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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
5 Rating |

”Alex came on time actually right before our scheduled appointment and was very professional and answered all of my questions. That is why I only use Artic for our air…”

- Steven Yockel
5 Rating |

”I needed a last minute gas line repair and extension under my new deck construction and Arctic Air came to the rescue as the only company to provide an estimate…”

- Lewda Kris
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”I usually don’t write reviews, but this company deserves a thank you! Within one month, both my AC and heating systems died! Alex Gallo helped facilitate both installations each time…”

- Lisa Van Pelt
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”It was a great experience all around. The tech took the time to walk me through the process, the system and the work being done.”

- Kurtis Perdelwitz
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”have been using arctic air for almost 30 years. excellent company.”

- Michael Frankel
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”Joe installed a vent cap on top of our heating exhaust pipe. He was on time, professional, efficient and friendly. We've been customers of Arctic Air for 10 years and…”

- helaine weiss
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”The service man, Kyle, was so helpful and he got our furnace going again. Also when I called last night after 10- or 10:30 when I realized that the furnace…”

- Betsy Brotman
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”Artic Air was recommended to me by a neighbor who had a new heating system installed. I needed a new heating system and A/C return vents installed in the bedrooms…”

- William P
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”great service”

- Arnold Mandel
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”Fred was here to do my A/C spring tuneup. He was very professional. I was very satisfied with the service he provided.”

- Murray Kasper
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”Excellent customer experience from estimate to installation! We installed a new central air conditioner since the one we had was ready for replacement. We received a few estimates and Artic…”

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”They were professional...on time...thorough...and great!!!!”

- cindy lawrence
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”Absolutely Amazing!!! Was pleasure dealing with Susan over the phone and everything was great from start to finish. Great customer service, very competitive pricing, on-time arrival as promised, and job…”

- Manpreet Singh
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”Sammy was amazing. He was thorough, efficient, and incredibly knowledgeable and professional!”

- Stacey Oxley
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”Nick was superb!. Highly recommended. I Nelson”

- Ira Nelson
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”Robert Rocks!”

- 7 DIZBUSTER
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”Sammy was very thorough and explained everything that he did. I was extremely satisfied with his service. I will continue to use Arctic Air and have recommend them to others…”

- Bob Pincu
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”The technician Jeremy was knowledgeable professional and took great care to check out the systems”

- Peter Sucher
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”Truly Amazing Company!! Each an every employee that has come to my home has always been Extremely professional; respectful an take the time to explain an educate the customer about…”

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