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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 |

”Furnace was flaky. Tech came out and I think knew what the issue was before he took the cover off. Was pleasant to deal with, even though I was probably…”

- Tony Salerno
5 Rating |

”Highly professional service provided today. I received a very detailed explanation of system functions, needs and suggestions for proper upkeep. I have been completely satisfied with Arctic Air for many…”

- JOHN SAVARESE
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”Prompt arrival, fast courteous service.😀”

- Bill Chapello
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”We lost heat on a Sunday night . I called arctic Air that morning they sent a technician that morning. Fred diagnosed the problem in 10 minutes it was our…”

- Joe Azzaretto
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”The service provided by Artic Air is exceptional. The tech. Dante Delucia was professional, polite and made sure I understood what and why he performed each check. He is an…”

- Joseph Ansalone
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”Kyle was on-time, courtess identified and fixed the problem with my furnace.”

- Generic Customer
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”Great, service by Anthony M and he checks humidifier to make sure all are working right. Very professional. Pricey but need it done yearly.”

- Vanna Mate
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”Caring and dedicated professional technicians, who provide great service.”

- William Migliore
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”Eric was very friendly. He was very helpful and knew what he was doing. Would recommend Attic Air to others.”

- Mary Mauro
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”They are the best. In time and very professional. I love that they send a text with name and some back ground of the service man that’s coming.”

- Alvin Darling
4 Rating |

”While Arctic Air always provide very good service, when I called originally, I explained that I needed my Air Conditioning serviced. The service was scheduled to occur on 10/14/19, but…”

- Generic Customer
5 Rating |

”Excellent and prompt service. Highly recommend them.”

- Robert Pho
5 Rating |

”Jesse was awesome. He was extremely thorough. He also took the time to show me issues and explained ordinary maintenance to me. Update on Arctic Air: I had an issue…”

- Sabine O'Connor
5 Rating |

”3 words describe Arctic Air..Awesome, Honest, and Professional!!!!!”

- Nicholas F Gambella
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”Prompt and courteous service. Always diagnoses problem and fixes it. I have a tricky heating system. The technician they send knows my heating unit and always remedies the problem. Arctic…”

- Carol Shangold
5 Rating |

”Always perform work with professionalism and technicians are well trained”

- Tom Sylvester
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”Good quick service.”

- Robert Martino
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”My Technician was excellent! He was thorough, patient , and "walked me through" what he was doing. When an unexpected additional problem emerged, he quickly took care of it, and…”

- Generic Customer
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”Effective and on time service. Technician professional and polite. You receive text and email before they arrive and know who is coming. Thanks.”

- Larry Chang
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”I have used arctic air several times and am always satisfied. This past visit i had an emergency, heat was out and needed a hard to get part. The technician…”

- Rob Saphow
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”Michael is very knowledgeable and professional”

- ashman0717
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