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Really Strong Sulphur Smell Coming From My Van's Water Heater!


tanyac

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Hi, I'm new here so please be gentle. ..

 

I have just returned from a stay in our van which is permanently on site.

 

We noticed a few weeks ago, that there was a sulphur smell in the caravan. We purchased some pura clean and cleaned the system, which we thought had done the trick.

 

However, this weekend, the smell was unbearable, and as the water heater is situated under the fixed bed at the rear of the van, the smell had permeated through the mattress making our first night a sleepless onel!

 

I drained the tank, filled with Puraclean (I think that's what it is called) and then left for a few hours. Great, the smell went away. .. only for it to return and get so bad I had to repeat the process another 3 times (the last one at 3am this morning), to say we had a bad night is an understatement, at least it was dry & we could keep the windows open!

 

My OH thinks there may have been a build up of slime/bacteria in the tank which was effectively blocking the pipe, and preventing all of the water from emptying from the tank when we open the valve at the end of a stay. It did appear at probably the fourth time of flushing through & emptying the tank that it was taking an awful long time to completely stop dripping.

 

We will be going to put the van away into winter storage in a couple of weeks, but then won't have access to it until the spring, so if there's something else I should have done, or need to think about, now's a good time to fine out.

 

I hope we may have fixed it, but it was a truly awful smell, and I want to know we've at least done the right thing to make it go away.

 

Any advice or recommendations are welcomed.

 

Cheers

Tanya

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Sulfur smell? That's a new one on me.

 

I've heard some good things about the Puraclean stuff but not used it personally. I usually use Citroxx-Bio http://www. citroxx. com/citroxx. php

 

I know some members of this forum use Orange juice cordial (The cheap supermarket own brand) Put that thru the system neat.

 

Do you usually drain down the tank when you're not using the caravan (i. e in between trips/stays) How old is the caravan?

 

Sorry I can't be of more help. Hope someone else can be :unsure:

 

Diefer

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are you using a filter on the inlet to the caravan water system and are you drainng the system down properly every time you leave the van. A filter strips the chlorine out of the water so that which is sitting in the pipes and the hot water tank is now vulnerable to bacteria and slime buildup especially if you leave the van for a few weeks or so. Once the pipes are contaminated with bacteria it's very difficult to get rid of it. A strong solution of puri-clean left for at least 24 hours will help but you may have to do it several times to completely eradicate it.

DONT USE A FILTER, there is no need if you use fresh water from the site tap and its getting changed frequently

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Hi, thanks for replying.

 

Yes, we do normally drain the system down between visits, we're wondering if the drainage pipe (or something inside the heater) had become slightly blocked so not all the water came out.

 

Our van is 8 yrs old but it's first season with us :rolleyes:

 

Thankfully, the smell wasn't there this morning, but did come back in the middle of the night (after system being refilled using the cleaner & left all day). We were up at 3 this morning re-doing it. Fingers crossed it finally did the job!!

 

(The only good thing about being up at 3am was that I looked up into the clear, star filled sky and saw a shooting star. ..wow!!)

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are you using a filter on the inlet to the caravan water system and are you drainng the system down properly every time you leave the van. A filter strips the chlorine out of the water so that which is sitting in the pipes and the hot water tank is now vulnerable to bacteria and slime buildup especially if you leave the van for a few weeks or so. Once the pipes are contaminated with bacteria it's very difficult to get rid of it. A strong solution of puri-clean left for at least 24 hours will help but you may have to do it several times to completely eradicate it.

DONT USE A FILTER, there is no need if you use fresh water from the site tap and its getting changed frequently

 

Hi

No we don't use a filter that I know of. we have the usual submersible pump which goes into the aquaroll. In my caravan info, it does mention taking out the in-line filter when cleaning pipes (if used) but I have no idea if my van has one or if so where it would be located. My van is a Sterling Eccles Onyx 2003 if anyone here might have a clue??

 

We're keeping fingers crossed that the 4 x we filled and emptied the system using the cleanser has done the trick. I never want to be lying in bed trying to sleep with that smell EVER again. ..

 

The smell was so strong, you could smell it just walking up to the van! On opening the locker under the fixed bed, it hit you! I think the solution definitely went into the tank because when pulling it through, the water smelt of the cleaner.

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In our van the inline filter is behind the drawers beside the the cooker. so if yours is not visible it may be hidden away in a similar manner

 

some filters are part of the water intake where the water pump plugs in

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I actually don't think it has anything at all to do with the water heater, not unless its running on gas and there is something very wrong with the flame?

It's an educated guess but at the moment I'd first be investigating the fridge, this if leaking it's coolant, will smell of Ammonia, this type Ammonia is not your kitchen cleaner type but actually very toxic and easily give rise to the symptoms you describe

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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