The smell of rotten eggs is one that no one wants in their home, so when your water heater starts stinking, you want to get rid of the odor fast. Keep reading to learn why your water heater stinks and what you can do about it.
The Root of the Smell
If your water heater has an offensive odor, then here’s what is likely happening: the anaerobic bacteria that sometimes exists in water react to sulfur, aluminum, and magnesium sacrificial anodes, which are all found in the rod that’s screwed into the top of the tank. This produces hydrogen sulfide gas, which is responsible for the overpowering rotten egg odor.
The Quick Fix
Fortunately, there’s a fast, cheap, easy, and environmentally safe fix when your water heater is stinking. It won’t solve the problem forever, but it offers temporary relief from the smell.
First, shut off the cold water valve connected to the water heater. Then, you’ll need to turn on the hot water somewhere in your house to relieve some of the pressure in the tank.
Next, disconnect the metal hose and pour hydrogen peroxide (available at any drugstore) into the opening, using a funnel to prevent spillage. You should pour in about a cup of peroxide for every 10 gallons of hot water the tank holds; for example, if you have a 50-gallon tank, you should pour in five cups of peroxide. Reconnect the metal hose and turn the cold water valve back on to refill your tank. The hydrogen peroxide will kill the bacteria responsible for the foul smell, giving you a temporary break from the odor.
Avoiding the Odor in the Future
Unfortunately, if this has happened once, you’ll likely face the problem again. At Morrison Plumbing, our licensed plumbers have years of experience in working with water heaters. We can provide a thorough inspection of your water heater to properly diagnose the problem, and then we’ll fix the issue so that you can enjoy hot water without the offensive smell. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide or to schedule your appointment.