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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So have a lil problem here. 6 unit business complex... Water is rarely run, sits idle for days at a time. This has village supplied well water. The building does have a water softener and a gas water heater.

When you turn on the hot water, it is usually brown and smells terrible of sulfer. I have replaced the anode rod and flushed the water heater with bleach with no or little improvement. Sources on the internet have me jumping from one solution to another. What is the problem? How do I fix this? I have considered installing a new hot water heater, (this one from 2004) but i fear the problem may be with the water and not the water heater... I have also noticed brown staining in all toilet bowls and tanks, but with no smell on the cold side. Help :0

10,238 Posts
In one session probably taking no more than 20 minutes:
1. Turn off the water heater (knob in Pilot position for gas models)
2. Turn off the water.
3. Open a hot faucet.
4. Drain at least one gallon from bottom of water heater, maybe more, until water runs reasonably clear.
5. Turn water back on and wait until the open hot faucet gushes water.
6. Turn the water heater back on.

Short description of the preceding: Drain sediment from water heater tank.

Normal behavior of the anode rod may introduce odors in the hot water. Sometimes odors are reduced by substituting an aluminum anode for the better magnesium anode at the cost of shortening the life of the water heater.

Is the water softener working correctly? Not to say that all models of water softeners remove the minerals (including sulphur) that tend to cause odors.
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