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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Ballwin, MO & 26MM
    My Ride
    226 Cobalt
    Posts
    104
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    Hot water smells like sulphur

    When we've been away from the lake for an extended period of time, a month or so, the hot water gets a strong sulphur smell to it. If I run the hot water long enough the odor goes away but then the condo stinks till it airs out. Is this due to it being a well? Is there some way to prevent it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    233
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    We have the same issue. Do you turn it off when you are gone for an extended period of time? I just drain the tank(takes about an hour) and all is good. Run hose outside so as not to stink the house up. There are ways to "clean" it by putting bleach in it. Kills the bacteria that has grown in the tank. My research turned up the anode needs replacing. Another solution I found was replacing the current anode with an electric one. I got the anode just haven't done that yet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Ballwin, MO & 26MM
    My Ride
    226 Cobalt
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    104
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    Yes. We always turn off the water heater when away. During the summer the smell is not an issue as we are down almost every weekend but off season when we are away for several months it gets bad. It is an electric water heater too

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    A tractor seat Somewhere in Iowa
    Posts
    4,859
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    Very common. Pull the anode, throw it away, plug the hole and it will be fixed....Im not sure what petemag means by using an electric anode......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    ST.Peters MO,Tin Man Cove LOTO ,LEOPA
    My Ride
    330SS Formula/252BR Formula
    Age
    45
    Posts
    768
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    X2 it’s the anode common problem

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Ballwin, MO & 26MM
    My Ride
    226 Cobalt
    Posts
    104
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    So the anode is not needed? Seems like an easy fix

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    233
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    I think the anode prolongs the life of your water heater so I would not just remove it but, that's my opinion. Here is what I mean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6U8fu0oidQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE3gD8P2_r4

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Eastern Iowa/10.5mm LOTO
    My Ride
    Chaparral 256ssi
    Posts
    856
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    Turn the heat up a little, I believe 125 is the magic # you need to stay above. It’s a reaction that occurs in the tank, not a incoming water problem.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    LOTO 9MM Niangua and Marco Island Fl
    My Ride
    Intrepid, Formula, Cigarette
    Age
    55
    Posts
    3,059
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    It's the Anode, there is some kind of funky bug that likes it and the calcium-rich water we have around these parts. just pull it out, cap it and never look back.
    Ash is right.

    you'll know when you pull it and see that nasty black slime just trying to evolve into intelligent life all over the anode.
    Never liked those loud obnoxious boats, until I bought one of my own.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Wright City
    My Ride
    Challenger SV24 "RUSH HOUR"
    Posts
    414
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    I had a sulfer smell at home and the electric anode solved it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    26MM LOTO
    Posts
    677
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    An expensive alternative is to install a water heater that's not made of metal, which means it doesn't need an anode rod, and thus no chance of that sulfur smell. My 20 year-old Marathon water heater (actually I have two of them, since I have a geothermal heat pump system) is still serving me well, with one lower-element replacement about 10 years ago. It's very efficient (it's surrounded with a couple inches of insulation), and because of it's non-metallic construction, should be the only water heater I will ever need.

    Rheem now owns the Marathon brand. I see that Home Depot sells them, but as I said, they're not cheap: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-Ma...0245/205466186

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    265
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    I just flip the breaker, drain the tank and put 4-5 gallons of bleach in it. Fill it up and let it sit a couple of hours. Turn on the faucets and let them run until the bleach smell diminishes. Then it’s good to go. I did this last spring and no issues to date.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Age
    57
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    669
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLMSooner View Post
    I just flip the breaker, drain the tank and put 4-5 gallons of bleach in it. Fill it up and let it sit a couple of hours. Turn on the faucets and let them run until the bleach smell diminishes. Then it’s good to go. I did this last spring and no issues to date.
    We had this problem in our house and we put the bleach into the well and ran all the faucets until we didn't smell bleach anymore and it worked.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Illinois/LOTO
    My Ride
    Triton SF-21
    Posts
    79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    When we've been away from the lake for an extended period of time, a month or so, the hot water gets a strong sulphur smell to it. If I run the hot water long enough the odor goes away but then the condo stinks till it airs out. Is this due to it being a well? Is there some way to prevent it?
    Its sulfur dioxide. The way I keep it from happening in our camper is, before I leave I turn the water heater off then turn on the hot water at a faucet and let it run for 5-10 minutes. This cools the water down in the tank and eliminates the smell when we return.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    233
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    We haven't been down since November and I "knew" I'd have to drain the tank and the water gods must have been looking out for us. Turned on the water heater and 1/2 hour later ran hot water expecting nasty smell and no smell at all. Wahoo!!! Maybe it was a transient thing last year. I can hope anyway.

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