If you notice bad smells from your water, it is likely coming from your hot water heater. The smells commonly smell like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is produced from anaerobic bacteria mixing with the magnesium or aluminum anode rod. This can even occur in chlorinated municipal water.
You shouldn't delay fixing smell water from a hot water heater. Here are tips to fix a smelly hot water heater.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- work gloves
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- garden hose
Change the hot water heater switch to "OFF". Turn off the power to an electric water heater from the breaker. If you don't know which breaker controls the water heater, shut off the main power supply.
Turn off gas water heaters by rotating the valve to "PILOT"; using a wrench, if needed. The valve is commonly located on the bottom of the water heater. The "PILOT" setting is sufficient for draining the tank. For further safety, you can shut off the gas, but you will have to relight the pilot.
Close the cold water inlet valve on gas or electric, and let the water cool at least two to three hours. Open nearby tap to release water pressure.
Drain the Tank
Hook a garden hose to the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater. Set the other end of the hose in a tub, sink, or large bucket to catch the water. Empty enough water to make up for the bleach you will add, which is commonly a gallon of bleach per every thirty gallons of water.
Remove the anode rod, a metal rod on top of the water heater, with a wrench. If there isn't enough space to remove the rod at the top, loosen the pressure relief valve, which is a brass fixture near the drain valve.
Add the Bleach
Add the peroxide into the opening, then turn the cold water inlet back on so the tank can fill with water. Watch for water to start pouring form the taps, which indicates the tank has filled. Let the peroxide sit in the opening for about an hour.
Restore gas to heat water, if needed, and turn on the hot water in all faucets and let them run two or three minutes. Close the taps and water inlet. Turn the gas back off, then drain the tank.
After you drain the tank, open the cold water inlet, and let fresh water remain in the tank fifteen minutes, then run the taps to remove the peroxide.
Close the cold water inlet, and drain the tank and restore gas or power. To prevent bacteria, keep the temperature set at 140 degrees or slightly higher, and replace the anode rod with an aluminum rod. Consider replacing a water heater more than twenty years old.
For more information, you will want to contact a company such as First Class Plumbing of Florida Inc.