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Old 08-31-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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water heater problem

Hello everyone, I'm a newbie so bear with me.
I have a gas (propane) water heater and once a year, around fall my hot water from my sink or shower gets a bad oder from the hot side of sink or shower faucet. Not noticable on the cold side. I've traced this back to the hot water heater.It smells bad in the tank.I am on well water and a few people have told me its the well water turning over?(what does this mean?) One guy said it does this in the spring and fall and that you would notice the oder when it does this. I have drained the tank and cleaned the anode rod in the tank, still smells bad.Should I and how would I clean the inside of the tank? Has anyone heard of this, and what can i do to make it smell better? We dont drink the water but we wash clothes and take showers in it. Also we have a water softener and an in line filter that I change about every other month. Oh yeah, the water heater is 3 years old.


Last edited by ssikguitar; 08-31-2009 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:08 AM   #2
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Often, odors are caused by the wrong type material on the anode rod, but that is normally constant, either not a problem or always bad. Not sure about only occasionally bad. Well water is subject to the ups/downs of mother nature, but the deeper the well the fewer problems. How deep is your well??.


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Old 09-01-2009, 08:34 AM   #3
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Even after you try to clean out the inside of the tank, the next tankful of water will react with parts inside the tank and perhaps increasingly so upon being heated. Just wait until Mother Nature changes the composition of the water and the problem goes away by itself as it did last year.

Now you could drain the tank and remove the anode rod and have a plumber put down a tiny video camera to see if algae or other organic matter has started to accumulate or even grow inside the tank. You will have to be careful about what kind of solution you use to clean this off since the coating inside the tank could be damaged.

They make anode rods in both aluminum and magnesium to among other things combat water odors. Magnesium gives better tank protection. If you do change out the rod depending on the season, you do need to have some rod in there all the time, and change it back to magnesium for most of the time.

If you do drain the tank, turn off the burner first and don't fire up the burner again until you have let the tank refill and water is flowing from an open hot water faucet.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 09-01-2009 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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water heater problems?

I have an old brick lined well and it is about 25-30 foot deep.
About 8ft round and the pump is about 3ft from the bottom.
We have had quite a bit of rain this year and it always seems to be coming at an inch or more every time it rains. Last week alone in 3 days I had 4 1/2" inches of rain. I do have a stong spring that feeds the well, so with rain like that I'm sure it would stir things up a bit.
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