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Hot Water


Hot Water Tank

Water Heater

AnodSun11.jpg, 17 kB The old anode.
WaterH-PictOut.jpg, 28 kB
Everything went to hell all at ounce - as soon as we were under way. It did not matter which hot water tap was used, the volcanic rotten egg smell was all over the RV. Opening windows only helped a little. What happened? Something happened, as this has never happened before!

Hydrogen Sulfide is smelled coming from hot water taps all over the RV. All cold water taps are fine.
BANASTAR.gif, 1.5kB He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22
I have my instructions: She said "Fix it!"...

Socket-27mm.jpg, 11 kB You can use a 27mm socket.
WaterH-AnodeWeld.jpg, 7 kB
The new anode, two weeks old.
You can identify magnesium rods, they have a steel weld in the center, and are darker grey.
Another type is aluminum.
And a third type is aluminum alloys, usually with zinc and tin.

Two weeks ago, I choose Magnesium, not just because it was cheaper, about $11 bucks. There are health concerns with aluminum. And besides, Magnesium has more negative electrochemical potential, -2.35volts, compared to aluminum:-1.70volts, or zinc:-0.76volts, or iron:-0.45v. so it works better in poorly conductive water. Not only is aluminum unhealthy to humans, but it will "passivate" in the presence of chlorine commonly added to water.

AnodeFinger23.jpg, 11 kB
The old anode, one year old.
In any case, this can not be the problem. The old anode was of the same type: magnesium. And was in still good shape. The only bad area was near the threads. The two similar anodes can not account for a all of a sudden, drastic change. They are exactly the same!

They lied to me: A one year old anode does NOT need to be replaced!
This is not the answere, and the "fix it" remains.

Could it be the new water that we had just loaded from Mackerricher?
The water had been condemned on the last visit and had to be boiled. Does the water have sulfates in it?
It may have had sulfates, but it did not have native hydrogen sulfide directly, from anaerobic organic decay. I smelled and tasted the water before I used it. Tasted fine.

I travel light. I only needed about 10 or 20 gallons "for the road".
Linda said "Do not get the water from here!"
But she is just a girl; What does she know.

Ok, water is not ruled out yet. Water is one possibility...

WaterH-RodAge.jpg, 19 kB

The new anode, two weeks old.
In taking out the anode; this is what it looked like. A sacrificial Magnesium Anode Rod that is about 2 weeks old. It is speckled with white bumps, which I believe are Magnesium Hydroxide. If this is correct, this is what is used in wastewater treatment plants.
Eq-MgOH2.gif, 1 kB

I used a mirror to shine sun light into the hole and inspect the rest of the tank. There is a massive amount of magnesium hydroxide around the threads. The rest of the tank is pristine with no rust and with a slight black cast. Or maybe that is a glass liner. I can not tell. It looks great, that is good news. The electrical heating element, however shows these same white spots, and has the same look as the magnesium rod except there are no pits. The tank shows a small area of microbe slime near the anode threads, dark reddish or black.

"Sulfates" because Sulfur is coming from somewhere. Is this the answer?

Obviously microbes are here. Could this slippery organic slime be microbes of sulfur loving bacteria? That would be yet another source for the hydrogen sulfide.

H2S-Sign.jpg, 5 kB I am not a chemist, but here is what seems to be happening...
The odor in the water is Hydrogen Sulfide. Despite a unanimous opinion with other RVers; that the smell is ok and only a nuisance. I am not buying it! Hydrogen Sulfide is a poison to humans. Also it can corrode metals, including stainless steel sinks and copper tubing. A minor plus is that it can also precipitate out metals into: Lead sulfide, and Cadmium Sulfide, etc.

At an RV Park, especially around a campfire, every one has a stupid opinion, not that mine is any better, and not that I know what is going on either. Some of the RV old timers have been stoking their fires for a long time. I would like to give RVers respect. After all, they respect each other with touching and laughter. Around a campfire, they speak with authority, and point sticks with red hot glowing ends at ideas, and cleverly tap a bear can to a log to prove a point. A festering glow of a cigaret coming to life, means that your question is about to be answered. And a buff of smoke in your face means that it has been delivered. You would think that their impressive comradery has to count for something. And it is impressive! But it is an illusion: campfire authority is nothing more than glowing faces and whimsical smoke. I do NOT put my faith in these people full of talk and laughter, and I am afraid my Aspergers is showing. And these people seem to bring it out, so I have to leave. Not my kind of people: The loud and dominate males rely on testosterone to function, and the females giggle and applaud to shear stupidity. At the intrance to the park, there is a special list behind glass. That list is the Attraction List. Clearly, these animals should be on the attraction list at the ranger station as species found at the park. However, because they can drive, they are classified as visitors. The classification blurs what is considered natural wildlife. Clearly, they are on the wrong list.

