Smelly Hot Water

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    • #272479

      We are experiencing a “rotten egg” smell from two hot water tanks that are not used very often. Does anyone out there have a solution?

    • #285803

      To follow is a reply I submitted to a problem similiar to yours. Hope this helps. Marty wrote on 05 February 2000 at 06:40 AM:
      Hi Jeff: Found an article regarding your particular problem, so it may be long but it might help you>The rotten egg smell is derived from hydrgen sulfide gas dissolved in the water. As little as 1PPM can result in this odour.The smell is the result of 4 factors which must be present for the odor to develop in the water heater. 1: high conc. of sulfate in the raw water. 2: there must be little or no dissolved oxygen in the water. 3: there must be sulfate reducing bscteria within the heater. this bacteria is non-toxic to humans. 4: there must be an excess of active hydrogen in the tank. this is being provided by the cathodic action of the anode. with these factors hydrogen sulfidegas is formed, which gives off the rotten egg smell in the water. Active use of the heater will reduce the problem but idle water heaters such as no use as a result of vacation, etc.. will allow the accumulation of the gas and add to the odor problem. Water softening also aggravates the odor problem by eliminating clorine and increasing the bacteria in the supply. In many situations the smelly water condition is not experienced until after a softener is installed. Smelly water can most easily be eliminated or reduced by replacing the anode with one of less active material( magnesium to aluminum) and then chlorinating the water heating system. Do not remove the anode, thus leaving the tank unprotected. By doing so you void all warrenty on the heater. Removal of the anode does not affect safe operation but will shorten the water heater life as the anode acts as a sacrifical rod thus slowing down the corrosion process. Well, there you go. I hope this helps. I need a rest!! Good luck. Marty

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