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Old 09-05-2013, 18:45   #1
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1/2 Fresh Water Smells

I'm slightly perplexed about some fresh water odor. I have an owner's version Lagoon 420. I have port and starboard fresh water tanks. The fresh water (showers, sinks, etc) for both sides of the boat, of course, come from the same tank at any one time. The water for the gally sink and the owner's hull (port) smells fine. But, the water from the sinks and showers from the two starboard hull heads smells bad (sort of like sulfur?). Any idea why this might be and where the problem may lie? Has anyone else had a similar problem? Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:59   #2
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

By any chance do the freshwater lines run parallel to and touch any of the sewage lines or holding tanks? Hoses are not completely impermeable to odor.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:07   #3
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Hot water or cold or both? Sounds like hydrogen sulfite maybe originating from a hot water tank? Try to isolate it. This is sometimes a reaction from the anodes on the H2O heater.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:21   #4
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

Are the starboard alma's fresh water used less frequently?

After a few years, a lot of boats fresh water lines develop a 'slime' on their interior walls. Maybe a combination of that organic material, and water sitting longer term in the line?
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Old 10-05-2013, 14:16   #5
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

Thanks everyone! I don't think they run in close proximity to the "sewage" lines. It is the cold water as well as hot.

It is almost certain that the guest hull side is used less frequently. We've had the boat for about 6 months now. It was that way when we bought it. It is probable that the previous owners seldom used the guest hull facilities... So, the "slime" in the lines could be the problem.

Is their any practical way to deal with this other than to replace the hoses? I'm not sure how difficult that would be. I do know they run from the port hull over to the starboard hull.
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Old 10-05-2013, 15:03   #6
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

You need to recommission your system. Here is how to do it and you will need to do both tanks. This comes from Peggy Hall, an expert on boat water and sanitation systems.

The whole system should be recommissioned annually
Submitted by Peggie Hall/HeadMistress on 12/19/2003 at 06:58AM regarding General_interest
And if done at least annually, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to drink the water.

Although most people think only in terms of the tank, the plumbing is actually the source of most foul water, because the molds, mildew, fungi and bacteria which cause it thrive in damp dark places not underwater.

There are all kinds of products sold that claim to keep onboard water fresh, but all that’s really necessary is an annual or in especially warm climates, semi-annual recommissioning of the entire system—tank and plumbing. The following recommendations conform to section 10.8 in the A-1 192 code covering electrical, plumbing, and heating of recreational vehicles. 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.

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

1. Prepare a chlorine solution using one gallon of water and 1/2 cup (4 oz) Clorox or Purex household bleach (5% sodium Hypochlorine solution). With tank empty, pour chlorine solution into tank. Use one gallon of solution for each 5 gallons of tank capacity.
  • Our tank is 75 gallons plus 6 gallons HWH = 81 – We need 75 gallons of water mixed with 60 ounces of Chlorox – Fill tank and put in 60 ounces (54 would be enough)
· 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.

People have expressed concern about using this method to recommission aluminum tanks. While bleach (chlorine) IS corrosive, it’s effects are are cumulative. So the effect of an annual or semi-annual "shock treatment" is negligible compared to the cumulative effect of holding chlorinated city water in the tank for years. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to mix the total amount of bleach in a few gallons of water before putting it into either a stainless or aluminum tank.

People have also expressed concern about the potential damage to rubber and neoprene water pump parts. Again—the cumulative effect of carrying chlorinated water is far more damaging over time than the occasional “shock treatment.” And it’s that cumulative effect that makes it a VERY bad idea to add a little bleach to each fill. Not only does it damage the system, but unless you add enough to make your water taste and smell like a laundry, it’s not enough to do any good. Even if it were, any “purifying” properties in chlorine evaporate within 24 hours, leaving behind only the corrosive properties.

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 system maintenance, and that filters require regular inspection and cleaning or replacement
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Old 10-05-2013, 15:08   #7
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

When provisioning for a delivery I asked the owner whether he drank his boat's tanked water, and stated I rarely did. Although he had no issues buying bottled water for the trip he thought about it and became curious. Later, when replacing a faulty pump he found a similar coating on the interior of his fresh water lines. ALL of them. Highly used and not. Sorry to say, but I know of no product or 'cleaner' that will remove this coating and as my friend did, you have to replace the entire line.

Keep in mind he, and his family, drank this tanked water for several years with no ill effects so hey! Wadda I know? He replaced his lines because it just disgusted him to think about them. Although it wouldn't remove the coating, maybe occasionally 'shocking' the tank with chorine would be enough to kill any organisms that might hurt you?

