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Larry M 06-09-2012 08:40 AM

Hot Water Heater Smell
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Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 89970)
...but does it have a tad rotten egg smell?

Depending on the manufacturer/model of the water heater...some when the anode rod goes bad...your water smell like that for quite awhile...

How does a magnesium anode go bad and cause the water to smell? :confused: Could the smell be a result of inactive use? We have anode in our 12 gallon Raritan hot water heater that gets change periodicly, although I haven't figured the correct frequency yet. We've never had any smell.

Here's one that was 4 plus years old when I changed it.

psneeld 06-09-2012 09:12 AM

not sure to tell you the truth...but it was a hot topic on the tavel trailer/rv forums a few years back when I was into rving...

here's why I guess...maybe NOT because it is bad?

How is hydrogen sulfide gas produced in a water heater?
A water heater can provide an ideal environment for the conversion of sulfate to hydrogen sulfide gas. The water heater can produce hydrogen sulfide gas in two ways - creating a warm environment where sulfur bacteria can live, and sustaining a reaction between sulfate in the water and the water heater anode. A water heater usually contains a metal rod called an "anode," which is installed to reduce corrosion of the water heater tank. The anode is usually made of magnesium metal, which can supply electrons that aid in the conversion of sulfate to hydrogen sulfide gas. The anode is 1/2 to 3/4 inches in diameter and 30 to 40 inches long.

Keith 06-15-2012 05:45 AM

I've got mine set for a four year replacement. Most people don't even know there IS one.

psneeld 06-15-2012 05:51 AM


Originally Posted by Keith (Post 90693)
I've got mine set for a four year replacement. Most people don't even know there IS one.

true..but some don't have them..just another wonder of the world.. :facepalm:

rwidman 06-15-2012 08:14 AM

"Hot water heater smell"

Why would you want to heat "hot water"? ;)

rwidman 06-15-2012 08:20 AM

Water heater anodes usually last the life of the tank. Why? Because once the anode is consumed, the tank begins to corrode. :ermm:

That said, the average homeowner or boatowner doesn't check or replace the anode in the water heater either because he/she doesn't know there is one or because the labor involved in replacing the anode is as much as replacing the entire water heater. In many installations, the water heater must be disconnected and moved or tilted to replace the anode.

Nomad Willy 06-15-2012 10:54 PM

I wonder if my terrible smell in our hot water is related to what's been said on this thread. Mine dosn't smell rotten at all but it's a very bad smell. I put a lot of RV antifreeze in it this winter. I wonder if the RV AF loosened up old residue on the bottom of the tank. My hot water is unusable now. There's been no problem in the past. The hot water heater is about the only thing we haven't replaced since and during the refit of 06. And I have no idea if my tank has an anode in it.

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