Black sediment and rotten egg smell from HOT water

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by wazio7, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. wazio7

    wazio7 New Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    I installed my new High Efficiency water heater 2 years ago....replacing a pair of HE water heaters that lasted 14 years. Now for the past 3-4 months, there is black sediment in the hot water and it really smells like rotten eggs.
    We have city well water, very hard with lots of iron in it. I do have a BIG water filter installed between the softener and the hot water heater.
    I flush the hot water heater every couple months or so.
    This has gotten so bad that the bathtub is literally gray when filled. All hot water outlets throughout the house smell, and will put out the black sediment for a moment or two when turned on...then it will subside after a few seconds.
    I've read that I need to pour Peroxide into the water heater....but that is a temp fix. I removed the Magnesium rods from my original water heaters early on and they lasted 14 should I do that with this one too?

    Last thing.....I tried to unscrew/remove the Magnesium rod....No luck, it's tighter than heck. Tried a box end wrench and no luck...tried an impact wrench with tons of torque and rounded the bolt head!!! I tried a pipe wrench and it just slides off.
    Yes I used it with the teeth facing the right way. Any tricks to getting that darn thing OFF???? wife is NOT happy with black smelly water.
  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    you are screwed....

    you are screwed..... you have already used an impact wrench
    and it did not get the rods out of the heater....

    in hindsight you should have taken them out before installation
    for some reason when they sit for a while in hot water they become impossibly tight

    I have never tried to drill out the center of one of those rods and chisel it
    out.... I dont think it will work and you will probably lose the rod into the heater..
    but you can spend the day attempting that if you so wish...
    (now that sounds like fun to me).:cool::cool::cool:

    we have had this issue before and just warrantied the heater out because
    it was impossible to get that rod out... if you got 2 of them its double the fun:cool::cool:

    :cool:sorry charlie.....

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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    You want to install a backwashing filter after the pressure switch but before everything else. There are various filters that will deal with sulfur. My filter uses Centaur Carbon, and did wonders. I had both sulfur and iron to deal with. It really cleared things up.

    Regarding the water heater, I agree with master plumber mark. I broke a cheap 1/2 inch impact wrench (or I could say it broke) trying to remove my anode, but I returned it for a 5/8 inch which barely did the job. The first movements were tiny. I was using a 1-1/16 6-sided impact sockets. Using the 12 point box end wrench might have started the rounding.

    I switched to a powered anode, screwed in with teflon tape and much less torque than OEM. Yes, I checked for conductivity. The threads cut right thru the teflon. The powered anode was to get rid of the anode rod reaction while protecting the water heater. I ordered the powered anode before deciding to get the big front-end filter. The old anode was eaten away. They are fairly expensive, because they are not high-volume items. The powered anode can be moved to another water heater.
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