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Old 06-19-2017, 05:06 PM   #1
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Something Rotten in Denmark

Well, maybe not Denmark, but at least in my water tanks. I have two 125 gallon stainless tanks and for the first time am getting rotten egg smell - bad- from the water. Obviously something is growing and dying in the tanks/water system. I thought of shocking with chlorine, but remember something about stainless and chlorine.. Maybe not an issue. Anyone have any thoughts?

Head Mistress?

Thanks in advance,
Gordon
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:12 PM   #2
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You can add Clorox (no scents or additives--plain old Clorox). The amount to add can be found on their website. Chlorine is not an issue with stainless steel tanks; the issue is with aluminum tanks.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:17 PM   #3
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I think stainless is less sensitive to chlorine bleach than aluminum but I recommend using Puriclean made by Clean Tabs in the UK.
It s very effective and non corrosive.
Clean Tabs Ltd | Water Purification | Water Purification Tablets | Water Tank Cleaning | Water Treatment | Drinking Water Disinfection

Practical Sailor did a test of several tank cleaning products including bleach and this is what they recommended.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:25 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. GJ. Are you sure it's your water tanks and not your water heater? Does just the hot water smell of sulfur dioxide (rotten egg) or is it both the hot and the cold water? There is an iron "eating" bacteria that produces SO2. (NOT the iron in your water system, the iron in your water.)
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:40 PM   #5
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Not hot water

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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. GJ. Are you sure it's your water tanks and not your water heater? Does just the hot water smell of sulfur dioxide (rotten egg) or is it both the hot and the cold water? There is an iron "eating" bacteria that produces SO2. (NOT the iron in your water system, the iron in your water.)
Rtf, thnks. Water tnks, not hot water heater.

Gordon
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:42 PM   #6
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Last time I had that smell I replaced the anode in the water heater. Problem solved.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:44 PM   #7
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Sold by west marine?

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I think stainless is less sensitive to chlorine bleach than aluminum but I recommend using Puriclean made by Clean Tabs in the UK.
It s very effective and non corrosive.
Clean Tabs Ltd | Water Purification | Water Purification Tablets | Water Tank Cleaning | Water Treatment | Drinking Water Disinfection

Practical Sailor did a test of several tank cleaning products including bleach and this is what they recommended.

Thanks. I'll see if I can find an immediate source.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:46 PM   #8
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Anode?

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Last time I had that smell I replaced the anode in the water heater. Problem solved.

I didn't my water greater had an anode. Ill look. Why would those matter?

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Old 06-19-2017, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I didn't my water greater had an anode. Ill look. Why would those matter?

Gordon
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:13 PM   #10
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Consider where you have been getting water to fill the tanks. There are some places in my area (including my own dock) that has stinky water. I go to a place with city water and fill the empty tank, and no stink.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:25 PM   #11
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Like Mr RTF mentioned this smell is hydrogen sulfur and may have many origins, from natural gaz in the water to decomposing organic material. You may have got a bad water load or got something in your tank.
I would empty my tanks, add a dose of chlorine diluted in water, fill in some water, empty again the tank after few minutes or hours and fill up again with clean water. And of course do not forget to circulate chlorinated water in all your plumbing so open faucet in all places. Chlorine should not be a danger for your tank and plumbing if it is not too concentrated and you do not keep it there for too long, so look more for multiple rinse. Check also your deck fill o-rings for damages.
The hydrogen sulfur gaz itself is not dangerous for health but what is causing it may not be the best to ingest.

L.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:56 PM   #12
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I have been getting Hampton, va municipal water add I gave the pay 20 years. I don't think source is a problem. I did, however use a pocket hose, one of those expanding hoses. I suspect this might be tbe source my problem. I can change hoses, but need to rid the system of contaminants.

Thalia all.

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Old 06-19-2017, 07:05 PM   #13
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Damn ipad typing!
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
Well, maybe not Denmark, but at least in my water tanks. I have two 125 gallon stainless tanks and for the first time am getting rotten egg smell - bad- from the water. Obviously something is growing and dying in the tanks/water system. I thought of shocking with chlorine, but remember something about stainless and chlorine.. Maybe not an issue. Anyone have any thoughts? Head Mistress? Gordon
If it's ONLY your hot water that stinks, the problem is most likely to be a failed anode--if your water heater has one, which would require it to have a glass lined tank--or failed anodizing on the walls of metal water heater tanks that don't have have replaceable anodes. Anodizing doesn't last forever in a water heater.

If both your cold and hot water stink, it sounds like your entire fresh water system is in need of recommissioning.

These directions for doing that conform to section 10.8 in the A-1 192 code covering electrical, plumbing, and heating of recreational vehicles (which includes boats). The solution is approved and recommended by competent health officials. It may be used in a new system a used one that has not been used for a period of time, or one that may have been contaminated (and yes, it's safe to follow them no matter what the tank material):

Before beginning, turn off hot water heater at the breaker; do not turn it on again until the entire recommissioning is complete.

Icemakers should be left running to allow cleaning out of the water feed line; however the first two buckets of ice—the bucket generated during recommissioning and the first bucketful afterward--should be discarded.

1. Put a few gallons of water into the tank then add 1 quart Clorox or Purex household bleach (5-7% sodium hypochlorite solution ) per 50 gal water tank capacity.
2. Complete filling of tank with fresh water. Open each faucet and drain cock until air has been released and the entire system is filled. Do not turn off the pump; it must remain on to keep the system pressurized and the solution in the lines.
3. Allow to stand for at least three hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
4 Drain through every faucet on the boat (and if you haven't done this in a while, it's a good idea to remove any diffusion screens from the faucets, because what's likely to come out will clog them). Fill the tank again with fresh water only, drain again through every faucet on the boat.
5. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might remain, prepare a solution of one quart white vinegar to five gallons water and allow this solution to agitate in tank for several days by vehicle motion.
6. Drain tank again through every faucet, and flush the lines again by fill the tank 1/4-1/2 full and again flushing with potable water.