Hopefully somebody more educated on the matter will jump in.
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Old 10-05-2013, 15:46   #8
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

Let's try something simpler than the "Hall" model:
Empty the smelly tank, and isolate it from the other one.

Into 5 gals. of water, pour 1 cup of regular sodium hypochlorite bleach [household bleach]. Pour the mixture into the tank filler. Open the taps and pump the mix to all its outlets till you can smell bleach water. Close taps and stop pumping. Let it set about an hour.

Pump it all out.

Refill the tank with fresh water, pump it till the bleach smell is gone, and it should be fine. We have never done this on a schedule. Had to do one of our tanks in 2003. It is a good idea to balance your usage, first use one, then the other.

By the way, sometimes the toilet inlet hose gets smelly. We do the same sort of thing, but with less water, and it gets okay again for a long time. When leaving the boat, flush the toilet with fresh water, leaving some in the bowl, and it won't stink when you come back..

Hope this is useful to you,

Ann
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Old 10-05-2013, 16:15   #9
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

Wow, in our case lots of water:
- empty out tank, up to 200 gal
- fill tank with water and solution
- empty out, 200 gal
- fill and rinse, 200 gal
- fill and add vinegar, empty, 200 gal
- fill 1/2 full and empty,100 gal
- fill back up, 200 gal
That's a total of 1100 gallons of water, if I am reading right.

If problem lies in the lines, why do you need to fill tank each time? If just 50 gallons per step, would still be a lot of water, but much less than filling tank each step.
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Old 10-05-2013, 17:29   #10
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

Dennis: after I flush the first time, I then stream the hose at a similar rate that is being flushed and my pump is 2.8 gpm. I don't refill until I have gotten the chlorine smell and taste to a minimum. I then fill about halfway and let sit awhile, then flush til empty and then stream flush again. I then fill half I'll and let sit, sometimes overnight, and then reflush. It takes several flushes to rid my system of chlorine, but my system is very clean after I finish. I have done this religiously for 11 years and we drink and use the water just like at home. I have never had a problem with our water using this method. It is worth the springtime effort. We spend about 75 days a year on board from Early March through November, so we go through a lot of turnover during the year.
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Old 10-05-2013, 17:35   #11
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

When you are cruising, have a glass of the water before you fill your tanks with it, if you think you might be drinking tank water. Water quality and taste varies a lot.
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Old 10-05-2013, 17:39   #12
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

J Clark:
Sounds like reasonable method.
I know we have to do this before getting back on board this summer. Getting some funky water out of faucets on occasion. Wife said that is not acceptable! I thought it just builds character.
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Old 10-05-2013, 17:39   #13
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pirate Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
Wow, in our case lots of water:
- empty out tank, up to 200 gal
- fill tank with water and solution
- empty out, 200 gal
- fill and rinse, 200 gal
- fill and add vinegar, empty, 200 gal
- fill 1/2 full and empty,100 gal
- fill back up, 200 gal
That's a total of 1100 gallons of water, if I am reading right.

If problem lies in the lines, why do you need to fill tank each time? If just 50 gallons per step, would still be a lot of water, but much less than filling tank each step.


Man, that is a lot of water. I wonder what we as humans can do to cut down freshwater use? We can't keep pooping in clean water for one thing. I can cut my shower schedule.

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Old 10-05-2013, 17:59   #14
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
Man, that is a lot of water. I wonder what we as humans can do to cut down freshwater use? ...
No turf grass grown on deck? That would save lots of water.
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Old 10-05-2013, 21:17   #15
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Re: 1/2 Fresh Water Smells

We've been selling a product to clean water systems for some time now and have gotten good reports. We import it from the UK.
Here is what the manufacturer says about it. Note that it "eradicates" biofilm.

Puriclean

Cleans and purifies all stored water systems in Boats – Caravans – Motor Homes – Coaches

•Unique dual purpose formula which both cleans and sterilises in one easy action
•Cleans the complete water system: tank, pipes, pumps, taps
•Eradicates bacteria, viruses, biofilm, algae and fungi
•For maximum results, simply soak and flush
•Powerful action without harming the components in the water system
•Proven in use world-wide for 3 decades


Puriclean is easy to use, it is simply added to the water system and left to soak for 1 to 12 hours then rinsed. Periodic use will ensure a clean healthy system for water storage

Here is a link to the manufacturers website: http://www.cleantabs.co.uk/puriclean.htm

Here is where you can buy it in the US:
Puriclean - MFG#UPCSTD - 14 oz. Tub
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