Notorious Sulfur Smell in Hot Water Heater

The Tank Notorious Sulfur Smell in Hot Water Heater

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #13174
    ahe72
    Participant

    My System:
    Well with Softener, Chlorinator, Carbon Filter in that order

    Water usage:
    Not very high because of the gross smell.

    Previous State of System:
    Previous tenants failed to maintain the system with chlorine and salt. Hot water heater is GE manufactured in 2006. Both hot AND cold water smelled disgusting.

    What I’ve done:
    Company that originally installed system came out to get system back up to par. They rebed carbon filter and added chlorine and salt. The cold water cleared up immediately but the hot water remained disgusting. They didn’t seem to have and answer for that and didn’t really want to help. They said to drain water. I drained and it worked for a week then back to smelly. I have drained it numerous times and it always comes back. I found the smellywater.com website and bought a zinc anode rod. It worked for about 3 weeks and then the smell came back. I thought it might be the softener affecting things so I stopped adding salt since lime scale wasn’t really much of a problem and it was eating major salt even after reducing the amount once. Smell is still here. This has been going on for year.

    Additional Info:
    When I boil the cold water it smells ok. The cold water in the toilet sometimes creates black build up in toilet bowl.

    Previous theory:
    I thought maybe the major amount of yellow sediment in the tank could be the problem but emailed Randy and he said no.
    I saw a post on increasing temperature of water in tank to 130. Have not figured out how to do that yet.

    #13175
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Thanks, Ahe, for posting here. Larry, when you get around to it, I want your take on this. He says he has a ton of sediment. I’m a little concerned about putting in a powered anode for fear the electrode will get buried.

    Randy Schuyler

    #13178
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I’m not sure whether yours is a gas or electric heater. If electric, both upper and lower thermostats need to be set to the same point. I’d measure water in a cup at the tap to get accurate temperature measurement. 130 degrees is good. It will scald, but takes around six seconds and any bacteria don’t appreciate it.

    If the tank is electric, removing sediment can be done with a shop vac and three foot piece of 3/4″ copper pipe taped to the end of the vacuum hose. Removing sediment and using the volume of the tank daily will both help in getting rid of odor. Softening down to 60-120 ppm hardness is good. This will reduce sediment build up in the tank and need for cleaning it out. This paves the way for a powered anode.

    You’ve got some mean water :X Getting it under control sounds doable as the odor in the cold side is gone. I’d clean out sediment, treat the water with hydrogen peroxide, put in a powered anode and use more hot!

    Yours, Larry

    #13219
    ahe72
    Participant

    Sorry it took me so long to get back and thank you guys for all your help. Now my new problem is the drain. The tank has been drained so many times that the threading is a bit sketchy . I thought I saw a replacement part using a ball valve on your website. Do you sell that? If so are they hard to install? I would love to be able to use the ball valve instead of twisting the plastic piece.

    #13221
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Generally only as part of a flush kit, as it’s uneconomical to send just the drain assembly relative to the cost of rounding up the parts at the hardware store.

    As to replacement, it’s not too hard, but best to see for yourself. Go to the homepage, click on The Basics, and then on Know-How.

    Randy Schuyler

    #13226
    ahe72
    Participant

    Well $45 isn’t bad, I’ll have to look into how to install some more. Thanks so much for all the help. I’ll definitely let people know about this site. GE was really good about promoting you also. Thanks again both of you guys….

    #13233
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Now THAT’S interesting. What did GE say about us?

    Randy Schuyler

    PS — There aren’t any assembly lines anywhere in the world for curved dip tubes. The only people who have them are me and another guy Larry Weingarten taught to make them.

    #13236
    ahe72
    Participant

    I told them about the water and that I was on a well and he told me I need to go to smellywater.com and get the zinc anode. He was very helpful. I’m not used to helpful tech support.

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