Stench from Fresh Water Holding Tank
The previous owner of my 1986 Hunter 28.5 stopped using the fresh water holding tank several years ago, but apparently didn't completely drain it. Since I'm one who believes a thing should be used if it's there, I filled the tank with fresh water from the dock system and later attempted to use it for hand-washing after a visit to the head. At first, the water seemed normal, but then a stench began to develop as the water ran. I immediately began draining the tank by opening both the head and galley faucets, and the odor became really bad -- a rotten egg sort of stench -- as the last few gallons were pushed through the lines. I flushed the system for about 10 minutes, then dumped in a box of baking soda and refilled the tank. Little if any improvement. Next I tried a cup of chlorine bleach. Still stinky. I'm sure the stench was caused by allowing water to stagnate in the tank, but how do you get rid of the awful smell? I don't intend to drink the water or use it for cooking, but it even leaves your hands smelly after washing them in it with soap. Is there a product that eliminates the stench. If I can ever get the tank clean again, is there a rule-of-thumb about how often it should be drained and refilled to avoid stagnation?