how to fix smelly hot water


If you have hot water than smells funky you don’t need to move and you don’t need to replace all of your hot water lines, there are two very common causes of smelly hot water and they can be fixed. The most common cause of smelly hot water that smells like sulfer is from a tank style water heater. Traditional tank style water heaters are made of iron that is coated on the inside with porcelain, often referred to as glass. Tank style water heaters are equipped with an anode rod inside them, this anode rod is designed to attract the positively charged minerals in the water so that the water doesn’t eat the iron of the tank as quickly. If the cause of your smelly hot water is from your anode rod it is directly related to the “Cathodic” or “Anodic” reaction happening with in the tank of the water heater itself. The chemical reaction taking place is reacting to the “anode rod” inside the tank. If a smell is created, then it is advised to replace the anode rod with a different type of metal anode rod If you continue to have issues with smell after replacing the anode rod you may have a rare circumstance that requires you have a water heater that does not contain an anode rod such as a Marathon water heater, or even a tankless water heater. This isn’t very common but it can happen with properties that are on well water or where water has specific mineral compounds that create the chemical reaction that causes the smelly water. I recently had a client move into her new home with glee and excitement to take her first shower and throw up because the smell was so repulsive. The second most common cause of smelly hot water is bacteria inside the water heater tank. Water heaters that are left at less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit are prone to bacteria growth and Legionnaires Disease. This is a concern for homes that have been left vacant for any length of time. This is common for homes vacant for sale and homes that are vacant vacation homes. If you’re experiencing smelly hot water then we recommend flushing the water heater a few times before using it, this will help prevent the spread of the bacteria into the hot water lines. If the hot water has already been used, don’t fret, running the hot water for an extended period of time often flushes the line well enough that the smell disappears. If the smell still continues the lines can be chemically flushed to clean them and eliminate any bacteria that may existing within the hot water lines.