On-going battle of sulfur smells

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Craig Easton

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I've been battling the smells of sulfur for a few years. I'm going to put everything into bullet form as I believe it will be easier.

-we are on well water
-we have very hard water pre treatment, but softener is working well
-our battle started a few years ago when we would boil our water from hot water heater it would turn yellow (note that boiling water from cold water did not turn the colour yellow)
-we had a water treatment specialist come in, he stated that hot water did have some iron in it, and cold water did not
-when we started to trouble shoot this, we realized that there was no anode rod
-the heater is a rental, they did a number of things and finally ended up replacing the hot water tank
-the new tank has a magnesium rod in it
-with a new tank, the smell would return after about 3 months, we have a 20" carbon filter, if that was changed it would last for another 3 months or so
-now the carbon filter only lasts for a couple of weeks before the smell returns
-I have removing the filter and putting in chlorine and letting it sit in the pipes/heater for a day and flushing. This didn't seem to have much of an effect.
-I added a second big blue 20" in hopes that a sediment filter would help extend the life of the chlorine filter, that did not work.

I'm not sure what my next step should be:

a) should I demand they replace the magnesium rod with an aluminum zinc? I'm not confident in that solution since it does appear that the chlorine filter is fixing the problem, but replacing it every 2 weeks is extremely expensive.
b) use a iron filter in combination of the chlorine filter, again not sure what this would do but it's one thing I haven't tried.
c) remove the rod (if you remove the rod, how do you "plug" the hole"

Would really appreciate any help, it's becoming a very frustrating problem.
 

Craig Easton

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It's probably also worth noting that the issue with boiling water from the heater still turns the water yellow. If we boil cold water, it doesn't turn yellow (original problem). Our main problem is the smell though.
 
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Reach4

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a) should I demand they replace the magnesium rod with an aluminum zinc? I'm not confident in that solution since it does appear that the chlorine filter is fixing the problem, but replacing it every 2 weeks is extremely expensive.
b) use a iron filter in combination of the chlorine filter, again not sure what this would do but it's one thing I haven't tried.
c) remove the rod (if you remove the rod, how do you "plug" the hole"

The anode will only affect the hot. I would put in a "powered anode". I got the Ceranode because its length can be set to the length of the original anode. There are cheaper units that have stubby probes, and I expect that to not protect as well. I have no experience with the stubby powered anodes.

But on a rental, you could try using a brass plug. That is how you plug the hole. But I expect the rental company would not be OK with no anode on their WH.

Have you tried sanitizing your well well? https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my writeup on that.

You could also try turning your WH hotter. To produce H2S in your plumbing including the WH, I think you need SRB, sulfate (which is in your water), and metal ions such as magnesium. I think the aluminum+zinc anodes also can help make H2S, but not as effectively as magnesium.

There are other things that can treat the water for the whole house if your problem is not just hot.

I put suggested search engine terms in bold for you.
 
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