June 24, 2018, 11:35:34 PM

Author Topic: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?  (Read 4986 times)

Offline Busnut83

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Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« on: June 27, 2013, 04:28:22 PM »
I have tried leaving the tank heated and not heated...  Always filter the water going in the water tank????  the cold does not have the odor?  What will stop the smell...

Offline luvrbus

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 04:35:55 PM »
That is caused by the anode rod in the tank some remove it but it shortens the life of the tank when removed
Life is short drink the good wine first

Offline plyonsMC9

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 04:42:10 PM »
What luvrbus said.  Also - sometimes the manufacturer will sell an alternate anode rod which may not react with an odor to the chemicals in the water.  If you are able to refill w/ water from a different source you will likely not have the same problem.  Usually has happened to us w/ water from a well.  We have LOTS of experience fighting that battle. 

Hope this helps, Phil



Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9

Offline Nick Badame Refrig/ACC

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 05:27:47 PM »
Hi Busnut,

luvrbus & Phil are spot on...

I only want to add that they can also be a pita to get out of your tank if they are

corroded too bad. Nevertheless, it will be on the lower side of your tank near the

heating element. It should have a bolt head that you can wrench out.

Good Luck
Nick-

Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
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Offline Gerry H

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 05:32:11 PM »
My well water and many folks I know also have that problem. I believe it's sulfur dissolved in the water. Sometimes you can beat it by changing your magnesium rod to aluminum, or - I changed my rod to a high temp plastic plug which may shorten the life of the tank, (the rod has a purpose) but no stinky water. It's a chemical/electrical thing with the metal rod and the water. Best of luck Gerry H
Forest Lake, Minnesota
Land of 10,000 mosquitoes and a few cool buses

Offline paul102a3

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2013, 09:29:39 PM »
You can sometimes work around it by cranking up the temp in the tank. We are on a well at home and have this problem when we come back from a trip.

I crank the tstats up to 180 for a couple of days and the smell goes away. 180 is too hot for normal use so after a couple of days I turn them down to normal 120 range and no smell for 2 or 3 weeks. After a while, the smell comes back and I then repeat the high heat for a couple of days.

My problem is the anode is not replaceable in my water tank.

Hope that work for you.

Paul
2001 Prevost XL II

Offline Rick 74 MC-8

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 04:43:14 AM »
Just add a small amount of chlorine bleach to the water heater  let it sit and rinse it out
Rick
About 20 Miles West Of Chicago

Offline Cary and Don

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 07:56:29 AM »
Our Eagle had been sitting when we bought it and smelled really bad.  I doubt the tank had ever been flushed. Drain the tank.  You wouldn't believe the white goo in the bottom.  Then change the rod.  It will be good for years.  Those rods are there for a reason.  Better that they rot than your tank.

Don and Cary
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Offline bevans6

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2013, 08:24:00 AM »
One of the most common cause of the smell is actually a bacteria that lives in the tank and produces a hydrogen sulphide gas.  Treating with chloride bleach works, as does just turning the temp up for a few hours so the water gets over 150 degrees, then flushing out that water.  Easy to do in a small tank.  Worth a try because it's basically free.  One other thing, if you have a tank with an anode (Suburban tanks usually do, Atwood tanks often don't) never let RV Antifreeze get in it if the anode is there.  The antifreeze dissolves the anode and you get a horrible mess of white gunk that is almost impossible to get out of the tank.

Brian
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 08:25:49 AM by bevans6 »
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Offline Cary and Don

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2013, 08:44:51 AM »
We were wondering what that goo was.  There was probably three inches of it in the bottom.

Don and Cary
1973 05 Eagle
Neoplan AN340

Offline Ed Hackenbruch

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2013, 09:04:27 AM »
 They recommend that you inspect/change the anode once a year. I had one that was completely gone in about a year and a half.
1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA

Offline Lin

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 09:13:38 AM »
Brian's bacteria theory sounds good.  The same thing happens to well people when they install water filters that were meant for city systems.  A friend of mine who is on a well, but has a 5,000 gallon tank due to fire codes, gets a bacteria smell problem if the summer is too warm.
You don't have to believe everything you think.

Offline luvrbus

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 09:26:49 AM »
Bacteria smell will be on both hot and cold water not just the hot water
Life is short drink the good wine first

Offline bevans6

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 11:11:59 AM »
The bacteria I am referring to lives on the walls of the hot water tank, so it's just hot water.  It might be present in the cold water but it doesn't grow so it doesn't create an odor.  Had it for 10 years in my last house, we could make it go away but it always came back.

Brian
1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Offline TomC

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Re: Why do my water in hot water tank have rotten odor?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2013, 11:36:48 AM »
Before you leave on a trip, run the hot water until you don't smell it. Then refill your tank. Once it is gone, you won't smell it when you actively are using the water. Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.