I hate to come back to my RV humiliated and empty handed. But I must get back to my wife (and stinky RV).

The issue is not whether I enjoy camping or not, and not whether that hydrogen sulfide simply comes with the scenery. The issue is whether I am willing to TOLERATE it!

Here is why:
Iron is important in our blood. Hydrogen Sulfide can bond with iron compounds and interfere with cellular respiration causing death to the cell. Nervous and cardiac tissues, which having the highest oxygen demand, suffer first. Exposure to very low air concentrations of hydrogen sulfide:
BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B 1)Smell detection
BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B 2) Nasal olfactory neuron loss (permanent),
BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B 3)Eye irritation,
BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B 4)Olfactory paralysis
Other symptoms:
nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness, itching, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, headache, increased risk of migraines, irritability, reduced motor function, inflammation of individual nerve cells, "heavy" sleeping, decrease in oxygen uptake, increased risk of stridor, and poor memory.

Evidently, you can drink as much as you want as your stomach already has sulfuric acid. Rather, it is what goes on in your lungs and in your blood.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7
I do not share such a lackadaisical attitude that is found around the campsites. Clearly, RV people that should be on a list do not understand.

What trumps all the opinions and laughing around the campsites is instead what is coming from own RV and my Personal-Activities-Director: "fix it".
She is already complaining of a head ache. I do not need any more "head aches".

Eq-Rust.gif, 3 kB Getting back to the problem:
The inside of the tank "looks" good. No rust. If there was any rust, it could be changed to Ferrous Sulfide. But if the magnesium was doing its job in first place, there should be no rust. And ferrous sulfide should presip out anyway, and not contribute to a black cast. The black cast may be a glass lining.
Bottom line: There is no rust.
Eq-toRust.gif, 4 kB
But if there WAS rust...
Here is rust formation.
There are many corrosion cells of different potentials all over a single piece of iron. The electrolyte may not be homogenous either. A general first equation does not show the ionic or galvanic details, only a hydrous rust mix.
(It also shows oxygen must be present.)
Here iron has given its negative potential to a neighbor cell by electrical conduction through metal. That same iron, now more positive, is oxidized by two hydroxyl radicals through an electrolyte. It rusts. But somehow I have diverted off the subject... I gotta get this thing fixed.

Eq-Mg-H2.gif, 1 kB
Here is Magnesium Oxide formation, and Hydrogen.
Pitting occurs all over the anode as Mg leaves into solution forming white Magnesium Hydroxide and Magnesium oxide precipitations.
Normal electrolyte current imparts ions to the anode, oxidizing magnesium.

Eq-Water-e.gif, 1 kB
Excessive electrolyte current will produce hydrogen on the cathode. Hydrogen gas is produced all over any iron as electrons leave the iron.
Simple electrolysis says hydrogen as a component can be present, available for reactions.
Wherever electrons leave a metal, the metal is protected. But if there was no sacrifical magnesium, some of the metal areas would be accepting electrons, oxidizing and thus corroding, in localised pits. Reaction activity is influence by electrolyte conductivity and temperature, among other things.

What I am trying to say, and what is the essence of all this: Hydrogen may be present! In fact, because of the fact that we are smelling hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen IS present for sure!

The hydrogen is important.
Hydrogen Sulfide is produced by reducing sulphurated organic compounds with hydrogen. Magnesium can produce over activity under the right conditions. My magnesium is over active! And that over activity means hydrogen. More hydrogen is produced with higher temperatures and higher electrolyte conduction.

High heat is only in the hot water faucets. Check! That is right! I may get this thing fixed yet.
But what about the second condition: electrolyte conductivity? Pure water has no conductivity.
We MUST have conductivity...
When I replaced the Anode, I did something else...
I never thought much about it then.

