New Water Heater and Rotten Egg Smell

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Andy.O

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We have lived in our house for 5 years, and have loved our well water and Kinetico water softener system. I realized our water heater was 22 years old so, instead of waiting for it to stop working, I replaced it about 3 weeks ago on a weekend it was convenient. However, almost immediately I began noticing a strong rotten egg smell only in the hot water. I read in several places in here about the anode rod in the water heater perhaps causing that smell but I wasnt able to find any clear answers about how to tell for sure or, if I need to replace it, how I go about deciding which new one to replace it with? Can I get some help from you all? Thanks! --Andy
 

Reach4

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You may get an improvement by turning the WH hotter.

The anode I would and do use is a Ceranode powered anode. It gives the protection of magnesium but does not contribute to producing H2S.

If you have a well, you would probably benefit by sanitizing your well and plumbing. The amount of time that helps will vary. It could be years. H2S is produced by SRB breaking down sulfur compounds.
 

Andy.O

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You may get an improvement by turning the WH hotter.

The anode I would and do use is a Ceranode powered anode. It gives the protection of magnesium but does not contribute to producing H2S.

If you have a well, you would probably benefit by sanitizing your well and plumbing. The amount of time that helps will vary. It could be years. H2S is produced by SRB breaking down sulfur compounds.

Thanks guys! In a quick search of anode rods, what is the advantage to using the powered Ceranode ($100ish) over a non-powered, magnesium anode rod ($43ish)? Also, HD has hex-plug style and nipple style; what’s the difference?
 

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n a quick search of anode rods, what is the advantage to using the powered Ceranode ($100ish) over a non-powered, magnesium anode rod ($43ish)?
Ceranode is over $200. Lesser powered anodes have a stubby probe which put a lot of the water heater far from the anode.

Magnesium protects well, but helps feed SRB, which produces H2S. You probably have magnesium already, although you may have aluminum+zinc. Aluminum+zinc don't protect as well and can leave an aluminum compound in the water or WH. The main reason people use those instead of Mg is to reduce H2S production. Many people just put a brass plug in place of the anode. That does not protect, but the WH might still last many years if the water is not corrosive.

In your water test, look for a corrosivity number. If you soften the water, that value will change, and it is more important to have a good anode if you soften.

Also, HD has hex-plug style and nipple style; what’s the difference?
You need to match the mounting that you currently have. If you have a separate anode hex head (1-1/16 inches) anode, then you can use the hex style. Otherwise you have to use the one that shares the cold nipple.

After several years, it is usually hard to remove an existing anode. They torque them more than needed at the factor. Add corrosion, and you often need an impact wrench.
 

Andy.O

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It just occurred to me that the water used to feel really hot when just the hot water ran. So I checked the old water heater and it was set between 130-135. The new one is factory set at 120. I’m wondering if that’s not hot enough and is just incubating some bacteria. I’m going to try turning it up high (like 140+) for a day to see if I can kill off some bacteria and then seeing what happens if I set it between 130-135. At least before I spend a bunch of extra money :)
 
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