Question before purchasing powered anode – Awful smell, black water

The Tank Question before purchasing powered anode – Awful smell, black water

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    I am pretty sure I need to purchase your powered anode rod for my issue, but I just want to check and make sure I don’t have another problem because I have a strange issue going on…

    I have a 75 Gallon A.O. Smith GPVX gas water heater manufactured in March of 2014. Our hot water always has had a slight rotten egg smell, but the issue has gotten a lot worse in the recent months. It is now really bad and occasionally the water comes out black.

    I thought maybe there was an issue with my water softener (which is only a year old), so I bought a test kit and tested the cold water. It was not hard at all. I then tested the hot water, and it was fairly hard, almost as hard as the water before going through the softener (I am sure the water going into the water heater tank is passing through the softener).

    Have you heard of this before? Can the reaction with the current anode rod be causing the hard water test to fail, or do I have a bigger issue? Another reason that I thought of was maybe the tank is just too big for the amount of hot water we use (it is just my girlfriend and I, but we have a 5 bathroom house) and the water is getting stagnant. Or maybe hard water got into the water heater during a recharge and now it has ruined the water heater?

    Thanks so much in advance, hoping I can just purchase your powered anode and feel clean after showering again!

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: I think the problem stems from having a tank that’s oversized for your needs. Unless there is a big tub, you could likely get by with a 30 gallon tank. Odor will happen because two people don’t use enough hot water to turn over the volume of the tank daily.

    Both for odor and tank protection in softened water reasons, I agree that installing a powered anode is a good idea. 😉

    Yours, Larry

    Randy Schuyler

    The black water is probably from an aluminum anode, and since those create a lot of corrosion byproduct, it’s not impossible it has something to do with the hardness issue. The softener will remove mineral sediment, but not something that the anode creates. Powered anodes add nothing to the water, so one will help that problem as well as protecting the tank in a softened environment.

    If you dare to remove the factory anode for a few days, you’ll know in short order if this is an anode issue or a stagnation issue. If it’s the first, the odor will vanish and not come back. If the latter, it will smell anyway.

    Randy Schuyler

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