I added a pint of distilled vinegar to the fresh water holding tank. Actually, it was more like a whole bottle. I know that sounds strange. I figured with the addition that the fresh water would still be safe to drink, and the vinegar would be a viable mild "green" disinfectant. Vinegar is nothing! Every one else, including whole cities, use chlorine, despite that the byproducts are carcinogen. I am using something not nearly so bad: ordinary vinegar. People drink vinegar everyday.

And, this whole sorrowful event was right after Mackerricher and the vinegar. Vinegar! Perfect time frame!

Now we are getting somewhere: I am kinda implicated and may have caused it.
Normal water has a high electrical resistance, and it is in this environment that the anode in the hot water heater was designed. Water contains impurities, and some of the ionic ingredients inable water to be more conductive, or "electrolytic". The above reactions are highly dependent on the conductivity of the electrolyte (the water). When I first put the vinegar in, I could just barely smell and taste the vinegar in the cold taps.
Home free, right?
Apparently I was, because my wife does not know it is even there. And I am not going to give her any more evidence that I am an idiot. After all, things are not going well for me. Now, I can only detect the vinegar on the outside shower head, because the outside air still smells good. My wife can not smell the vinegar in the inside of the RV, and that is going well for me.

If I wanted "vinegar-inated" fresh water, then I would have to go to a less reactive Anode rod, such as Aluminum or zinc. I do not want that, and I do not want vinegar either.

With my instructions of "fix it", I am keen to get something done.
And you do not need all these equations to get the job done.

BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B First, drain out the fresh tank which bears the stupid vinegar. And realize the the RV fresh water holding tank is not a experimental "chemistry station".

BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B Second, install a one micron prefilter. This should limit any more bacteria.

BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B And finally, realize the good in the bad...
God has rather rudely given me a wake up call.
And I forgive Him for the harshness and all the stress that He has caused me.
But there may be bad water out there in various RV parks: such as excess chorine, heavy metals, bacteria, etc. It is an unknown. Why take the chance?
Thanks to the Awareness and the awareness, I now have added two good water filters.
And now listen to my wife too.

The above fixed all my problems.
And my Social Director is back happy too.
Through it all, and most importantly, I did not have to become humble. I did not need all the equations, but I kept them so that the page has a better BS "appearance", and better hides my mistake.
Filter-Heat.jpg, 21 kB
The blue switch on the left turns on Heaters. Heaters for the water filter and water lines. The "heaters" are automotive light bulbs. They produce mainly heat. The blue light flickers as power from the solar panels is routed to the heaters. The power is either on or off, so it "flickers". This power is reject power, and is not needed by the batteries. If batteries are low, there will be no current available for minor needs such as this.

Heating of the water lines becomes important for unattended operation. If I am not around, and the rig is parked somewhere in the middle of winter, then I can be assured that the possibility of freezing is further removed. The water is starting off as warm and holds heat. For unattended operation the batteries are never low, so there is plenty of heat energy available. "Light" is ok for heat production if you are using Reflectix. Reflectix reflects 96% of light and radiant heat. Eventually the energy hits a water line, water filter, or water pump. The energy is absorbed and the water line is consequently heated. However, most of the energy is convection, and is moving around near the filters.

Heaters-7W.jpg, 15 kB
There are a lot of different kinds of "heaters". I am using 7 Watt wedges. And for heat, "incandescent" type bulbs are required. 7 watts from each bulb produces heat so hot that you can not touch the bulbs, but not so hot that requires mounts and clearances. Just to be safe, I am using 4 Watt bulbs in hidden places not visable, but more of them. There can not be even a chance of contact combustion. Over time, 10 Watts can leave little minor burn marks on the vinal floor. 7 Watts are ok. 4 Watts are the safest, but you have to use more of them. You will notice that every two bulbs are wired in series. These are 12 volt bulbs, but my supply voltage is 22 volts. That is nearly double the rated bulb voltage! The controller that I invented is a switching controller: meaning it is either full on or full off. That means 22 volts or nothing. These bulbs are fed off of reject solar power, and shortly after the sun comes up, almost 100% is available for such low priority projects such as heating water lines. The "on" duty cycle approaches 95% of the time after the batteries are charged. (Keeping batteries charged is of the highest priority.)
RULERMAR.GIF, 1 kB This is my water system. No other RV has anything like it. And I like to share with you. You may like to use some of these concepts.
SolarWater-Schematic.gif, 61kB
BBALLBLUGIF Filter #1: Tank filter
BBALLBLUGIF Filter #2: Sink filter

The chlorination level required by National Primary Drinking Water Regulations is 0.2ppm. And ingesting larger amounts of chlorine leads to artery damage and cancers. Chlorinated bath water can deposit toxins into your skin, which can cause allergies. City water can range from .2ppm to 2.0ppm. I mixed a half cup of bleach to a gallon of water and dumped into the Fresh Water Holding Tank. Let this potent mixture set for a day. After running the taps for ever and ever, I can not detect ANY chlorine odor or taste. How can this be?

