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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Rotten egg smell in water.

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rockhillmanor

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Posted: 07/30/13 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kittykath wrote:

rockhillmanor wrote:

Kittykath wrote:

Might be just the water. We have the same problem and have never used the water tank, and the anode rod is new. Whole camper is only 3 weeks old. Management says the water has high iron content.


Be sure to get one of those in-line water filters. Find them at Walmart, cheap investment to keep your lines clean of iron buildup AND that plastic toilet bowl from getting permanently stained.


Of course. We've always had 2 in-line. Not good enough. Moving up a notch to a Level 1 RV external filter system.


Hmmm, never thought of putting 2 in-line. Good tip, thanks!


"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".


krobbe

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Posted: 07/30/13 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you filled up or are currently connected to well water source, you may have iron in the water. I have to run my well water thru a softener with iron removing properties before filling my tank.
A rotten egg smell is common in rusty well water. The smell comes from non-disease-producing bacteria that feed off the iron. The smell also can be from sulfates in the water reacting to the magnesium anode rod in the water heater. High rust content can make the water taste metallic.
Color
If there is no immediate color when you draw water from the tap, your rusty water contains dissolved iron or ferrous oxide. Contact with the air gives the water a rust color. If the tap water is reddish brown or yellow right away, then the iron is undissolved, or insoluble ferric oxide.
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Kittykath

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Posted: 07/30/13 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

krobbe wrote:

If you filled up or are currently connected to well water source, you may have iron in the water. I have to run my well water thru a softener with iron removing properties before filling my tank.
A rotten egg smell is common in rusty well water. The smell comes from non-disease-producing bacteria that feed off the iron. The smell also can be from sulfates in the water reacting to the magnesium anode rod in the water heater. High rust content can make the water taste metallic.
Color
If there is no immediate color when you draw water from the tap, your rusty water contains dissolved iron or ferrous oxide. Contact with the air gives the water a rust color. If the tap water is reddish brown or yellow right away, then the iron is undissolved, or insoluble ferric oxide.
More Info


So I can probably conclude that the well water itself is rusty, and the source of the smell isn't coming from my camper plumbing. The water heater is brand new, but both cold and hot smell, and the fresh water tank has never been used, nor is the water discolored, but my 3-week-old toilet bowl is showing signs of rust streaks already. My only hope is to use some type of rust-removing filter or water softener?

krobbe

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Posted: 07/30/13 12:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kittykath wrote:

So I can probably conclude that the well water itself is rusty, and the source of the smell isn't coming from my camper plumbing. The water heater is brand new, but both cold and hot smell, and the fresh water tank has never been used, nor is the water discolored, but my 3-week-old toilet bowl is showing signs of rust streaks already. My only hope is to use some type of rust-removing filter or water softener?

Easiest removal would be to use a Birm cartridge for a filter connected at the RV's hose connection. Birm cartridges are made from a specialty media product designed to remove iron and manganese. Removal percentage will depend on flow rate, slower flow meaning higher level of removal. The cartridge is capable of enough flow rate to use for the whole RV, although the total effectiveness will be reduced as flow reaches maximum capacity. Link
To remove rust stains from toilets, sinks, sidewalks, etc use a product called SuperIronOut available at Walmart, Menards and other places. It's a powder that when added to water that chemically converts the iron and makes it disappear without scrubbing.

Kittykath

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Posted: 07/30/13 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

krobbe wrote:

Kittykath wrote:

So I can probably conclude that the well water itself is rusty, and the source of the smell isn't coming from my camper plumbing. The water heater is brand new, but both cold and hot smell, and the fresh water tank has never been used, nor is the water discolored, but my 3-week-old toilet bowl is showing signs of rust streaks already. My only hope is to use some type of rust-removing filter or water softener?

Easiest removal would be to use a Birm cartridge for a filter connected at the RV's hose connection. Birm cartridges are made from a specialty media product designed to remove iron and manganese. Removal percentage will depend on flow rate, slower flow meaning higher level of removal. The cartridge is capable of enough flow rate to use for the whole RV, although the total effectiveness will be reduced as flow reaches maximum capacity. Link
To remove rust stains from toilets, sinks, sidewalks, etc use a product called SuperIronOut available at Walmart, Menards and other places. It's a powder that when added to water that chemically converts the iron and makes it disappear without scrubbing.


Thank you for the suggestions. I want my new-camper smell back!

rockhillmanor

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Posted: 07/30/13 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From a person who has had both in my wells in my homes.

Sulfur water smells like rotten eggs. It is extremely 'soft' water.
Iron water is 'hard' water and creates iron/rust stains.

Soo, if you have sulfur water adding a water softener does nothing and does not remove the smell. Iron water CAN be treated by a water softener.

For residential the treatment system for sulfur water to remove all the smells costs around $3,000.

The treatment for Iron water? Hey! Culligan Man!

krobbe

West Michigan

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Posted: 07/30/13 08:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rockhillmanor wrote:

From a person who has had both in my wells in my homes.

Sulfur water smells like rotten eggs. It is extremely 'soft' water.
Iron water is 'hard' water and creates iron/rust stains.

Soo, if you have sulfur water adding a water softener does nothing and does not remove the smell. Iron water CAN be treated by a water softener.

For residential the treatment system for sulfur water to remove all the smells costs around $3,000.

The treatment for Iron water? Hey! Culligan Man!

Those water treatment companies must really like you!
I just use salt with iron remover in my $200 softener and no more iron or rotten egg smell. I also replaced the magnesium anode in the water heater with an aluminum/zinc one to prevent the hydrogen sulfide buildup(rotten egg smell).

thib2722

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Posted: 07/30/13 10:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's the mineral content in the water. We experience it sometimes after staying in rural areas that use wells rather than city water supply. The easiest fix is to drain your hot water heater. I put a petcock on my valve so I can easily flush the water.

rockhillmanor

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Posted: 07/31/13 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

krobbe wrote:

rockhillmanor wrote:

From a person who has had both in my wells in my homes.

Sulfur water smells like rotten eggs. It is extremely 'soft' water.
Iron water is 'hard' water and creates iron/rust stains.

Soo, if you have sulfur water adding a water softener does nothing and does not remove the smell. Iron water CAN be treated by a water softener.

For residential the treatment system for sulfur water to remove all the smells costs around $3,000.

The treatment for Iron water? Hey! Culligan Man!

Those water treatment companies must really like you!
I just use salt with iron remover in my $200 softener and no more iron or rotten egg smell. I also replaced the magnesium anode in the water heater with an aluminum/zinc one to prevent the hydrogen sulfide buildup(rotten egg smell).


Heavy iron water has a smell to it also. If you have iron in the water it is not pure sulfur water. Sulfur water can not be treated with salt and iron remover pellets and again sulfur is already a 'soft' water. That said there are wells that have both. But Sulfur water alone leaves no rust deposits.

A water softener can soften the hardness of iron water and take out the smell 'from the iron'. A water softener won't do anything for sulfur water.

Been there done that in a 'residential' well water system.

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