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thor24 03-08-2006 08:03 PM

Hot water stinks
:rolleyes: Hey fellas, can someone help. I have a 52 gal electric water heater that's approx 8 years old. Lately the wife started complaining about the terrible bad smell coming from the kitchen sink. I knew it was probably the magnesium rod that finally dissintigrated. So I went and bought a new one and replaced it. I think the new one is aluminum. However the new one was not as long as the original one. Now the water is better but still has some of that foul smell. Especially in the shower. Do I need to get a longer rod, or replace the heater? I'm baffeled!

Teetorbilt 03-08-2006 08:39 PM

Did you flush it?

thor24 03-09-2006 06:32 PM

I take it you mean drain it comepletely and then refill it? No, but I'll try it this weekend. Would it help to flush it out with Clorine bleach??????

Mike Swearingen 03-10-2006 11:55 PM

You shouldn't need any bleach. Just let water run through the heater until the odor goes away. Might take about 15-20 minutes.
Good Luck!

fredcrn 05-20-2008 12:41 AM

I'm reading this with interest. My water has started smelling weird lately and I think it may be related to the water heater. What's the deal on the zink rod? I tried running the hot water out of the tank. That clears up the odor briefly, but it soon comes back.

Termite 05-20-2008 07:56 AM


Originally Posted by fredcrn (Post 124408)
What's the deal on the zink rod?

The anode rod is in the water heater as a sacrificial piece of metal that the minerals in the water can attack (electrolysis). Without the anode rod, the critical metal parts of the water heater would disintegrate in no time.

Flushing the water heater may work to reduce the smell. There are likely a lot of deposits in the bottom of the tank after 8 years. It must be the smell of the deposited minerals in the water, because I wouldn't think that the water could go sour at the high temperature of a water heater.

pipefitter 05-20-2008 02:00 PM

I know no-one does it but it is recommended that hot water heaters be flushed once a year. They say it will add years to its life

NateHanson 05-20-2008 02:15 PM


Originally Posted by thor24 (Post 9133)
I take it you mean drain it comepletely and then refill it?

No, not drain it and fill it. Just leave the water supply to the heater on, turn off the element (optional but saves energy), screw a garden hose to the drain spigot at the bottom of your tank, and open that drain. Keep draining until the water has come out clear for a couple minutes. Then just shut the drain, turn on the element and you're done. I've heard you are supposed to do this every year.


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