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Thread: Still Rotten Egg smell after replacing aluminum rods

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ArayT's Avatar
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    Default Still Rotten Egg smell after replacing aluminum rods

    Can someone tell me the source of my rotten egg smell. I replaced the aluminum rods in both water heaters & I Still have that smell. I ocassionally get the smell downstairs (which is served by a different water heater) but upstairs its still real bad. I replaced the anode rods and the problem pretty much went away, but now its back. Had the water tested in 09 these are the results. Calcium 62.2 ppm, iron .25 ppm, magnesium 1.4 ppm, manganese .05 ppm, potassium .8 ppm, silica 34.76 ppm, sodium 2.9 ppm, all else was negliable. I installed a water softner just after this test and then replaced the anodes. Could gasses be traveling to the high point in the system which is upstairs? anyhelp would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Ray

  2. #2
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    I know that if there is a softener treating the water then at times the rods have nothing to do and they break down and often give off the smell..

    If you replaced them with new and it was good for awhile and now the smell is back I would say that the new rods that you put in are looking like the ones that you took out awhile back.

    Now it will go back and forth as to rods or no rods.... some say remove the rod and plug the hole, some say that you have to replace when it is doing what it is doing..

    Upstairs most likely will have it stronger if there is going to be a smell.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member ArayT's Avatar
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    I replaced the factory alum rods w/ magnesium rods. Are you saying I should totally remove the rods? What effect will this have on my water heater?
    rt

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Leaving the rods out is the great debate...........
    With out the rod it might shorten the life of the lining in the heater, but by how much is part of the great debate, some say by only a little and others say that by much more..

    There are people in my area that have removed the rod and the life on the heater has not really changed... in part it is what is in the water... some water is harder on heaters than others.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The odor is caused by reducing type bacteria (sulfate specifically but also iron) that use a hydrogen ion off the rod to create H2S gas, which rises in the system.

    You must kill the bacteria or remove the rod and if any of the rod material falls off in the heater, it's like still having the rod. Turning up the temp to 140f for a few hours will kill the bacteria but they will come back in with water as you use it. Bleach also kills them but they come back.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  6. #6
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    ArayT,

    I agree that magnesium rods would be better. But also you could have your Water softener set to soft.
    You might want to try backing off the softness setting on your Water Softness if you can.
    It will take a while before you notice a difference, because you need to purge the system and let
    it recover.

    Iron is normally the reason for the smell, but if the water is to soft it will eat the Rods Quicker.

    DonL
    Last edited by DonL; 03-31-2011 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Because I can not spell...

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