An annual or semi-annual recommissioning according to the above directions is all that should be necessary to keep your water tasting and smelling as good as anything that comes out of any faucet on land. If you need to improve on that, install a water filter. Just remember that a filter is not a substitute for periodic recommissioning the system, and that filters require regular inspection and cleaning or replacement.

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Old 06-19-2017, 09:05 PM   #15
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I poor in a shot glass of bleach every time I fill the tank.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:01 PM   #16
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As you use water, air containing bacteria is drawn into the tank. No matter how clean the new water is, you always have airborne bacteria. If you don't routinely add some bacteria killer you will have growth. If you buy a pool test kit and keep the chlorine content at the lowest marker you will probably never taste the chlorine. Or add filters after the tanks as I did. Your tanks and lines are always clean.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:48 PM   #17
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I have used Aquabon in my water tanks since the mid 80's and have always had fresh smelling and tasting water. It works for me and I'll continue using it until I find something better or cheaper.

I do however recommend following Peggy's recommendations for a thorough cleaning first. The Aquabon is just for maintenance of the water after the system has been thoroughly cleaned.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:34 PM   #18
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On my sailboat I would disinfect the tanks yearly and then use a bit of bleach with the water on every fill. This year, I disinfected the system when I bought the boat using Peggie's recommendations and then didn't treat the water that I added over the year.

I am going to disinfect again and this time use some type of treatment, aiming to keep the chlorine at around 1 ppm.

The Puriclean and the Aqua Clean tabs look like a good option instead of bleach. More expensive, but easier on the system. Also more convenient than liquid bleach. Hopkins-Carter, the US distributor shows they are out of stock on the their website.

The other option would be to use other forms of sodium dichloroisocyanurate. It is commonly used in pools and spas the same reason. It would be readily available and cheaper in that form, I just need to figure out how many grams of sodium dichloroisocyanurate is in the various forms and do the math to come up with the amount to give me 1 ppm for normal treatment and maybe 50 ppm for disensfecting.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
Like Mr RTF mentioned this smell is hydrogen sulfur and may have many origins, from natural gaz in the water to decomposing organic material. You may have got a bad water load or got something in your tank.
I would empty my tanks, add a dose of chlorine diluted in water, fill in some water, empty again the tank after few minutes or hours and fill up again with clean water. And of course do not forget to circulate chlorinated water in all your plumbing so open faucet in all places. Chlorine should not be a danger for your tank and plumbing if it is not too concentrated and you do not keep it there for too long, so look more for multiple rinse. Check also your deck fill o-rings for damages.
The hydrogen sulfur gaz itself is not dangerous for health but what is causing it may not be the best to ingest.

L.
I agree with your recommendations Lou, but I thought I better clarify the risk of rotten egg gas.

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) can be extremely dangerous. It is detectable by smell at less than 1 part per million. Levels above 500 ppm are deadly. Be careful, because levels above 300 ppm kill off your sense of smell so you may think the risk is gone.
H2S is heavier than air, so it may collect in low lying areas like the bilge. It is also flammable.
Take care with hydrogen sulfide.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:20 AM   #20
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Thanks Peggy

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadMistress View Post
If it's ONLY your hot water that stinks, the problem is most likely to be a failed anode--if your water heater has one, which would require it to have a glass lined tank--or failed anodizing on the walls of metal water heater tanks that don't have have replaceable anodes. Anodizing doesn't last forever in a water heater.

If both your cold and hot water stink, it sounds like your entire fresh water system is in need of recommissioning.

These directions for doing that conform to section 10.8 in the A-1 192 code covering electrical, plumbing, and heating of recreational vehicles (which includes boats). The solution is approved and recommended by competent health officials. It may be used in a new system a used one that has not been used for a period of time, or one that may have been contaminated (and yes, it's safe to follow them no matter what the tank material):

Before beginning, turn off hot water heater at the breaker; do not turn it on again until the entire recommissioning is complete.

Icemakers should be left running to allow cleaning out of the water feed line; however the first two buckets of ice—the bucket generated during recommissioning and the first bucketful afterward--should be discarded.

1. Put a few gallons of water into the tank then add 1 quart Clorox or Purex household bleach (5-7% sodium hypochlorite solution ) per 50 gal water tank capacity.
2. Complete filling of tank with fresh water. Open each faucet and drain cock until air has been released and the entire system is filled. Do not turn off the pump; it must remain on to keep the system pressurized and the solution in the lines.
3. Allow to stand for at least three hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
4 Drain through every faucet on the boat (and if you haven't done this in a while, it's a good idea to remove any diffusion screens from the faucets, because what's likely to come out will clog them). Fill the tank again with fresh water only, drain again through every faucet on the boat.
5. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might remain, prepare a solution of one quart white vinegar to five gallons water and allow this solution to agitate in tank for several days by vehicle motion.
6. Drain tank again through every faucet, and flush the lines again by fill the tank 1/4-1/2 full and again flushing with potable water.

An annual or semi-annual recommissioning according to the above directions is all that should be necessary to keep your water tasting and smelling as good as anything that comes out of any faucet on land. If you need to improve on that, install a water filter. Just remember that a filter is not a substitute for periodic recommissioning the system, and that filters require regular inspection and cleaning or replacement.

Thanks Peggy.
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