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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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”As always, great service from Arctic Air - woke up this morning to no heat on our first floor. Called Arctic Air and their friendly technician, Fred S., arrived within…”

- Elaine Ligotino
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”Alex was very professional and very informative. Great service as usual!!”

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”Tech Brendan was very friendly and knowledgeable.”

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”I'd recommend Arctic air wholeheartedly. They are professional, courteous, and meticulous. The prices are excellent as well!”

- Diane Mecca
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”Moved our gas line lower for our new stove.”

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”My heat wasn’t working. I called in the morning and they were at my house by the afternoon. My service tech Matt was friendly, informative and very knowledgeable. He took…”

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”Very courteous, economically priced for HVAC furnace repair work . Fast response and repair. Service techs were super helpful and professional. Highly recommend”

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”Gregg did a great job fixing our heating problem. Couldn't ask for a more professional, Courtious and responsive company. And that's the same for Gregg!”

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”Very good experience. They came out same day within a couple of hours of calling. John the tech was very knowledgeable and explained the issue very clearly.”

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”Excellent service and price”

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”I love working with Arctic Air. They have an amazing team that you can truly trust and count on to get the job done right! I cannot recommend them enough…”

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”Arctic Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing is a top-notch company - I'd give them 10 stars if I could. They truly care about the comfort of their customers and provide…”

- Bailey Stoner
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”Clean, warm and comfortable”

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”As always fast professional service all of the time.”

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”waiting for the parts from manufacturer.”

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