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Thread: Hot Water Smells

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Hot Water Smells

    Hello, I recently started having a smell occur anytime running the hot water. I understand that this could be due to the anode in the hot water heater causeing a reaction with SRB's in the water. However my question is about how the bacteria could be in the water? The well is a fairly new well, I have been in the house for a little over 2 months and it was a new construction. I also I have a filtration system on the well, because I had an iron content of 1 ppm and also a presence of total coliform. The system consist of in order:

    Chlorine Injection system
    120 gal retention tank
    Catalox Iron filter
    Backwashing Carbon Filter

    My well pump can produce 10 gpm.

    Now finally for my quesiton. If my chlorination system is working correctly (I check it periodically and it maintains a Free chlorine of 1ppm) how would it be possible for bacteria to be getting through to cause the smelly water in the hot water heater? Thanks for any advice.


  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    NW Ontario, Canada


    You can recontaminate the system with your hands just touching the filter elements. In some cases people will change out the anode or remove it and risk shortening the heater's lifespan. Others will raise the temperature. I opted to raise the temperature and never get any smell on the hot water. I do sometimes get it on the cold side and need to run some bleach through the plastic cold supply lines.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Ocala, Florida


    Before putting all the equipment in service, did you allow chlorine to flow through all the piping (hot & cold)? If not, you could put all the units on bypass and run water throughout the piping system allowing chlorine to disinfect the pipes and heater.

  4. #4
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Central Florida


    I've had that problem with several water heaters, always solved with a new aluminum/zinc anode rod. My water is now being heated via a solar panel, and typically is over 160F when the sun is shining, so that may help. A temporary solution is to pour a quart or so of hydrogen peroxide into the water heater.

    FWIW, a neighbor has a Kinetico system, with hot-water smells. The Kinetico guys talked him into a Kinetico add-on filter for iron removal, and he still has the smells.

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