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Thread: New water heater:strong sulfur smell

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  1. #1

    Question New water heater:strong sulfur smell

    After installing a new Reliance 606 gas water heater , the hot water smells very strong. 1 person suggested removing or replacing the "anode rod". Is this a simple procedure?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    With a new tank, it should be easy to replace the anode with a different type. It depends on how much vertical room you have what configuration you need. They make replacement ones with a segmented body so you don't need as much room above.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    it should be easy to replace the anode
    Yeah, but every one I've replaced has been a B*tch to get out. If you know someone with a torque-amplifier wrench attachment (BIG bucks), plan on borrowing it. Otherwise, you might get by with a LONG breaker bar (leave the WH filled so it won't dance around), or an impact wrench (last resort, IMHO).

    If you Google "smell anode rod water heater" you'll get over 4,000 hits of advice.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Yeah, but every one I've replaced has been a B*tch to get out. If you know someone with a torque-amplifier wrench attachment (BIG bucks), plan on borrowing it. Otherwise, you might get by with a LONG breaker bar (leave the WH filled so it won't dance around), or an impact wrench (last resort, IMHO).
    An impact wrench would be my first choice!

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    I did mine gently with a long breaker bar, and I would not be at all inclined toward shocking a water heater with impacts from a powered wrench. However, you might find that replacing the anode will *not* stop the odor as well as would getting your heater's internal temperature above 140* F. Along with keeping my "whole house" filters fresh, that is what I ended up having to do.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    I did mine gently with a long breaker bar, and I would not be at all inclined toward shocking a water heater with impacts from a powered wrench.
    You have a very common misconception about Impact Wrenches shocking things. Many years ago I was trying to loosen a nut holding a pully on a shaft. There was an allen socket at the end of the shaft and I wasted a lot of time with an allen wrench in it trying with a wrench to loosen the nut. Cheater bars and the whole bit. I finally went to my brother in law who was an auto mechanic for help. He told me to hold onto the 5" pulley with my bare hands while he put an impact wrench to that nut! I asked him WTF are you crazy and was told shut up and do it! He then spun that nut off in 2 seconds and I didn't feel a thing. Impact wrenches shock the nut not what its in or, on.

    I stand by my post that Impact wrenches are the tool of choice for removing a anode rod!

    Here is a link to some information on sulphur odors in water.http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterOdors.htm

  7. #7

    Default new hot water heater smell

    Thank You to all for your replys. I removed the anode rod without difficulty and the smell disappeared within hours. A Special Thanks to Terry Love for providing this site.

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Did you replace the anode rod with a different type?

    Hope you didn't just remove it...

    Might want to check out www.waterheaterrescue. com

    more info on anode rod replacement than you can shake a stick at.

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Good site, but they're pretty proud of their anode rods. Google {"anode rod" smell} and you'll find other sites where a straight aluminum rod can be had for $20 plus shipping.

    Also check out:

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=924
    Last edited by Mikey; 02-05-2008 at 02:28 PM.

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