor. I've noticed that odor myself and if possible try to put as much of the hose as possible in the shadow of the trailer to minimize it. There may be some brands that are better than others. To rule out the water source, fill a glass from the spigot and see if you can detect the odor there, or do you only notice it if it runs through the hose?
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:55 PM   #8
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Long boring explanation follows. Feel free to skip to the last paragraph if you like.

Are you sure it's not the campground water that's causing the stink? If the campground gets their water from a well, and not from a municipal water source, the EPA Water Quality Standards that apply are not as stringent. The EPA standards that apply are based on whether the people using the water are a transient or permanent population, and the number of people. This is based on the idea that people who drink the water for two weeks are less likely to suffer long-term health risks than people who drink the water for two decades, and a couple dozen people getting sick is less of a problem than a couple thousand people getting sick. Sounds kind of callous, but economics are factored into it; otherwise you'd need to treat well water for a private home the same way a big city treats their water, and the well owner could never afford it.

A campground well is considered a transient non-community water supply. That means that the water has to meet the lowest quality standards of all.

Also, odor is an EPA secondary standard issue, not a primary standard issue. Compliance with secondary standards is voluntary even for municipalities, let alone a campground well. Even water that smells bad or has a funny color can be considered safe to drink if the cause of the odor or color is not considered hazardous to long-term health.

Maggie's notion of a filter that you install right at the pedestal, between your hose and the faucet, is your best defense against contaminants in the campground water. Those filters use granular activated carbon, which removes most contaminants that can cause odors in water. Even if you already have a filter under your sink, filtering the water before it ever gets to your hose is a better notion than filtering it after it leaves your tank.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #9
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Antagonist, that sounded like a man in the know. You been drinking some of that Louisianna swamp water???

John
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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Antagonist, that sounded like a man in the know. You been drinking some of that Louisianna swamp water???

John
Only if it had plenty of alcohol added as a disinfectant!

Seriously, at work I had to design a water treatment system for a water well at one of our field sites. Had to bone up on the EPA primary and secondary standards, testing requirements, and the best type of filter to use for different contaminants. It's all very complicated.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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Well heck, I was right, you are the man in the know.

Thanks for sharing.

John
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:01 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. I have changed the PUR filter under the sink. That water is fine and I drink it, no smell, no bad taste. I use a blue filter outside, but usually at the trailer, not the spigot. I'll try filtering before the hose. I think that the odor comes from the hose. I have 2 or 3 hoses and they all produce some odor. The smell according to my wife, (and women have better noses than men) has the smell of camphor or mothballs. Did you ever smell mothballs? How did... never mind.
So, we'll keep experimenting. I think I'll try pouring bleach solution through the hose to clean it. Can't hurt (I don't think)

Thanks again.

PhiDor
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:20 AM   #13
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I was told that one should drain the hot water heater if the AS is not going to be used for awhile as the water in there could begin to pick up an odor
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:31 PM   #14
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Thanks for the replies. I have changed the PUR filter under the sink. That water is fine and I drink it, no smell, no bad taste. I use a blue filter outside, but usually at the trailer, not the spigot. I'll try filtering before the hose. I think that the odor comes from the hose. I have 2 or 3 hoses and they all produce some odor. The smell according to my wife, (and women have better noses than men) has the smell of camphor or mothballs. Did you ever smell mothballs? How did... never mind.
So, we'll keep experimenting. I think I'll try pouring bleach solution through the hose to clean it. Can't hurt (I don't think)

Thanks again.

PhiDor
moving the outside filter to the trailer end of the hose should tell you if it is the hose.
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