Hot water smells likeYellowstone Hotsprings


Last year was our first year to use any camper, so we were busy fixing things here& there knowing other items would pop up as we used the camper. Our hot water smelled last year, so I bought some RV water treatment ran it through the system, fired up the hot water heater etc. Well the hot water still smells like Yellowstone Hotsprings. Is there any way to improve on this short of replacing the tank?
Thanks S


The smell you're describing as the rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulfide. This water soluble colorless gas is poisonous. It is generated by anaerobic bacteria. The best method for sterilizing the system is to drain it and flush the system with chlorine. You can utilize household bleach but don't be surprised if you have to do this several times to fully eliminate the bacteria as household bleach is only 3-5% active. The planktonic anaerobic bacteria is easily killed; the sessile bacteria is much harder to remove. These organisms have a self preservation method of secreting a sucrose based shell around themselves to prevent the intrusion of any oxidizing materials. Adding a surfactant such as dish soap will help with the removal of the sessile anaerobic bacteria. Just keep doing the flush and rinse until there are no more suds and the water smells sweet. Hope this helps.