Water Heater Odors and What to Do About Them

Why Does My Hot Water Heater Stink?

If you detect water heater odors or a lingering odor in the water itself, then there is a good chance that your tank has come down with a bacterial infection. It will smell like rotten eggs.
The most convenient way to solve this problem is to flush out the tank. Then fill it back up with fresh water and an item that will eliminate the bacteria. Use hydrogen peroxide if you can, since it is much safer. In a pinch, you can additionally use chlorine bleach.
If you have a water softener, disengage it because this can cause water heater odors to get worse instead of better. You might need to think about the installation of a powered anode rod instead of a basic sacrificial rod to control the bacteria and their associated odors.
Some online sources suggest getting rid of the sacrificial anode rod to reduce or eliminate a foul odor from a water heater. We disagree with this completely, because it might have an effect on the integrity of the water heater tank itself.
Try an installation of a aluminum/zinc anode rod to handle the problem if flushing the water heater tank does not work. The zinc will help to control bacteria levels without increasing the risks of corrosion.
In some cases you may have the foul odor at one faucet, but nowhere else in the house. In this instance, you can use a chlorine bleach solution to kill the bacteria that has built up in the drain or the basin overflow.
If you have high levels of sulfur in your local water supply, there isn’t anything you can do to prevent the odor from coming into your home’s plumbing system.
If you are uneasy with any of the inspection, maintenance, or repair tasks that your hot water heater may require get more information on water heaters at https://itsplumbingnwa.com/ or call It’s Plumbing at 479-278-2403.

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