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Old 05-16-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
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another question about sulphur smell in hot water


Ok I have been reading and reading about this issue . This is a water heater issue not sulfar in the well water. And it seams my case is not solved by the most obvious fixes. I have lived at this property for 45 years, but last year I had to drill a new well the first went dry. We have 2 houses on property one with conventional water heater very old at least 25 plus years powered by electric , the other house had hot water heated by oil furnace. The well was purified after installation and tested bacteria free several times.

6 months after new well. First water heater went bad and was replaced, within a few months it had sulfar smell . We tested the well water and came back no bacteria , no sulfar etc. It was in hot water only. Very high mineral content. We thought the old rod had long ago wasted away and the old tank just did not produce the smell. First we shocked the new tank with bleach and it corrected issue for a few months. Also want to note water temp is 150 degrees above the recommended 140 degrees. Rod was not replaced since installation is very hard would take many hours of labor cost to remove and get to it.


Then The other house got a conventional water heater and again within a month had the smell also. When that happened we changed the anode rod with one recommended by manufacturer to correct issue and shocked the tank using peroxide this time hearing it was safer .We also tested well water a 2nd time came back free of bacteria. It worked for about 4 weeks.
Now its back again .
The plumber wants to install a ultraviolet sterilizer on the system. He says even though the bacteria was not found in water test it has to be bacteria causing this. But we have water temp coming out at over 150 degrees. My logic says that will not help.

Please give any advice. For now we just keep shocking the tanks until we can find a better solution. May also go back to oil furnace heat of water on one house. But need to fix the other tank .

Is the level of bacteria needed to cause this very low and not detectable in

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Old 05-16-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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another question about sulphur smell in hot water


Do you by chance have a water softener on the system.?

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Old 05-16-2012, 09:30 PM   #3
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another question about sulphur smell in hot water


Water softener on system at one house but not at other. both new water heater tanks have the same issue . The 2nd house water line is before water softener , the 2nd water heater is after.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #4
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another question about sulphur smell in hot water


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Originally Posted by RSCHLITZ View Post
Then The other house got a conventional water heater and again within a month had the smell also. When that happened we changed the anode rod with one recommended by manufacturer to correct issue and shocked the tank using peroxide this time hearing it was safer .We also tested well water a 2nd time came back free of bacteria. It worked for about 4 weeks. Now its back again .
Do you still have the original anode rod? If so, maybe try this test:

----------
OBJECT IS TO TEST WATER HEATER WITHOUT ANY ANODE ROD:
Get the original anode rod that you removed and cut the anode completely off from the 1-1/16" hex head. Install this dummy hex head in place of the current anode rod that you recently installed. This results in no anode rod in your heater. Shock the tank using peroxide again. See if the smell returns.

Since the smell previously returned after 1 month, if the smell doesn't return after 3 months, would you agree that interaction of the heated water with the anode rod is causing the smelly hot water?

If you do agree, then maybe consider installing a Rheem Marathon water heater. The Marathon water heater's tank is made out of polybutene so cannot rust or corrode. Therefore it doesn't use an anode rod which in turn won't produce smelly water due to anode rod interaction with the water.
----------

If the "no anode rod" test was positive and you think the suggestions above will work for you, and since you already bought a new water heater, you could:

.... 1. Run your current water heater without an anode rod until it corrodes and then replace it with a Marathon water heater. (If you don't do this, be sure to reinstall the removed anode rod right away to protect your water heater's tank.)

.... 2. Replace your current water heater now with a Marathon heater and wait a sufficient number of months to verify whether it appears to be a permanent fix. If so, then sell the heater you removed on Craigslist since it is still fairly new. This should offset your costs somewhat. (Don't forget to reinstall the good anode rod before you de-install the heater so the tank will still be full of water. The weight of the water will aid in removing the dummy hex head and installing the good anode rod.)

The Marathon water heater is made by Rheem and is touted to be the last water heater you will have to buy for your home, so it might be a good investment if you did buy one. Here's a link to a brochure for the Marathon water heater:

http://www.rheem.com/documents/marat...athon-brochure

Please note that this is only a suggestion and there are no guarantees that buying a Marathon water heater will be a permanent solution to your smelly water problem. But maybe worth a shot if the "no anode rod" test works?

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 05-17-2012 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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another question about sulphur smell in hot water


Thanks for the tip
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Old 08-25-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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another question about sulphur smell in hot water


Water smell is usually generated by a decomposing sacrificial anode. When the minerals in the water oxidize with a sacrificial anode made of magnesium you will definitely get the smell. By super heating your tank to 150 degrees you are causing oxidization to occur at a much higher rate.

There are a few ways to go about it: Lower water the temperature to 120-125 degrees, use descaling equipment & filters before the water is entering the water heaters, or install a Marathon water heater. It is made of polybutane fiber that is corrosion resistant, so the tank does not need a sacrificial anode. Hope this makes sense.

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