ThreeStrips.jpg, 15kB Swimming Pool strips
Three strips:
BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B Well Water
BBALLBLU.GIF, 139B RV Fresh Tank Water

RULERYEL.GIF, 4.2kB ThreeStrips-Top.jpg, 7.1kB
The top strip is post prefilter RV water read from any cold water tap downstream of the filter.
SolarWater-ScFilter.gif, 5.9kB
Free Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Total Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Alkalinity: 120ppm
pH: 7
Hard: 150
And this water comes from the cold taps in the RV. And is only filtered by the PreFilter, or Tank Filter. This is my cheap filter, not advertized for Chlorine. But it DOES!
I should be able to smell Chlorine; I can't.
I should be able to taste Chlorine; I can't

RULERYEL.GIF, 4.2kB ThreeStrips-Mid.jpg, 8.6kB
The well water is the middle strip:
WellWaterPump.jpg, 7.7kB Free Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Total Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Alkalinity: 120ppm
pH: 7
Hard: 220

PhHouseSto-0-0-120-76-200.jpg, 38kB Here is another at same well:
Free Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Total Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Alkalinity: 120ppm
pH: 7.6
Hard: 200

PhHouse300-0-0-80-78-50.jpg, 16kB Here is another well-2:
Free Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Total Cl: not readable, less than 0.2 ppm
Alkalinity: 100ppm
pH: 7.6
Hard: 50

RULERYEL.GIF, 4.2kB ThreeStrips-Bot.jpg, 9.6kB
The RV Fresh Water Tank is last (bottom)
SolarWater-ScTank.gif, 5.8kB
Free Cl: off-the-scale, > 12ppm
Total Cl: off-the-scale, > 12 ppm
Alkalinity: 120ppm
pH: 10
Hard: 100
This Tank water is 30 gallons of water mixed with a half cup bleach.
That is the same as AirStream manual: "0.13oz clorox per gallon".
Or, 0.13oz/gal /128oz/gal=.001 factor (gal clorox/gal water),*30 gal*16cups/gal=0.48cup
Or, 0.13oz/gal*1/8cups/oz *30gal = 0.48cups bleach

This is a massive amount of Chlorine. This amount is used for massive sanitizing, not for casual disinfecting. Disinfecting is only about 1 oz to 60 gal, instead of 1 cup to 60 gal. I ran about 10 gallons of this Sanitizing chlorinated tank water through all the lines, and hot water tank; everything except the commode. ...Don't want to kill good bugs.

Apparently, no chlorine is getting past the PreFilter as read on a strip. This unfortunate news is good news for the Black Tank, but not so good news for cleaning out the RV lines. Unfortunately, there is no way to bypass this filter. I designed it that way: Nothing comes from the tank without going through this filter. This filter is working TOO good.

And why the Alkalinity is not more, I don't know. The ph is the purple color, and it is way off scale. The highest color is a 8.4 PH crimson color. The ph is much greater than this 8.4, which is way alkaline. So, why isn't Alkalinity way off the scale too?

Needless to say, I will be draining this tank water, and refilling, before getting under way...

Refilled tank. Well water temperature: 51F degrees.
added 3 oz TastePure (Sodium Hypochlorite, NaOCl) to RV fresh water holding tank.
Readings at faucet: CL 0, TCl .5, Alk 180, ph 8, hard 200
The only change was total Cl from 0 to 0.5ppm, and ph from 7.6 up to 8
Apparently, the free chlorine is finding plenty to react with, and consiquently is reduced to zero on the test strip.

RULERYEL.GIF, 4.2kB Here is additional information on the AMOUNTS of chlorine.

