sulfa smell in water - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-20-2013 Thread Starter
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sulfa smell in water

after last tank fill i started noting sulfa smell in my water. never had problem before and 2ed tank seems ok. if i let the water sit overnite the smell goes away. i'm thinking empty problem tank, add about 5gal water and 1/2 cup clorox, wait 24 hrs, drain and refill. i read someplace that filling the tank to the very top can cause a problem, that's exactly what i did.
any suggestions anyone?
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-20-2013
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Re: sulfa smell in water

You didn't mentioned if it's the hot or cold water that smells. If it's only the hot, the anoide rod in your hot water heater is trash. It acts just like a zinc.

If you're going to toss bleach into your tank(s) fill them up. Turn on your pump & run the mixture thru all the plumbing hot & cold & let it sit overnight. Flush it the following day. This will kill all the bacteria that's lurking in your potable water system.

Not sure where you're located but sulpher in water is a common problem, could be your water source.

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post #3 of 6 Old 04-20-2013
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Re: sulfa smell in water

If your marina is on well water it could be a problem with the water treatment system that's been fixed (you said the second tank was OK).

It's probably not the anode in your water heater or the smell would have continued with the second tank.

I shock my system every spring. I pour about a half cup of chlorine bleach in each tank, fill them with fresh water, pump them dry, then repeat with fresh water again. The first time you do this make sure you take the screens out of your faucets as you'll loosen up a lot of gunk.

All water going into my tanks or into my dockside water hookup goes through a ShurFlo filter with a hose attachment. They cost about $25 at the Camping World or $45 at WM. Replace it each spring when you commission the boat. When I fill the tanks I drop in a capfull of bleach in each tank (50 gals total).

With this approach the water always tastes and smells good and we've never had any problems with contamination.

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post #4 of 6 Old 04-20-2013
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sulfa smell in water

The anode can cause that smell. Flushing and using bleach usually doesn't help. You have to flush the system by adding hydrogen peroxide. A pint in 20 gallons of water. It is better to actually pour the peroxide in the hot water tank. That might be tough to do in a boat.
Then you have to replace the anode.
There is a lot of info on the Internet concerning this subject
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-21-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: sulfa smell in water

thanks for the replies. i narrowed it down to main tank cause no problem on backup tank after clearing the hoses. placed 6 oz chlorox added 4-5 gal water moving hose to get some mixing action. let stand 16 hrs. then ran tank while adding fresh water until chlorox smell largely dissapated at the faucets(cold water only/ did not want chlorox in hot water heater). finally refilled tank careful to leave an inch or two clear at the top. tastes good now- both hot & cold. we will see what happens over time.

Last edited by dave22q; 04-21-2013 at 11:23 AM. Reason: typo
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-21-2013
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Re: sulfa smell in water

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Originally Posted by dave22q View Post
thanks for the replies. i narrowed it down to main tank cause no problem on backup tank after clearing the hoses. placed 6 oz chlorox added 4-5 gal water moving hose to get some mixing action. let stand 16 hrs. then ran tank while adding fresh water until chlorox smell largely dissapated at the faucets(cold water only/ did not want chlorox in hot water heater). finally refilled tank careful to leave an inch or two clear at the top. tastes good now- both hot & cold. we will see what happens over time.
David--You might want to add some Aquabon Water Treatment to your tanks. If you do not have one, it is also helpful to have an activated charcoal filter on the feed water to your pump(s) to help clear the water you're using. See AQUABON Drinking Water Freshener at West Marine for Aquabon and Google Pentek for smaller filter cannisters with replaceable charcoal filter cartridges.

FWIW...

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