Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-01-2017, 14:24   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Boat: Tashiba-31
Posts: 372
Images: 1
Foul smelling water

I have 2 45-gal water tanks. When purchased the water in the tanks had a foul, sulfur like smell. I've treated/flushed the tanks 4 times 0 using bleach and a water treatment from West Marine. The water still has a foul, sulfur smell.

I'm trying to get it cleaned out, then I'll install filters to keep it that way.

Do I need to change out the hoses? The accumulator?
dmksails is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 14:35   #2
SFS
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Always travelling
Posts: 272
Re: Foul smelling water

Can't help directly, but sit tight, and perhaps Peggie Hall, the Headmistress, will respond. She knows everything there is to know about boat plumbing and the associated problems and odors.
SFS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 14:59   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 797
Re: Foul smelling water

Sulfur smell could mean sea water intrusion. Might want to check the salinity of your tank by tasting it. I'll bet it's brine.
SV DestinyAscen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 16:10   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 253
Re: Foul smelling water

I'd suggest that you charge your entire system both hot and cold side using 1-2℅ household bleach based on total tank volume with full tanks. Flush through the lines until you can smell the bleach at every faucet. Let it sit 24 hrs, and flush with fresh water. This should take care of your issue.

When Installing your filter system, id use a 10" 5 micron sediment filter in front of a 10" carbon block filter. The sediment filters are cheap and will keep the more expensive carbon filter from clogging up. Change the carbon filter at least every year, and toss a cap full of bleach in your tanks from time to time when filling to keep the bugs from growing.

Hope this helps.
Jsta_Rebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 16:39   #5
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 2,858
Re: Foul smelling water

Air carried bacteria enters water tanks every time water is drawn out. Cleaning the tanks, and lines doesn't finish the problem. Some low amount of biocide should be present all the time. Filters can take that out of the taste.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 17:40   #6
Registered User
 
Badsanta's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: virginia
Boat: islandpacket
Posts: 1,954
Re: Foul smelling water

Whats the water like before it goes into the tank. Ive had bad water from the marina side before. I would not mix chemicals, not sure it would help or hinder.
__________________
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
Badsanta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 18:24   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Out of Norfolk Va
Boat: Tartan 37
Posts: 676
Re: Foul smelling water

Do the bleach treatment to tank, run for a while and let it sit the lines. Then flush it out. Check your water source and the hose type & quality. Add a carbon filter for whole boat and a Seagull or Multi-Pure filtered tap at the sink for drinking. I never had water as good as the output from the Multi-Pure, better than any bottle water.
puffcard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 19:26   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,288
Re: Foul smelling water

I first found these instructions for recommissioning the fresh water system in 1989. Today you can find them on just about every RV site on the net as well as in both my books:

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. 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…bleach does absolutely nothing to improve the flavor of good Scotch!

1. Prepare a chlorine solution using one gallon of water and 1/4 cup (2 oz or 25 ml) Clorox or Purex household bleach (5% sodium Hypochlorite solution ). With tank empty, pour chlorine solution into tank. Use one gallon of solution for each 5 gallons of tank capacity. (Those are the “official” directions. They work out to 1 quart or litre of bleach/50 gallons of water tank capacity , which is MUCH easier to calculate!)

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 vessel motion.

6. Drain tank again through every faucet, and flush the lines again by filing the tank 1/4-1/2 full and again flushing with potable 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 under water, which is why it's important to leave the water pump on to keep the system pressurized so that the solution remains in the lines.

People have expressed concern about using this method to recommission aluminum tanks. While bleach (chlorine) IS corrosive, its effects 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. 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.

To keep the water system cleaner longer, USE your fresh water...keep water flowing through system. The molds, fungi, and bacteria only start to grow in hoses that aren't being used. So before filling the tank each time, always let the dock water run long enough to flush out all the water that's been standing in the dock supply lines (wash your boat first) so that what goes into your boat is coming straight from the water main, 'cuz the same critters that like the lines on your boat LOVE the dock supply line and your hose that sit in the warm sun, and you certainly don't want to transfer water that's been sitting in the dock supply line to your boat's system.
__________________
© 2020 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 20:20   #9
SFS
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Always travelling
Posts: 272
Re: Foul smelling water

Follow Peggie's steps above. Report back with the good news.
SFS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 20:48   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Homeport: Oswego, NY
Boat: 1993 Sabre 362 #113
Posts: 454
Re: Foul smelling water

One source not mentioned is a failing anode in the hot water tank (assuming that you have one and have turned it on).

If that is the source, then replacing the anode will clear up the issue.
Dave Lochner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 21:09   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Boat: Able 50
Posts: 3,136
Re: Foul smelling water

The final step in this process is to flush the system a few times with clean water to get rid of the Clorox taste. Three flushes should do it. No need to fill the tanks. Around five gallons per tank per flush is enough.
savoir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 21:56   #12
Registered User
 
Eggbah's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: North of Atlanta, GA
Posts: 68
Re: Foul smelling water

I am curious, were the tanks purchased new or previously loved?

Have you tried to descale the tanks and hoses like you would a coffee maker? Were the tanks ever used to store anything else if previously owned? (Hey, people do weird stuff)

Franklin County, FL water has a sulfur smell, I know you're not in FL, but that's my only experience w/sulfur water. Have you checked what the water company added to their water from the county where the tanks were originally (if not new tanks)?

I'm just thinking outside of the box here since the bleach didn't seem to do the trick.

Pardon my total ignorance, but do the tanks have magnesium parts? That can create a sulfur smell. I'd replace with aluminum parts if so.





Quote:
Originally Posted by dmksails View Post
I have 2 45-gal water tanks. When purchased the water in the tanks had a foul, sulfur like smell. I've treated/flushed the tanks 4 times 0 using bleach and a water treatment from West Marine. The water still has a foul, sulfur smell.

I'm trying to get it cleaned out, then I'll install filters to keep it that way.

Do I need to change out the hoses? The accumulator?
Eggbah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 22:07   #13
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pangaea
Posts: 10,856
Re: Foul smelling water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Air carried bacteria enters water tanks every time water is drawn out. Cleaning the tanks, and lines doesn't finish the problem. Some low amount of biocide should be present all the time. Filters can take that out of the taste.
Sorry, but your statement is simply not true. The water the OP is using to flush his system contains a small amount of chlorine from the city water, which is the only biocide necessary. He shouldn't need to add anything. Our tanks normally only contain RO water (watermaker water) which doesn't have any chlorine, and we never experience any odor or bacterial contamination over an entire six month cruising season.
Kenomac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2017, 07:25   #14
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,288
Re: Foul smelling water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
One source not mentioned is a failing anode in the hot water tank (assuming that you have one and have turned it on).
If that is the source, then replacing the anode will clear up the issue.
If the water heater is the source, only the HOT water would have the "rotten egg" odor...the cold water would not.
__________________
© 2020 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2017, 08:19   #15
Registered User
 
Greggegner's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 406
Re: Foul smelling water

Once you shock the system make sure the tank vents are open. Put 1 drop of chlorine per gal at each fill. Water should stay ok...
Greggegner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
water

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best Smelling Head Tank Treatment thomm225 General Sailing Forum 27 04-10-2015 11:45
Touching up anti-foul while in the water simonpickard Construction, Maintenance & Refit 16 02-03-2015 11:38
Smelling Like Diesel Monica Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 42 18-11-2012 13:23
Foul Weather Meals Kai Nui Provisioning: Food & Drink 29 22-02-2007 06:14
Foul weather gear prefferance! 2divers General Sailing Forum 14 13-02-2006 16:03

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:32.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.