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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 |

”I want to thank Artic Air Conditioning for sending me extremely knowledgeable technicians by the name of Matthew Ancona and Eduardo Rivera. They were very punctual, professional and thorough. I…”

- Sunil Pamnani
5 Rating |

”The service, responsiveness, and professionalism was top notch. Unfortunately, I had both my business and home heating stop working at the same time during the coldest week this winter so…”

- Amanda
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”I typically do not write reviews, but I would be totally remiss if I did not take the time to highlight the service quality delivered by Arctic Air. I have…”

- Joseph Funt
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”Artic Air tech did exactly what was needed to resolve heating issue. Clean, precise work. Project completed as planned. Friendly, neat techs.”

- George Joaquim
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”Very responsive & punctual. Techs Ed & Joe took the time to explain everything in layman’s terms. No pressure tactics. Alex was very professional.”

- Steve Panza
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”Came even before planned. Called before to ask permission for earlier visit. Excellent work/really pros/three AA reps came. They even covered their shoes. Really clean and positive performance. I will…”

- Joel Hershey
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”As usual, great service. Called yesterday and the appointment was set for today. Received a confirmation of the appointment and a message advising of the technician being enroute to my…”

- Humberto Otero
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”Arrived on time . Pleasant. Knowledgeable. HONEST. Now have heat!”

- Christine Rush
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”Fred S was great. Explained things as he went along.”

- Generic Customer
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”Nick did a great job on my service and asking my questions.”

- Lauren Kirkman
5 Rating |

”Very prompt and courteous technician Nicholas. Arctic Air has always done a great job at maintaining my furnace.”

- Ana Cardinale
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”Top Notch customer service. Ross was phenomenal. Just a few days ago I had a family emergency. My in laws (elderly) called and said their heat went out. This was…”

- Mark Luxe
5 Rating |

”Top Notch customer service. Ross was phenomenal. Just a few days ago I had a family emergency. My in laws (elderly) called and said their heat went out. This was…”

- Luxe Limo Service
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”I worked for Arctic air great company, high quality workmanship, great tech training, willing to go the extra mile to make sure the customer is happy every time. Plus the…”

- Richard Cranium
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”First time customer and had a great experience with Arctic Air. Used them for a furnace inspection. Price was reasonable. Their technician, Anthony was a pleasure to deal with and…”

- BJ Mathews
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”When an HVAC company shows up at your house, after you receive and email and text with picture (and their background), they walk up with booties in hand and put…”

- Darek Hahn
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”Excellent, prompt service. Highly recommend”

- nurseheart
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”Great Company with which to do business. Would like the option to enter into a contract with the Company.”

- Chinny Okparanta
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”Excellent service from Tony and Joe for an A/C repair we needed.”

- Kristen Indahl
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