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Why Does My Water Heater Smell Bad?

Your home features all the modern comforts you expect, including indoor plumbing and water heating. Your tap water should come out clean and clear, so if you notice a foul odor issuing from the tap, you’re right to worry! Different situations may cause the smell to resemble dirt, rotten eggs, or even sewage. Here are three possible reasons why your water heater smells bad and when to schedule water heater repair.

Bacteria in the Drain

Problem: If your sink smells like sewage every time you turn on the faucet, the water heater might not be to blame. Instead, bacteria from food, soap, and other organic materials could be living in the drain. When water comes pouring in, gas rises from the sink, making it seem like the water itself smells.

Solution: Kill the odor-causing bacteria living in the drain by dumping chlorine bleach into the sink and down the basin overflow if your sink has one. Maintain a fresh scent in your kitchen sink by running citrus peels and a squirt of soap through the garbage disposal.

Bacteria in the Water Heater

Problem: Bacteria sometimes thrive in tank water heaters, producing hydrogen sulfide as they multiply. Even though it won’t hurt you, this smelly gas is responsible for the rotten egg odor you detect every time you run hot water.

Solution: More bacteria grow if you keep the water heater at a low temperature or leave the plumbing untouched while you’re out of town. You can flush the tank by turning up the temperature for 24 hours and running hot water from all the taps. From now on, set the temperature no lower than 120 degrees to prevent future bacterial growth.

Bacteria Reacting with the Anode Rod

Problem: Water heaters come with an anode rod, a sacrificial piece of metal that attracts corrosive buildup to protect the tank from rusting out. Aluminum and magnesium are common anode rod materials, but they react with bacteria that exist in some tanks to produce the dreaded hydrogen sulfide gas.

Solution: Replace the standard magnesium or aluminum anode rod with an aluminum/zinc alloy.

Schedule Water Heater Repair in Central Jersey

If you need help implementing these tips, or you attempt them but the bad smell remains, contact Arctic Air Conditioning for water heater repair in Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, or Ocean County. We’ll resolve the problem to restore fresh-smelling hot water in your home.

Testimonials
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”Air conditioning "died" on a 98 degree weekend. Extremly pleased that I was able to get a same day appointment. Christian showed up on time and quickly assessed the problem.…”

- Steph K
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”Took a no nonsense approach. Got right to the problem and resolved it very quickly. Fast, courteous and knowledgeable. I would absolutely use this Company and this technician again.”

- Frank Goodline
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”I would like to personally thank Arctic Air for making customer service a priority. A special thanks to “John” for reaching out and reinforcing my belief that I chose the…”

- Sunnie Casimiro
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”I have been a customer of Arctic Air for 9 years now. They are always prompt, knowledgeable and professional with their service. Today Dan Mawber (one of their service techs)…”

- David Heiblim
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”We have had wonderful service this week from Arctic Air. On Monday, Anthony came out to do our seasonal maintenance and made time in his schedule to accommodate us in…”

- Harry Himelfarb
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”Very personable, professional, neat and efficient.”

- Mike Spinelli
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”This is my third experience with Arctic Air Conditioning and the service has been excellent each time! My call this time was because my air conditioning wasn’t working so it…”

- Barbet Rucker
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”We arrived home to find the AC was not running, called the service. Rob was here and my AC was up and running by 615pm. No exaggeration! Excellent service! I…”

- Lisa Michalski-Sciarrino
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”My brother needed a new heating & air conditioning system. I had him call Arctic Air. Since my brother needed some help understanding what to ask I was there from…”

- javier santiago
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”Our old furnace conked out 3 years ago. Got one estimate for a new furnace, which was more than our budget allowed. Arctic's estimate was quite a bit less. They…”

- MsRollingthunder Bingham
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”Kyle was very professional! He was pleasant, knowledgeable, and efficient! I hope I won’t have any problems, but if I do I would request this great young man! Best Regards,…”

- Ellen Siberberg
5 Rating |

”Kyle was awesome. Very polite and professional. Serviced my AC unit in a timely fashion.”

- Sherry Komosinski
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”Great! From the initial call to the tech just leaving. It’s a holiday weekend, they came with no problem, fixed the problem and didn’t charge us an arm and a…”

- Lyn WD
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”Excellent service they always take care of me as a customer and Ithe most polite people around the technician really takes his time and goes over everything and his name…”

- Gary Placona
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”The installers were professional and hardworking. They were prompt and had a great attention to detail. Would definitely recommend!”

- Meghann Valeo
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”Polite, efficient and informative. Very professional.”

- edward bergman
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”I'm extremely pleased with the service I've gotten from Arctic Air. They have always been thorough and professional and paid attention to details that were missed by other companies I…”

- Ellen Bee
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”Kyle was very professional and answered all my questions. My HVAC is ready for Summer! I will request Kyle again for the Fall maintenance. Enjoyable experience. Thank you!”

- Jessica Hegmann
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”I have never had anyone teach me specific details to help with increasing the functioning with my system and what to do if there is a problem. He explained every…”

- carly
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”On time, respectful, courteous, efficient, professional service.”

- Theodore Goldstein
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”Very professional and told me everything that he was going to check”

- tony
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