Confused by H2S on Hot water

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Zenon2cubed

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My water heater tripped the breaker out of the blue, so I figured being 10 yrs old it was time for a tune-up. I purchased an Aluminum (Aluminum Zinc actually) anode and two replacement heating elements. When I removed the anode I was surprised to see only a plug and assumed my extremely hard water had corroded the old one away entirely, we've only lived here one year so I don't know all the history of the water heater.

To my surprise we began getting an H2S smell from the hot water. I expected this couldn't be caused by the Aluminum anode so I did some looking around and found that our 125 F setting would allow SRB to proliferate so I turned up the set-point to 140+ F and warned the wife to be easy on the left handle... After a week of thermal sterilization the odour is unchanged and the water has earned the title "bog of eternal stench".

A water test is attached, I currently have just a water softener.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Reach4

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Some replace the anode with a plug when new to keep from supporting SRB. Consider a powered anode.

Sanitizing your well and plumbing will reduce SRB considerably, but how long varies. I think it can be quite a while (not putting a number to it) if done intensely, but wells differ. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my sanitizing write-up. It may be too cold already, but start accumulating the supplies for spring.

You have a lot of hardness and a significant amount of iron. You also have plenty of sulfate to feed SRB. I would add Iron Out to the brine tank. There are other things that also help the softener deal with iron.
 

Zenon2cubed

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There's no H2S smell on the cold water, I sanitized for 3 days using your method in august.

I'm confused by the smell because everything I read indicates the aluminum anodes won't do this, previous to the aluminum anode there was no smell. I thought maybe the Aluminum/Zinc had something to do with it.
Do you have any information on the powered anode?
 

Reach4

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Initially I did not like the Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rod, because its electrode was stubby. However they stopped selling the one that I have, so that is certainly worth considering. It is going to be a lot better than a plug. Made in Canada, so you won't have the customs thing.

Aluminum+zinc does not nourish the SRB as much as the magnesium, but it still does. See https://www.waterheaterrescue.com/troubleshooting/smelly-hot-water.html thinks, but they still provide metal ions for the SRB.
 

Zenon2cubed

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Thanks, I ordered a Corro-Protect.
I guess worst case scenario it does the same thing a plug would.
 

ditttohead

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I can tell you that I have recommended powered anodes for years and >95% of the time the problem is corrected. I am sure you will be happy with it. Please let us know how it works out for you.
 

Zenon2cubed

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Yesterday I dumped a bottle of hydrogen peroxide into the tank and replaced the Aluminum-Zinc anode with the Corro-Protect and let the peroxide sit for a couple hours before re-pressurizing the tank. When I first drew water there was a lot of dark brown water that cleared after a few gallons. A day later the sulfur is still gone, I expect this to remain the case, if not I will report back.
Thanks for the help!
 

John Gayewski

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Yesterday I dumped a bottle of hydrogen peroxide into the tank and replaced the Aluminum-Zinc anode with the Corro-Protect and let the peroxide sit for a couple hours before re-pressurizing the tank. When I first drew water there was a lot of dark brown water that cleared after a few gallons. A day later the sulfur is still gone, I expect this to remain the case, if not I will report back.
Thanks for the help!
Yes hydrogen peroxide is the fix for bugs in your hot water if your not going to circulate the water at temps hot enough to keep them away.
 

Zenon2cubed

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At the moment I'm holding the tank close to 150F, the peroxide was my idea of treating the 40 gallons already in the tank. If the powered anode continues to be effective WRT the odour, I'll drop down to 140F. Now that I've researched the temps needed to neutralize pathogens, 120F just doesn't seem like a safe idea in non-chlorinated water.
 

John Gayewski

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At the moment I'm holding the tank close to 150F, the peroxide was my idea of treating the 40 gallons already in the tank. If the powered anode continues to be effective WRT the odour, I'll drop down to 140F. Now that I've researched the temps needed to neutralize pathogens, 120F just doesn't seem like a safe idea in non-chlorinated water.
Think about adding a recirculation line and pump to keep the water hot enough in the piping.
 

WorthFlorida

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At the moment I'm holding the tank close to 150F, the peroxide was my idea of treating the 40 gallons already in the tank. If the powered anode continues to be effective WRT the odour, I'll drop down to 140F. Now that I've researched the temps needed to neutralize pathogens, 120F just doesn't seem like a safe idea in non-chlorinated water.
Keeping the WH at 140 degrees it is highly suggest to install a thermostatic mixing valve such as a Cash Acme tank booster. There are several brands. Tap water will be at 120 and the WH can be set higher than 140 if needed.
 

Reach4

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Keeping the WH at 140 degrees it is highly suggest to install a thermostatic mixing valve such as a Cash Acme tank booster. There are several brands. Tap water will be at 120 and the WH can be set higher than 140 if needed.
Now think about the OP thinking of running 140F water to the switchback point of the recirc system to keep SRB from growing in the hot pipe(s) there. I don't know that anybody has attempted that. Did I misunderstand?
 
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