New water heater:strong sulfur smell

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by coffyguy, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. coffyguy

    coffyguy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    After installing a new Reliance 606 gas water heater , the hot water smells very strong. 1 person suggested removing or replacing the "anode rod". Is this a simple procedure?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    With a new tank, it should be easy to replace the anode with a different type. It depends on how much vertical room you have what configuration you need. They make replacement ones with a segmented body so you don't need as much room above.
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Yeah, but every one I've replaced has been a B*tch to get out. If you know someone with a torque-amplifier wrench attachment (BIG bucks), plan on borrowing it. Otherwise, you might get by with a LONG breaker bar (leave the WH filled so it won't dance around), or an impact wrench (last resort, IMHO).

    If you Google "smell anode rod water heater" you'll get over 4,000 hits of advice.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    An impact wrench would be my first choice!
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I did mine gently with a long breaker bar, and I would not be at all inclined toward shocking a water heater with impacts from a powered wrench. However, you might find that replacing the anode will *not* stop the odor as well as would getting your heater's internal temperature above 140* F. Along with keeping my "whole house" filters fresh, that is what I ended up having to do.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    You have a very common misconception about Impact Wrenches shocking things. Many years ago I was trying to loosen a nut holding a pully on a shaft. There was an allen socket at the end of the shaft and I wasted a lot of time with an allen wrench in it trying with a wrench to loosen the nut. Cheater bars and the whole bit. I finally went to my brother in law who was an auto mechanic for help. He told me to hold onto the 5" pulley with my bare hands while he put an impact wrench to that nut! I asked him WTF are you crazy and was told shut up and do it! He then spun that nut off in 2 seconds and I didn't feel a thing. Impact wrenches shock the nut not what its in or, on.

    I stand by my post that Impact wrenches are the tool of choice for removing a anode rod!

    Here is a link to some information on sulphur odors in water.http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterOdors.htm
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Good link to smelly-water advice. I'll have to think about the impact-wrench a bit, though. I have this (bad) vision of the glass lining breaking into a jillion pieces and falling into the bottom of the tank...
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    If that were completely true, you would never have had to hold that alternator's pulley and I would never have ever twisted and broken a rusted lug bolt while trying to remove a stuck nut. Impact is impact (with or without continued torque), and the water heater will feel at least a little of the impact from a power wrench even if the nut above the anode rod actually does let loose before glass breaks!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Been doing it for years and never had a problem. Go ahead keep twisting them tanks.
  10. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

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    Houston, Texas, United States
    For Your Information That Is How The Anode Rod Is Installed At The Factory

    With Impact Wrench

    Macplumb 777
  11. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Okay, but not with the same kind the typical DIYer would use!
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    This is a NEW WH, so hopefully, corrosion shouldn't be a problem. If it is many years down the line, all bets are off. Still, I suppose, it could be a pain getting it loose, but it shouldn't be that bad.
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Yea, while I use a cordless electric impact wrench I'm sure that they would use an air powered impact wrench at the factory.:rolleyes:
  14. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    And, it would almost certainly be torque-limiting, calibrated and pre-set!
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Yea, I'm sure... Thats why on one my cordless zings it right out and on the next it grunts for 45 seconds before it even starts to move,,, They use the same calibrated torque limiting impact gun the joker down at Bleep Bleep tire store used when he trashed the lugs on my work van! 85 ft. lbs (+- 80):rolleyes:
  16. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Well, everybody occasionally has a bad day, eh?!

    My old school bus has a broken stud on one wheel because a new guy did not know to stop when his watch began spinning around his wrist.

    While still sticking with my breaker bar for my own stuff, I stand corrected about impact wrenches and anode rods.
  17. coffyguy

    coffyguy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    new hot water heater smell

    Thank You to all for your replys. I removed the anode rod without difficulty and the smell disappeared within hours. A Special Thanks to Terry Love for providing this site.
  18. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    Omaha, NE
    Did you replace the anode rod with a different type?

    Hope you didn't just remove it...

    Might want to check out www.waterheaterrescue. com

    more info on anode rod replacement than you can shake a stick at.
  19. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
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