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Old 10-15-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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Rotten eggs with only hot water


We moved into our home (built in '95) about 4 months ago and only in the past few weeks we have started smelling rotten eggs from all faucets and only with hot water. I did some research and I see people are saying to replace the anode rod, that the water is reacting with the anode rod and causing that smell.

My main problem with that is this anode rod's bolt head is very shallow, trying to pull as hard as I need too while trying to keep the socket on the bolt just is not working. If I don't hold the bar down, I just turn off the bolt. I've tried using some PB Blaster in hopes that it might loosen it up a bit but it has done nothing.

My boss called a plumbing buddy of his who is very familiar with the issue and told me replacing the rod is a temporary fix and that there is an issue with the water that is causing it. We do have well water but it was shocked and clear of bacteria when we closed on the house.

1) Should I be looking to use some type of electric impact wrench on the bolt? I do not have a compressor yet.

2) If the water is the culprit, would shocking the well and flushing the water heater fix the problem or has the damage already been done?

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Old 10-15-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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Rotten eggs with only hot water


i've used an impact wrench on my bolt as without it, I was just turning the water heater. Some plumbers discount the anode rod. I'd say replacing it is a lot cheaper.

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Old 10-15-2013, 06:05 PM   #3
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Impact wrench is best, if not, then 3/4inch drive socket with breaker bar - you need leverage. Shut water off to hwh, and drain out about 6 or 7 gallons of water before you start. Have someone hold onto tank. Replace anode rod with zinc rod not aluminum or magnesium. Even this is no garantee it will stop the smell, but could help.

Bacteria is the main cause. The well water is probably the culprit and will need to be addressed at some point. This is an interesting read if you have some time. (see link)

How old is the hot water heater? When was the last time it was flushed and cleaned. It may be too late, the damage may already be done. If you can, post a pic of the old anode rod you took out. Thanks.

solving rotten egg smell

Last edited by jmon; 10-15-2013 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Rotten eggs with only hot water


http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/techn...ater-odors.php
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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Impact wrench is best, if not, then 3/4inch drive socket with breaker bar - you need leverage. Shut water off to hwh, and drain out about 6 or 7 gallons of water before you start. Have someone hold onto tank. Replace anode rod with zinc rod not aluminum or magnesium. Even this is no garantee it will stop the smell, but could help.

Bacteria is the main cause. The well water is probably the culprit and will need to be addressed at some point. This is an interesting read if you have some time. (see link)

How old is the hot water heater? When was the last time it was flushed and cleaned. It may be too late, the damage may already be done. If you can, post a pic of the old anode rod you took out. Thanks.

solving rotten egg smell
I'm not sure how old the water heater is, it may be well over 10 years old, I'll have to find out. I just flushed it last weekend but just flushed it, did not use anything to clean it (like the solution in the link posted above). I think I'm going to try to attack all 3 things: shock the well, try to replace the anode rod, and do the peroxide cleaning solution in the heater. Even though it is supposedly harmless, we can't stand it. If I manage to get the anode rod out, I will post a pic. Thanks guys.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:17 PM   #6
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Rotten eggs with only hot water


I don't blame ya. Addressing all three issues at once is a good strategy, hope everything works out for you and no more smelly water. Let us know how everything works out or if you need anymore advice. Thanks.

Last edited by jmon; 10-15-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Rotten eggs with only hot water


Id check the local box stores to see if they have any hot deals on water heaters myself.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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Id check the local box stores to see if they have any hot deals on water heaters myself.
ckratz, Plummen makes a great point. It's always good to have a back-up plan just in case everything falls apart on you. Being hwh is well over 10 years old, the damage may already be done and you may not even be able to get the anode rod out. Even if you do, you may risk breaking off the hex nut, etc. Of course you won't know until your try. Just a thought.

Last edited by jmon; 10-16-2013 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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Rotten eggs with only hot water


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ckratz, Plummen makes a great point. It's always good to have a back-up plan just in case everything falls apart on you. Being hwh is over 10 years old, the damage may already be done and you may not even be able to get the anode rod out. Even if you do, you may risk breaking off the hex nut, etc. Of course you won't know until your try. Just a thought.
Do you have the head room to install a new rod?
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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Do you have the head room to install a new rod?
Very true. Good catch "E". He may have to cut the old one as he's taking it out, if there's anything left to it. Which for obvious reasons should be done very carefully. They do make new ones which are collaspsable for this purpose. However, with the hwh well over 10 years old, it may be too late.

Last edited by jmon; 10-16-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:55 PM   #11
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Rotten eggs with only hot water


http://www.sdstate.edu/abe/wri/water...-Questions.pdf

Read this and decide what works for you.

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