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Thread: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

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    How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    I'm new to travel trailers. I bought my 2014 Wilderness 2175 RB in July 2013. When the freezing weather came, I drained the tanks per the owner's manual and added 6 gallons of RB antifreeze and pumped it through the system.
    It did it's job in preventing plumbing pipe freeze. I de-winterized a few weeks before the freezing weather ended (got fooled by mother nature). Spent a few nights in the travel trailer with the heat on rather then going though the time consuming process of winterizing with RV anti-freeze again.

    The problem is that after flushing the fresh water tank and hot water heater 4 or 5 times, the water from the fresh water tank still has an RV-antifreeze odor. I can't taste it, but the odor is objectionable. I wouldn't use it as drinking water, and I haven't tried to use it for cooking. It's OK for washing dishes.

    Is there any way to get the RV anti-freeze smell out of the fresh water tank and water heater?
    Should I flush the water tank and hot water heater 10 times? That seems excessive.
    Note: When I switch to city water supply, the smell goes away.


    Sailor Don
    Lake Livingston, Republic of Texas
    2014 Wilderness 2175 RB

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    Southeast Region Director, HOC Nabo's Avatar
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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    If you have the fresh water drain line (it will be a line under the camper), open the drain and run water thru the tank letting it drain out the bottom. If that doesn't do it, you might have to mix a small amount of bleach with a gallon of water, letting it set for a little while and then flush the lines.
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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    A water and bleach solution may do the trick. However, you shouldn't need to put RV anti-freeze in either the Fresh water tank or the Hot Water Heater. They can both be drained. There are by-pass valves in your rig to avoid getting the RV anti-freeze in your HWH when winterizing. Do a google search on the internet and you'll find lots of videos and articles on winterizing.

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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    You added antifreeze to your water heater?

    I would drain the heater, then flush everything again. May as well sanitize the tanks while you are at it. Bleach and water and let it soak for 5-6 hours then flush again.

    When you winterize, you should only have antifreeze in the lines and fixtures, not the water heater or tanks.
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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    Don't know how to get the smell out but I can say you used to much antifreeze ,it should only take about a gallon, don't fill the hot water with it ,always drain that and bypass it ,your hot water heater is probably were you are getting the antifreeze. IMHO ⛄️⛄️⛄️⛄️⛄️⛄️⛄️

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    Senior Member dbbls59's Avatar
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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    You might try adding vinegar to the fresh water system. Mix about 5 gallons with a full water tank then pump it through the water heater.
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    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    If you have a Suburban Water Heater with an anode rod, you may have to replace it. Here's what the Suburban manual says:
    Antifreeze can be very corrosive to the anode rod creating premature failure and heavy sediment in the tank.


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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by danemayer View Post
    If you have a Suburban Water Heater with an anode rod, you may have to replace it.
    I checked the water heater in my travel trailer and it is an Attwood. I read the manual for the water heater and there is no mention of corrosion due to anti-freeze.

    I turned off the propane and electric power to the hot water heater and drained it. I will flush it out again (for the 5th time) tomorrow morning.
    I'm draining out the fresh water tank. It was full (36 gallons) and it has a small drain valve. It takes about an hour to drain.
    I will fill up again tomorrow morning to see if there is any improvement. If no improvement, I guess I will try the bleach and water mixture and flush the system again.
    .


    Sailor Don
    Lake Livingston, Republic of Texas
    2014 Wilderness 2175 RB

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    Retired Colorado Chapter Leaders StarryNight's Avatar
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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    I would like to recommend an excellent resource for you to access (in addition to this forum) rvdoctor.com
    I have been to his seminars as well as watched many of his programs and he is a wealth of info.
    For your particular situation go to his web page, scroll down on the main page and you will find a resource menu for "Q&A Archive"...scroll down this menu to "odors"....the resulting page will have many articles...pick the one titled "RV Fresh Water Chlorination" and he will walk you thru the 12 point process of cleaning & sanitizing the entire water system. (I have a copy I keep as a reference "just in case".)
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    Re: How to get rid of RV Antifreeze smell in fresh water tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by monica-don View Post
    I would like to recommend an excellent resource for you to access (in addition to this forum) rvdoctor.com
    I found the rvdoctor.com FAQ http://www.rvdoctor.com/2010/07/rv-f...orination.html
    I'm at step 11 (4 hour hold).
    I'll update this afternoon to advise if this solved my RV anti-freeze odor problem.

    Thanks for the information.
    .


    Sailor Don
    Lake Livingston, Republic of Texas
    2014 Wilderness 2175 RB

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