Rotten egg smell from Hot Water

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  #1  
Old 12-29-04, 09:53 AM
pancake27
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Question Rotten egg smell from Hot Water

Howdy!

When I run the hot water, this horrific smell of rotten eggs comes wafing thru. Very noxious...I called a plumber & he said could be a sulfur vein that found it's way into my well. He also said it would be an expensive fix as I was hoping to just drain out the hot water heater or something to that effect...any thoughts ?

Is the build up of sulfur gases dangerous other than it stinks?

Thanks,
Stinky in NY
 
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Old 12-29-04, 02:39 PM
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A "rotten egg" odor in your hot water supply only is far more likely to be a buildup of harmless, but smelly bacteria in the water heater.
If you had a hydrogen sulphide "sulphur" smell coming from your well it would be in the cold water also. Neither are harmful, just offensive.
I've gotten rid of the water heater bacteria problem before simply by just turning the power to the heater off and turning on every hot water faucet in the house and letting them run until most or all of the bacteria is flushed out of the water heater and lines.
Depending upon how bad it is, it may take 20-30 minutes until you lose the rotten egg odor.
Try that first. Plan B would be to change the water heater anode rod for another type. Sometimes those react to your well water and can cause an odor.
(And call another plumber next time...one that's not so "expensive".)
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 12-30-04, 07:58 AM
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Increasing the temp to 140f for a few hours or a day kills the bacteria. Then run off the smelly water.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 02:30 PM.
  #4  
Old 01-03-05, 05:55 AM
pancake27
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Smile Rotten Egg Smell from Hot Water

Thanks for the advice... I forgot to mention as I forgot we even had it, but we have a iron filter on our pipe. When we replaced the hot water heater a year ago, we decided not to use the filter and just bypass it. I believe there's a mega bacteria party going on in that bypassed filter. It's pretty cruddy looking but I'm gonna change that filter out first, then I'll do draining and then raise the temperture if that doesn't do it.

PS... the plumber said he'd be by to do a water sample and we haven't seen him. He also quoted me approx $3000 to get rid of the smell...For that kinda money...I'll keep the smell.

PSS...My biggest concern was if it was dangerous...glad it's not.

Thanks again & Happy NewYear
 
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Old 01-03-05, 08:11 AM
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H2S gas is dangerous and corrosive if you have enough of it and it doesn't take much for corrosion of copper etc.. Sorry to say that most plumbers don't know water treatment equipment or water quality issues and their causes. That $3k is way too much!! Try a local or internet water treatment dealer and you can test your own water for next to nothing if you buy a kit at most any big box or hardware store.

The by-passed filter can't be the problem of the odor, water can't get in or out of it. But by-passing the iron filter should be allowing iron, manganese or if it is greensand, H2S gas through and into your water. Greensand filters out H2S.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 01-04-05, 08:45 AM
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I moved a few months ago and had the exact same problem with my prior home (well water as well). I had the iron filtration system and a new hot water heater. The sulfur smell remained if I used or bypassed the iron filtration system. I was told by a plumber that the smell was caused by a reaction of the well water (which was very high in minerals, especially iron) and the rods within the hot water heater.

We sold our house prior to doing anything about the sulfur smell and the new homeowners were not concerned or didn't notice it so I can't say for sure if that will fix it. If you are still stuck I would try that first as it should not cost much.
 
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Old 02-07-05, 01:48 PM
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My plumber relieved me of $600 to fix my well's sulfur smell problem. He said that holding tank bladder was made of rubber and was dry rotting. He replaced the holding tank later and bleached the well "just in case"...the smell was gone for a year...then it came back. I called a well water testing place and they said, "Bleach the well to kill the bacteria". It worked. Smell was gone for two years this time. I do it when the sulfur smell starts coming back (about every two years). Note: Make sure to run off bleach water from an outside spigot and not through a house faucet. You don't want to send the bacteria-killing water to your septic tank, where you want bacteria. BTW, this plumber is no longer in business.
 
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Old 02-11-05, 06:58 PM
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Shocking a well can make certain bacteria problems in the well worse and reduced production. When some bacteria are disturbed they produce slime which protects them from bacteria. Then the slime hardens into an encrustation. Shocking can also cause serious pump and water quality problems such as the creation of chlorine disenfection by-products called THMs; some are carcinogens.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 02:29 PM.
  #9  
Old 02-15-05, 08:15 PM
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annode rod

Simple fix........shut off water, pull annode rod from water heater, cut off rod from plug, pour about a capfull of unscented bleach in heater, instert plug, go on with your life!
 
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Old 02-22-11, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jdp38 View Post
Simple fix........shut off water, pull annode rod from water heater, cut off rod from plug, pour about a capfull of unscented bleach in heater, instert plug, go on with your life!
Read this link before you consider not REPLACING the rod. It is there for a reason.
Sacrificial Anodes: What keeps water heaters from rusting out
 
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Old 02-22-11, 07:31 AM
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Just so your aware this post is 6 yrs old.

Mike NJ
 
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