Causes of Water Heater Odors

Are there issues with not so pleasant odors coming from the water in ones water heater at home? It is an occurrence that can happen sometimes and there can be a couple reasons why. We will discuss all the stinky details in this article.

Reasons for Water Heater Odors

Bacteria entering to the water system is the leading motive for ones water at home to have odors. For those whose water comes from a well, either on ones property or from the city, there is a higher possibility of that is the reason for water odors.

Setting the temperature level of the water heater to 140 degrees or more will help decrease the growth of microorganisms within the storage tank of the water heater.

How to Remove Water Odors

These directions describe how chlorine bleach can be used to clean bacteria from a water heater. They are meant for educational purposes only, and we advise having a water heater professional take care maintenance on ones equipment.

  • The electric or petrol resulting in the water heater has to be switched off.
  • Then, turn off the cold water supply going to to the tank.
  • Open the hot water faucet of the sink that is closest to the water heater, so air can enter the storage tank.
  • With a lawn hose connected to the tank’s drain valve, let the water inside drain out. Run the hose outdoors if possible. If that is not possible, use a floor drain.
  • Close the drain valve once the tank is empty.
  • If a flexible hose is being used for the cold water intake, unscrew. Or, the T&P valve will need to be removed, which is more time consuming. With an electric water heater, one of the elements can be taken off.
  • Now bleach will be added. A funnel should be used to pour the bleach in. For a 50 gallon heater, approximately 2 gallons, or 250 ounces of bleach should be used.
  • Re-attach the water line or T&P valve.
  • Open the cold water line going into the storage tank so it will fill up with water again.
  • Once the air is released from the open hot water faucet, close the faucet.
  • Until the odor of bleach is evident, use all the hot water appliances. The goal is to eliminate the bacteria in the water lines, not only within the storage tank. Let this water sit for about 3 hours before using any of the hot water faucets.
  • Empty the storage tank once more and fill it once more with water. Let the water sit this time for around thirty minutes. Drain one last time.
  • Fill the tank. Turn on all the hot water faucets and allow them to run before the smell of bleach is not noticeable.
  • If it is a gas water heater, relight the pilot light. For electric heaters, turn the electricity back on.

One further step, or another step, could be to changing the anode rods, for they may need replacing. A plumbing professional can assist with this or either of the above steps.

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