If you notice a foul rotten egg smell when you turn on your hot water, then the problem can likely be traced back to your water heater. The problem is likely to continue, especially if you decide not to address the problem. If the issue is already quite problematic, then there are a few simple things you can do to try to resolve it. Keep reading to learn how.
Replace The Anode
Rotten egg smells are usually caused by bacterial activity as well as the sulfur naturally contained in your water. The sulfur and bacteria naturally interact with one another. This does not usually create a problem. However, when the byproducts of the sulfur eating bacteria come into contact with an aluminum and magnesium anode, hydrogen sulfide gas is created. The gas then enters the water heater outlet pipe and releases from the faucet when you turn on your hot water.
One of the simplest ways to keep the odor at bay is to replace the traditional anode with one made with zinc. The zinc helps to counteract the production of the hydrogen sulfide.
Before you purchase a replacement anode, you should remove the old one. Anodes come in a variety of different lengths. It is wise to match the length of the old anode or to find one that is a bit longer. This helps to keep the exposed metal in the water tank as protected as possible. The anode does not simply prevent smells; it is meant to degrade slowly so exposed steel in the tank does not have the opportunity to.
Remove the anode by simply screwing it off from the top of the tank. Secure the new anode in the opening once you purchase it.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Since the bacteria in your water heater are directly responsible for the formation of the hydrogen sulfide, you can reduce odors simply by killing the microorganisms. There are several ways you can do this, but the safest is to pour hydrogen peroxide in the water heater. You can gain access to the top of the tank through the anode opening. This is usually the easiest place to add it.
You will need to add several containers of peroxide to kill the bacteria. If you have an average sized tank, then about five containers of the peroxide will do the trick. Once the peroxide is added, you should wait an hour or more before using hot water. Hydrogen peroxide is safe as long as it is food grade and diluted. You can use your water normally after adding the peroxide.
For more info, contact a company like Vets 4 You Plumbing Heating & Air.