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Old 03-14-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Smelly Fresh Water Tank

Hey Guys,

So I have this weird funky smell on my boat that I can't seem to pinpoint. My fresh water tank water has a strong funky smell to it so I'm starting there for round two of this odor fight. Last season I put some bleach into the tank (about 32oz if I remember correctly) and left it there for a day or two then flushed out tank and refilled tank with hose water. However, it didn't solve the problem.

I ran across this on THT:
Quote:
1. Use a solution of 1 pint Purex or Clorox bleach to 25 gallons of water). With tank empty, pour chlorine solution into tank.

2. Complete filling of tank with fresh water. Open each faucet and drain cock until air has been released and the entire system is filled. Do not turn off the pump; it must remain on to keep the system pressurized and the solution in the lines

3. Allow to stand for at least three hours, but no longer than 24 hours.

4. Drain through every faucet on the boat (and if you haven't done this in a while, it's a good idea to remove any diffusion screens from the faucets, because what's likely to come out will clog them). Fill the tank again with fresh water only, drain again through every faucet on the boat.

5. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might remain, prepare a solution of one quart white vinegar to five gallons water and allow this solution to agitate in tank for several days.

6. Drain tank again through every faucet, and flush the lines again by filling the tank 1/4-1/2 full and again flushing with potable water.
I will be trying this method when the weather gets a little warmer, but before I do I've also read that bleach is harmful to the tank and hoses. Leading me to ask about the StarBrite products for these tanks and wondering about how effective they really are.

These are the 2 products I'm interested about:

1: http://www.starbrite.com/productdeta...&ProductSSCat=

and

2: http://www.starbrite.com/productdeta...&ProductSSCat=

I don't know the size of my water tank but I'll look in my guide when I get home.

Has anyone else gone through this process?

- Joe
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:14 AM   #2
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Any of these methods will work. I use the bleach and let it sit overnight then flush out with clean water. Works all the time. It is a stinky job but somebody has to do it....

Roger
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:28 AM   #3
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do you have a water heater? usually the smell comes when you turn on the hot water, this water just sits in the water heater, if you use it all the time this wont happen or just drain it and run that chlorine solution thru your hot water system... good luck...
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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1) When you added bleach to the fresh water tank, did you run it through all the faucets hot and cold side? I would shut off the hotwater heater, then drain the water tank. Then drain teh hot water heater, then fill the tank with water and bleach, then run it through all the faucets how and cold until the bleach water in in all of the lines and the hot water heater. THEN let it sit for a while, then flush it with a few tankfuls of freshwater.

2) I would fill the holding tank with freshwater through the head. Then pump it out, do this a couple of times. Then make sure you pump out the holding tank and use the proper holding tank chemicals and some freshwater whenever you're done using the boat. Don;t let anything but freshwater and holding tank chemicals sit in the holding tank for more than 5 days. this means at the end of every weekend.

3) Clean out the bilges completely. Fill them with freshwater, then use copius amoutns of bilge cleaner. Scub it up good, then drain it out. Do all bilge compartments.

This should help a lot. I don't have any boat odors at all anymore.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:07 AM   #5
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Shrew, when I drained the tank i ran it out with both the hot and cold knobs on.
do you know where the hot water heater is on my boat? and how do i clean it out?
also, there's a small cutout on the floor outside of the bathroom and under the floorboard is a pump/mechanism of some kind, do you know what it is by chance?

and thanks for the holding tank info, I'm still pretty inexperienced with the whole system since my last boat had a portable little tank under the toilet.

as soon as the weather gets warmer I'm gonna give her a whole in depth cleaning with all these tips and I'll let ya know the results.

Thanks,

- Joe
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
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I'd check for something that looks like one of these in the engine compartment:

hwheater1.jpg

hwheater3.jpg
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #7
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ok thanks shrew, yea i have the top one in my engine compartment.
how do I clean it out?

- Joe
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:46 AM   #8
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Joe,
bottom left, open the valve let all the water come out, make sure is off when you drain it since the heating element inside is delicate and you cant turn it on without water,,, then let it fill it up with water from your water tank with a good solution of chlorine. once is fill turn it on let it warm up the water and then turn one of your hot water faucets until the smell goes away, make sure you have water running thru the system all the time... good luck
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:10 AM   #9
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Thanks Rodrigo,
I know I blew all the lines out with the air compressor for winterization so it may have helped a little but I'm gonna put all these tips into effect as soon as the weather breaks over here.

- Joe
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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I downloaded an Apple app from Wateropolis.com that has a free section for calculating chemical concentrations. We have a 75 gallon water tank and assuming that regular laundry bleach is about 5% strength (and has a specific gravity of ~ 1.2) we calculated 0.4 oz will give us a 2.5 ppm in the water tank. We do this every time we fill up at a source that is not municipally chlorinated water. That is the max dose before you can start to smell it in the ice. Of course that residual drops over time, reduces faster in warm temperatures so it doesn't stay that high for long. I drain the water storage tank totally empty every Sunday before leaving the boat & fill fresh every Friday when we go up. We have always had great water & no worries about using the ice.
Remember if you store a bottle of bleach in your dock box that 6 -8 weeks later it is about half strength particularly if it's hot out so get small bottles and throw away old stuff.
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