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Author Topic: Hot water smells like rotten eggs....  (Read 7358 times)
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« on: July 05, 2008, 01:53:50 PM »

Hi Guy's,

I have not had my electric hot water heater on for a few weeks and when opening up the faucet, YIKES...

smelled real bad...  It's a 12 gal electric

Any ideas as of how to fix that?

Thanks
nick-
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JackConrad
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2008, 01:57:14 PM »

Nick,
   At least down here in Florida, that rotten egg smell is from sulphur in the water.  About once a year, I drain the water heater in our bus, fill it with vinegar and turn it on for 24 hours, drain the vinegar and flush with water.  I don't remember who told me this trick, but it does seem to work.  Jack
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2008, 02:25:53 PM »

What Jack said.

The zinc anode helps to collect scum in the bottom of the tank.

You should drain it with the bottom valve and try to flush the gunk out.

Then the vinegar treatment. ( In fact using the vinegar in the main water
tank wouldn't hurt either. ) It sure works on coffee makers and other things.

I drained mine a while back and the scum was white pasty colored. I ran it until clear and put 2 gallons of vinegar in the  main water tank when it was low on water and ran it through all the pipes... Then flushed everything until the smell was gone.

There is a reason it happens.. Having copper or brass fittings is part of it.
My Pex fittings are brass and the flex tubes to the water heater are copper/brass
and with chlorine you can get some reactions. Other minerals in city and well water can also have an effect.

Dave.....
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2008, 03:53:27 PM »

Amen of what Jack & Dr Dave's posted!

And if have a plastic drain valve...replace it with metal bronze or better yet SS spigot valve. No ball valve...not made for hot water.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2008, 04:44:13 PM »

We had the same fun on a trip.  No smell until the water got hot.  The rod was dead and gone.  After a flush and a new rod, all was like new again.

Don and Cary
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2008, 05:40:17 PM »

Out West, anyway, hot water heaters do not come with Zinc rods,the rods are some other bimetal that I can't think of now, we have to order and install these (about $45.00) if there is a sulpher bacteria problem.  Remember "Zinc, no, Stink", "Zink, no, Stink", now everyone say it together.  Chlorination also will help and never, never let the water in a hot water go stale if you have sulpher bacteria, far as I know there is no health problem associated with it.

Ray D
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2008, 07:22:49 PM »

I just have to say this...

I was actually thinking that the zinc anode was probably toast in my earlier
message. I have bee dealing with sulfur water since filling my tanks at home
from a sulfur water well when I was in Florida.

The sulfur bacteria reacts with copper, steel and brass pipe and fittings. It causes a black film to deposit in the pipes. It also robs the zinc anode and I have seen them completely dissolve when exposed to sulfur water.

If you pull the water lines loose and lok inside, If it is discolored grey or black you probably have gotten a dose of the bacteria somewhere along the way.

Many City water supplies over the past few years are now using sulfur water from high flow wells. They aerate or oxidise the water during treatment but mostly it just covers up the smell. The sulfur is still there in some form.

Even the best carbon filters and chlorination systems don't always remove all of the mineral deposits.

Using R/O water systems to fill your tanks would be fine however R/O and steam distillation systems remove ALL or most contaminants but they also remove essential minerals and make the water hungry for minerals and it will actually etch glass and any metals over time.

Bottled water done by R/O or Distillation all have mineral added back in for use.

calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, Magnesium Sulfate < Nestle Pure Life water >

The only water that is worse is deionized water... It will burn your skin trying to suck the minerals out... Nasty stuff..

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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2008, 08:37:15 PM »

I had the same thing happen to me on my last trip last year. I drained the system over the winter and before our first trip I bleached it. So far I am OK and am waiting to see if my problem returns. Wow, did it ever stink. Tell us how yours turns out.
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2008, 09:02:17 PM »

Are you sure you had a Zinc rod???, I called a buddy(supplier), they are not standard equipment.....

Ray D
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2008, 08:23:19 AM »

Thanks Guy's,

I will try the vinigar.

Nick-
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2008, 01:12:26 PM »

Nick, change the heating element(s). And flush the tank well. It seems that the one item we forget that gets exposed to the water we wouldn't put into the tank is the heater. and it's cumulative.

The elements are only about $7-8 bucks apiece at Lowe's or Home Depot.  I change mine every two years just because and carry a spare the rest of the time.

Hope this helps.....

Bob
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2008, 01:56:13 PM »

Nick,

Be careful with using vinegar. Don't let it sit more than half an hour if full strength. I would be especially careful using it in the water heater-plastic pipes are no problem though.

I live in a high lime area and have used vinegar for years to clean it off. Once I left it on my bathtub drain too long and it took off some of the drain chrome!! Only time I ever had a problem, but now I don't leave it on too long.

I also have used it to remove rust from steel but it takes a long time. In this case you don't have to worry about leaving the steel n too long.
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2008, 06:33:05 PM »

Nick might wanna contact Capt'n Ron / "Charley" seems to me last yr right befre he headed over to Bruces he battled the same problem! FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2008, 07:28:43 AM »

Nick,

A few years ago my white with blue stripe host had broke park maint cut it with lawnmower. I filled my tank with a reg garden hose when I went to take shower my god I about upchucked. replaced hose with a RV drinking water hose and drained tank and flushed and no problem odor gone. It might be as simple as that.

Larry
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2008, 03:57:47 PM »

Update,

I poured 8 oz of bleach and 8 oz of vinagar in my fresh water tank that had about 30 gallons left in it.

I then ran all of it through the hot water heater, flushed with fresh water, then poured 4 oz of bleach back

into the full fresh tank. I then replaced the element in the heater. Wala... All smells gone!

I also replaced my $115.00 Everpure MC submicronic filter cartrage.

Thanks for the help
Nick-
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