Accum-Top30.jpg, 80kB Here is my glass accumulator at installation time. Notice the bottom section of vinal: It is crystal clear. No bacteria.
Accum-BlackBacteria.jpg, 46kB After a dozen trips, this is what it looked like: Black as can be. You can not see through it even a little. I took a vinal line apart elsewhere, stuck my finger inside the line. The black stuff was slimy. It is bacteria. Not all vinal was attacked equally. This section was the worst.

For those dozen trips or so, I had not used any chlorine. Absolutely non at all. I had total trust in my filters, and I still do. But this gunky stuff was growing AFTER the filters.

Just one day with residual chlorine from a flushed out tank. Evidently SOME chlorine is getting through. Accum-OneDay.jpg, 48kB

With a couple more trips with low levels of chlorine, too low to measure, less than 0.2ppm, the black in all lines is dramatically disappearing. And many are absolutely totally clear. It does not take much chorine. The evidence is clear: you should use a tiny bit of Chlorine.

RULERYEL.GIF, 4.2kB Except for viruses, filters have advantages over boiling. I will explain in a minute, but first I will show you the filters. Here is the Second Water Filter, a Keystone Filter.

Water-Sink-Keystone-910N-Syst.jpg, 7.1kB
Water-Keystone-Installed.jpg, 65kB

Here the Keystone (second filter) is below freezing, 31.4F degrees. Crystals are starting to form, but the case is holding.
This is after installation, but before the automatic heaters.
Water-Keystone-Bowl.gif, 67kB
This is the "container" or Bowl. It can house gobs of different kinds of filter inserts.
Water-Keystone-Price.gif, 26kB
This is the expensive filter, but it is cheap for what it does. I ordered the 910 carbon insert that does a fantastic job.

Water-Sink-Keystone-FiltRepacement-46.jpg, 41kB This is for my reference...
Reorder the 910 insert.

Filters can be good against organic pathogens, As well as Lead and metals. Boiling may not eliminate odors, filters will. Boiling will not eliminate heavy metals, filters can. Boiling will not eliminate radio active contaminates; filters will.

There is a minus:
Radioactive contaminates, as well as bacteria will concentrate in the filter. So before the filter begins to glow, the filter should be discarded; That is unless, the Electrical Grid is down from an EMP, and you are using it for a nightlight. (Just kidding. It will not glow.) I have not personally seen this with my filters, but old filters could theoretically become a breading ground for bacteria. Someday, someone will invent filters using silver and copper components for anti pathogen control.

Water-Pentek-Installed.jpg, 67kB The Pentek, the First Filter, or Prefilter of a two stage system. This filter is immediately from the 60 gallon tank. It is operated in vacuum mode, where water is pulled instead of pushed.

Water-Pentek-5uC.gif, 47kB Water-Tank-Pentek-RepTech1.jpg, 97kB
You must have a Staged System: multiple filters. I use a two staged system: The first filter needs to be replaced often; it mainly collects debris and particulate, but also chemical contaminates, and some microbes. The next filter collects odors, chemicals, metals, bacteria and pathogens. I think mine is one micron. This second filter fills up very slowly. You must keep the total water current flow down because it is expensive. And you only want to use this one, and any subsequent ones, for drinking water. In contrast, your first filters are very cheap. The more stages, the cheaper the long term operation. The first filters need to pass a lot of water, and have a high capacity. For example, for showering, bathing, and cleaning, and for water consumed in the sinks, and toilet. You will need to replace this cheap one more often. Staged systems are cheap.

No matter the function, they all fit in standard size canisters, about $60 bucks. I like this feature, as I can tailor and change at will, according to needs. You just unscrew and put in any type of filter that you want. There are all kinds. You decide. Staged systems are way way more economical than single stage consumer types, and with forthought, way more effective.
RULERMAR.GIF, 1 kB This also conserns water:
I do not believe in Winterizing my RV. In eight years I never have. It is a way big stupid thing to do.

I will not drink antifreeze residues! You can get sick from the stuff. There is a lot of stupid people!

I refuse to be emptying and refilling tanks for no reason. My time is valuable. I refuse to be "purging" lines, or removing my batteries in the name of Winterizing.

Also it is a matter of philosophy and the purpose of my RV:
"The RV is ready to go at a moments notice! It is easier than winterizing, with huge benefits.
Just hop inside, it is all set, ready to go..."

"Just hop inside!"