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Old 07-12-2004
kcoffey kcoffey is offline
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Fresh Water System Cleaning and Maintenance

After rinsing the residual antifreeze out of my sailboat fresh water system extensively, I filled the (~100 gallon stainless) tanks through a simple carbon filter. Only a few weeks later, the water coming out the galley and head sinks, cold or hot, has a definite sulfur odor. And the hot still has an antifreeze smell. What are the best treatments for fresh water system "purification"? Are they all one-time-through-and rise-out approaches, or are there safe, non-toxic things that can be left in the water as well?

A removal, portable filter is used when filling the tank, and then the filter is drained and dried out for storage until the next time. As it turns out, I probably only use each filter element two or three times before replacing it, just to be sure nothing has a long-term opportunity to grow there. So I doubt that the problem came from the filter.

I really remain puzzled at why the hot water side of the system seems to have retained so much more an antifreeze smell than the cold side. The water heater is pretty small, and was replaced only two years ago. I pumped and drained through both cold and hot outlets in both galley and head before filling the tank, let all of those continue to run through the first part of filling the tank, ran them again extensively after letting the first tank fill slosh around a good bit, and have run the them all lots since. Is there any reason the antifreeze would seem to "accumulate" in the hot water side?
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