Why Does My Hot Water Heater Smell Like Rotten Eggs

Have you noticed a strange smell near your water heater?

Usually, water heaters are placed in a place that is out of the way and doesn’t get noticed unless there is a problem. You might find it in your basement or closed off in a closet depending on your home. You might pass off a strange odor around your water heater from it being tucked away in a place where it doesn’t get much fresh air, but that is probably not the case especially if you notice a smell similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. This can be caused by a larger problem.

Where Is That Smell Coming From?

One of the most common causes of the rotten egg smell is a bacteria that is in your water supply. This bacteria feeds on HS2 or Hydrogen Sulfide which is a gas that is produced from the decay of the anode rod in your water heater. Since this is a simple reaction, you will find that you can remove one of these pieces from the puzzle and make your rotten egg smell problem go away. If you are using a water supply from a municipality, then the problem should not exist as long as they are chlorinating that water supply properly, but with well water, you will not have that simple of a solution. The next step is to examine the anode rod. This is a part of the tank that exists to help prevent the metal of the tank of your water heater from rust and corrosion. It is a part of the process that the anode rod will decay rather than the tank, but this adds trace amounts of sulfur to your water supply which can feed the bacteria. To help cut down on this, you should make sure to turn your water heater off if you are going to be away for an extended period of time.

How Can I Get Rid Of The Smell Of Rotten Eggs?

Now that you are aware of the causes of the stinky water, you might be able to work out a plan on your own but let me list out the steps you want to take in order to remove the odor from your home. You might want to try just softening your water, but while that can be beneficial for many issues around your house, it will not remove the smell even though you would be spending a lot of money on putting in the system. In order to clear out the smell, you need a different approach to your plans. You could try to remove the anode rod, but not only will that void out the warranty on your water heater, but it will also make it more likely that you will have rusting and corrosion of your tank which can lead to bigger problems. Instead, you will want to run a flush of your water heater on a regular basis. This will help immensely with your stinky water problems.

How Do You Flush Your Water Heater To Clear Out Your Smelly Water?

The first step to flushing out your water heater is to drain the tank, but don’t start there because you want to make sure that the cold water supply for your water heater is turned off so that no new water enters the tank. Once the tank is drained, you will want to create a solution of two to three liters of three percent Hydrogen Peroxide to forty gallons of water in your tank. You will want to let this solution sit for a few hours so that it has time to work on all of the interior surfaces of your water heater. This will remove all of the bacteria that had been in your tank when you drained it. After this, you will want to make sure that you drain your tank again of this solution before refilling your tank. Keep in mind that this will help with the smell, but when you introduce new water, there will likely be bacteria in that water as well so you will need to do this process several times a year or whenever you start to notice that smell again.

Is There Another Solution?

You can replace the anode rod with one that uses Zinc, but you could also invest in a plastic-lined water heater that will avoid the issue with the anode rod. Whatever option you choose, there is a bit of work involved in making sure that your water heater works effectively as well as providing you and your family with a great water supply. Consider all of your options to remove the smelly water and be certain to keep the best ideas handy when you are going to start solving your stinky water problems.

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