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Thread: smelly water heater

  1. #1

    Default smelly water heater

    I am new to this forum. We had a new Rheem
    everkleen hot water tank installed last month. Ever since, the hot water smells like a swamp. The cold water smells normal. I called the repair person out and they said they had never heard of such a thing. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Only thought that comes to mind right now...IF you have a filter...is the heaters cold supply connected before it?
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Is it gas or electric?

    Is the temp set low?

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    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    anode rod?
    Swap it out if it is causing a stink...

  5. #5
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markts30
    anode rod?
    Swap it out if it is causing a stink...

    Ya know...I'd almost bet money thats it, but it is new...(?)
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  6. #6
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If you installed it your self then you will have to deal with it BUT if you were smart and had a contractor installed it, call him back, it is his problem.

  7. #7
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    If you installed it your self then you will have to deal with it BUT if you were smart and had a contractor installed it, call him back, it is his problem.
    True that, indeed
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  8. #8
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber

    Ya know...I'd almost bet money thats it, but it is new...(?)
    I'm with you on that.

    Years ago we designed the plumbing for a 20 story high-rise on the east coast. Beautiful units, the smallest were around 2000 square feet, the largest were over 5000. After construction we get a call from the GC and building managers wanting us to fix their stinky water - hot side only.

    After doing some research we found out that they decided (after the fact) to install some super fancy whole building filter system. Told them to swap the anode rods to fix it, along with b%tching about making major changes without telling us. Anyway, the units all had 120 gallon rheems in it, which were so tightly installed that the only way to get the rods out was to cut them while removing. Couldn't put new one's in... The GC and plumbing contractors figured something out to replace them as they went bad one by one. : 5-10 year commitment...


    Sorry for the ramble....
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  9. #9
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaOrange
    I'm with you on that.

    Years ago we designed the plumbing for a 20 story high-rise on the east coast. Beautiful units, the smallest were around 2000 square feet, the largest were over 5000. After construction we get a call from the GC and building managers wanting us to fix their stinky water - hot side only.

    After doing some research we found out that they decided (after the fact) to install some super fancy whole building filter system. Told them to swap the anode rods to fix it, along with b%tching about making major changes without telling us. Anyway, the units all had 120 gallon rheems in it, which were so tightly installed that the only way to get the rods out was to cut them while removing. Couldn't put new one's in... The GC and plumbing contractors figured something out to replace them as they went bad one by one. : 5-10 year commitment...


    Sorry for the ramble....
    Done my share of commercial/large residential...all it takes one eensey weensey lil boo-boo on the engineers prints and we're busy for another 3 months.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  10. #10
    In the Trades kordts's Avatar
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    You probably have SRB in your water heater. Sulfate Reducing Bacteria. Remove the factory anode and replace with an aluminum/zinc anode. While you have the original one out, pour a bottle of hydrogen peroxide into the heater.

  11. #11
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    for tight spots, they make segmented anode rods...
    the old one has to be bent/cut to remove it, but the new one slips in fairly easily as it has joints in it...

  12. #12
    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    It may be hydrogen sulphide.
    This is caused by a biochemical reaction between sulphates in the water, sulphate reducing bacteria, a magnesium rod in the hot water heater or organic matter in the water.
    Sometimes the reaction with the magnesium rod is the cause of odor problem. The purpose of the magnesium rod is to prevent corrosion of the water heater. Removing the magnesium rod will often prevent the odor problem, but will void the warranty and lead to the possible earlier deterioration of the tank. If corrosion is a concern, the magnesium rod can be replaced with a zinc rod. Try disinfecting the tank with chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide first.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default sulphur smell

    We can't get the anode rod to budge. Do the water heater and the rod become one with age? Mine is 16 years old...

    I tried contacting the manufacturer for directions to disinfect the tank with bleach, but their number is out of service! Anyone ever heard of Richmond Miser? It has been a great water heater (gas) - very little service needed in all those years.
    Last edited by ma; 07-03-2007 at 04:31 AM.

  14. #14
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    What are you using to try and remove it?

    You should be using a 3/4" drive breaker bar and socket and maybe a cheater bar on it.

    Be sure to have the water shutoff and the pressure relieved B 4 attempting this.

    The heater being 16 years old I would be considering replacement rather than a new anode rod.
    Last edited by Cass; 07-03-2007 at 05:36 AM.

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