Stinky hot water from well

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  #1  
Old 07-06-03, 08:03 AM
joyce7
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Stinky hot water from well

I am asking this question for my sister. They have a well and have an odor coming from their hot water, not from cold water. This is what they have done trying to correct the problem but it keeps coming back:

New water softner
New hot water heater and removed the rod
New well holding tank
Shocked the water

With each change, the hot water heater has been emptied and the smell has gone away for about a week and then comes back. This smell is kind of like a sulfa smell but they do not have sulfa water. They have had the water tested and it does have a high iron content.
Could something be happening in the hot water tank to create this smell, because the cold water doesn't smell?

Thanks for your time,
Joyce7
 
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  #2  
Old 07-06-03, 09:43 AM
Plumbrich
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Anode rod in water heater is the main couse of hot water smells and gases.In your post you said you removed rod is this the rod you are speaking of? Also did this happen suddenly? What kind of water pipes do you have? HoW hot is your water?If you did change the anode rod from what material? To what material?
 
  #3  
Old 07-06-03, 02:40 PM
joyce7
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Yes, the anode rod is the rod that was removed. It was removed and not replaced by anything. This smell didn't come on suddenly, they bought the house in December and they have noticed the smell since then. The water pipes are copper and galvinized iron and the temperature is set between warm and hot. There is no temperature gauge on the hot water heater.

Thanks again,
Joyce7
 
  #4  
Old 07-06-03, 03:35 PM
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Cool

In this case, it isn't the anode rod.
She most likely has a smelly, but harmless, bacteria in her well water that builds up in a well-and-pump water heater when they are not used for a while.
Common problem sometimes, when a house with a well sits up.
Frist, try to flush the system with cold water for 15-20 minutes to see if it will go away.
If not, they are going to have to decontaminate the well, the water heater, and the pipes in the whole house.
(Replace that anode rod.)
Here's how (turn off the ice maker):
1. Turn off the power to the well pump.
2. Open the wellhead (or anywhere on the suction side of the check valve).
3. Pour in 3-4 gallons of bleach, seal it back tightly using teflon tape on all male threads, and fire the pump back up.
4. Run ALL faucets in the house, especially the hot water, until you smell the bleach water running out.
5. Shut everything off once you have the bleach water everywhere.
6. Let sit overnight.
7. Flush the whole system the next morning until there is no bleach odor.
Voila! The well, water heater, pipes, etc. will be decontaminated!
NO odor.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
  #5  
Old 07-06-03, 04:53 PM
joyce7
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Thanks for the reply, Mike.
They have already done the procedure you talked about. They had a person from a well company come out and he did that procedure. It did work for about a week and then the smell came back.
After each step they did (see my first note) the smell went away for about a week and then it comes back.
She is just at the end of her rope as to what to do now. And again, their water is not sulfer water.

Thank you for your time and suggestions.


Joyce7
 
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Old 07-06-03, 09:14 PM
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Cool

Based on everything that you've told us, I am still convinced that the problem is bacteria.
Have the water tested for bacteria by the Health Department.
Depending upon the type of bacteria (such as iron bacteria), bleach concentrations may need to be even higher.
Sometimes, it is necessary to decontaminate a system more than once, if the problem is bad enough, which it obviously is.
Galvanized pipes have a lot of scale that builds up in them, and this scale absorbs water and the bacteria in it, and this also may be why it is harder to get rid of the bacteria.
A repeated shock treatment as I first described should solve it. One more longer one should do it. Let the bleach stay in at least 24 hours with the next one.
Tell your sister to do it while on vacation if they can. The longer the bleach stays in the system, the better.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
  #7  
Old 07-06-03, 09:18 PM
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Replace the magnesium anode rod with an aluminum anode rod.
 
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