Originally Posted by Golfreb
Camped a couple weeks ago, no issues. Camped this past weekend and noticed a swanky smell from the hot water, both in kitchen and bath. We shut the heater off well in advance of packing up and traveling. Could it be the remaining water from the previous campsite in the water heater creating the odor? Thanks for any suggestions.
It would be unusual, but it could be. We leave the water in the heater between trips all season. But here's what to do: First, in your driveway, put the water heater valves on bypass, and open the drain. While it's draining, hook up your water hose to the house. Run water one at a time, hot and cold. Check for smell. (While the heater valves are in bypass, the same cold water is feeding both red and blue tubes (hot and cold). If you have the smell now, then put some bleach in the fresh water tank, and using the water pump, run bleach water through the lines. Rinse often, of course.
Now back to your heater. It would be hard to run bleach or anything though it. But now that it's drained, stick a rubber hose up the drain hole, and sniff. It that is where the odor is coming from, your options are to un-bypass, refill, heat it up, drain it out, and repeat as necessary. If you can gain access, the odor might be coming from the electric heating element, which unscrews. This should give you a few starters before you tear that thing open, or try to get chemicals inside the heater.