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Old 04-22-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
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Hot water smells bad

What can be done to remove the rotten egg smell from the hot water? I have flushed the water heater with fresh water but the smell returns.

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Is the smell the same for both gas-heated and electric heated water? If it's just electric, then it may be that the electric heating element needs changing.

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Old 04-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #3
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Test outside water supply for sulfur content. Test kits available at most hardware stores.
Rotten egg Smell is caused by sulfate bacteria and low chlorine residuals in the water. Turn off water pump. Add chlorine to water tanks that fills water heater. Drain water heater, Replace magnesium anode rod with aluminum or zinc rod (if the tank has a rod), Drain hot water tank and add bottles of peroxide to hot water tank to kill bacteria. Re-install plug and refill with cold water.

Clean Water Store: How To Eliminate Water Heater Odors
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:33 AM   #4
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You stated that you flushed it out, did you rinse out the bottom of the tank with the special little swizzle stick. When the tank is drained some water is still in it due to the tank being rounded and the drain is above the bottom. That is where the "yuck" builds up.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:04 AM   #5
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Sanitize the entire fresh water system with bleach. You'll find many threads here as to how and how much. Here's just one: Sanitize with bleach
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:08 AM   #6
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Do you have a Suburban water heater? If so, the anode rod is probably spent and needs to be changed.

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Old 04-23-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the answers.

I removed the plug from the bottom of the tank and turned on the city water, flushed for 5 minutes, then reinserted the plug. Now we only have a quick smell of the odor, and it is not as strong as before. The neighbor suggested pouring vinegar in the tank and leaving it for 3-4 hours, then flushing the tank again.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:20 AM   #8
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I like the vinegar idea .It works for a lot of things . I had that problem last year but it went away on its own after a couple of days . If you do a search there was a previous post on this .Something a bout installing a ion rod .
I can't quite remember .
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:59 PM   #9
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UPDATE --Hot water smells bad---UPDATE

I want to post the results of our bad smelling water corrective action. 1st we added 5 gal of vinegar and 5 gal of water to the Atwood water heater, turned on the electric switch and allowed the water to come to temp. We then opened all the hot faucets and let the hot water flow until it was cool. we flushed the tank 3 times allowing it to drain through the bottom plug hole. We them added bleach to the fresh water tank and pumped this mixture through all the water systems. We allowed the water heater to get the water hot and ran this through the system. After this treatment we no longer smell the odor when we run the hot water.

Thanks to all who offered suggestions, we appreciated them all.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the update. Glad you got rid of the smell.


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