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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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”We weren't sure how serious our plumbing problem was, but Jesse, based on his knowledge, insured us it was minor and made the necessary correction. Jesse was great. We are…”

- Thomas Morris
5 Rating |

”I used Arctic Air Conditioning for an air conditioner coil replacement and they have serviced my furnace as well. They are professional, clean, and reasonably priced.”

- Eric Miller
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”I’m not sure to where to begin. Arctic Air and their employees are the best in the business. I did a home improvement project which included brand new systems (furnace,…”

- Jose M Castillo
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”Came when the said they would and fixed the problem. Price seemed fair. Robert is very pleasant to deal with and very knowledgeable. I’d definitely recommend them.”

- Deirdre Igoe
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”called at 10 PM becuase of no heat-service arrived at 830 AM, fixed at 845. Whats better than that. Javier was very informative of problem.”

- Mitch Horowitz
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”Number one company in NJ. They are very professional. Highly recommended. Don't be afraid to do business with them.”

- Nefailljubani N
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”the best service ,they are very professional.”

- Nefail Ljubani
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”They are very prompt and professional. Service personnel are very knowledgeable and efficient.”

- Marsha Smook Rosenbaum
5 Rating |

”Quick response even over weekend. Pleasant customer service. Repairman (Robert) showed up right on time, quickly fixed the problem with our furnace (which was not heating), and took the time…”

- joseph ciccolella
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”We called Arctic air because we were fed up with the former company we had used. I called Arctic air on Wednesday spoke to a very nice woman, and set…”

- S Berns
5 Rating |

”I use Arctic Air for all my air conditioning and heating needs (conventional central air, ductless air systems, and steam boiler and radiator heat). They consistently provide outstanding customer service,…”

- Darlene S
5 Rating |

”Always professional, honest and courteous. I highly recommend them for any of your HVAC issues and servicing.”

- Robert Ricciardi
5 Rating |

”Very quick and professional. Not sure if the best price but happy with the service.”

- Jimmy Kim
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”Arctic Air team is great! Scheduling is convenient. Email and text reminders are great. The technicians are on time, professional and courteous. Highly recommended!”

- Ran Yan
4 Rating |

”The estimate was the most in depth and accurate for my house. They worked with me on price and arranged financing. A large crew installed the system. The pipe layout…”

- Eli Terry
5 Rating |

”Unlike Corbin Electric who does not respond to service calls Arctic Air with on call at 7:30 AM sent a GREAT technician Robert Mauceri who was able to take care…”

- Anthony
5 Rating |

”Very professional service technician... stayed late to make sure my issue was resolved...”

- Anthony Scullari
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”I highly recommend Arctic Air! Fred was an amazing technician and had my system up and running again in 10 mins! Thank you for the great work! If I could…”

- Erin Hughes Murray
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