Hydrogen sulfide from hot water only

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by burleymike, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. burleymike

    burleymike New Member

    Nov 4, 2008
    My parents have a small laundry room in their garage. They have a 20 gallon water heater that supplies the washing machine and a utility sink. The water heater gets very little use probably 5 gallons a week or less.

    After using this setup for about 1 year now the hot water side is starting to get that lovely hydrogen sulfide smell to it. They are on city water which has me stumped. I have run into this before with well water but thought city water being chlorinated would not have this problem.

    What is the best way to remedy the stink?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is caused by the heater's anode rod, possibly because you also have soft water.
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  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Feb 6, 2011
    NW Ontario, Canada
    One would think that city water would not have bacteria but none the less, you might try raising the temperature a bit to make it less hospitable for the odour causing bacteria. Changing out the anode to a different type might help. Some have even removed the anode (at the risk of a shorter tank life).

    Lastly, it is possible that bacteria established a foothold in the supply line after the heater so removing and sanitizing it with bleach is worth a try.
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