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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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”From the first time Arctic Air came to our home to give an estimate, we knew we had chosen a quality company for the job. From the staff at the…”

- Tom Hipper
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”We always have great service with Arctic Air. They are fast, dependable and a pleasure to deal with. The technician, Sal Delre, was outstanding, understanding and so helpful! Special thanks…”

- Navin Pramanand
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”Thank you so much Jaime! Now we have heat. Arctic Air is highly recommended, they came right away when I called them to fixed my furnace.”

- Chona Trinidad-Petzold
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”Artic has been our HVAC company for years. Totdsay's annual visit was special thanks to Kyle the technician/service specialist. AMAZING!”

- Jim Mc Connell
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”I️ had Connor from Artic come out and give me a price along with talking me through the whole process. The installers were great and did a terrific job. We…”

- Darren Ghaffari
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”Sal provided outstanding service. We scheduled a tuneup on our furnace and he was pleasant as was any of the staff we came in contact with. Very easy company to…”

- Michelle Hermelee
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”Had my heating and air conditioning unit installed by Arctic almost 6 years ago. I also use them twice a year for the unit tune up. I have never had…”

- Rochelle Polesuk
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”Arctic Air is one of the best companies around. I've tried other companies but no one compares to Arctic. They are always on time and provide the best, most thorough…”

- Donna West
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”Sal was awesome!!! Thorough, informative, helpful, and extremely nice. I highly recommend Arctic Air!!!”

- Valerie Deantonio
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”Excellent, fast reliable service. Have been a customer for over 20 years and ave never had a problem. Would definitely recommend!”

- Robert Bendetson
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”Our service person was Dan who arrived promptly to work on our heat pump, which was not preforming well. Unlike other service techs from other companies he thoroughly analyzed the…”

- Nancy G.
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”Our service person was Dan who arrived promptly to work on our heat pump, which was not preforming well. Unlike other service techs from other companies he thoroughly analyzed the…”

- Nancy Goldstein
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”Just replaced my furnace, AC and H/W heater with Arctic Air. The Elite team of Jim, Kevin, Joe, Michael and Brady were skillful, knowledgeable, reliable, considerate, efficient and as neat…”

- Deborah Sbarra
1 Rating |

”Brian from Artic air came to my house to give me a HVAC replacement quote and never sent quote to my email. I followed up twice on phone and once…”

- Mrunal Shah
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”I'm very pleased with the service provided by Arctic Air Conditioning. They did everything they said they would do as stated in the contract. Very professional workers! I will definitely…”

- Marcia Black
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”great service every year - a little maintenance goes a long way”

- Ryan Fitzgerald
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”Arctic Air is the best HVAC company! Their techs, especially Jesse, are so nice and extremely professional. I’m so glad I chose them to install my Lenox system in 2010…”

- Sandra Kuschuk
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”I can't say enough about the team we had come out and help us. We had a 70 year old house with a rigged ac/furnace system. Nothing about it was…”

- Brian Easley
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”Christian recently came to our house to install a part and we were very satisfied with his work. He is very professional and personable. He did a great job. Herb,…”

- Arlene B.
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”Excellent and professional service. My tech Jesse was friendly and personable. I highly recommend Arctic Air and Jesse.”

- Sy Wodakow
5 Rating |

”Jesse was so professional and very nice. We had maintenance done on our heater and he fixed a man nor issue we had and did not leave until everything was…”

- Stephanie Pollack
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”They are extremely courteous and professional.”

- Teresa Barba
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”Very pleased with Jesse's service to our furnace.”

- matt
5 Rating |

”Kyle was professional and polite. Work was done in a reasonable time and looks fine.”

- Daniel Ostrowski
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”Jesse was prompt, courteous, knowledgable and got the job done.”

- John Sandstedt
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”Kyle was knowledge and courteous...he gave me history about my unit and facts... a good job overall!”

- Jack S.
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”Always good customer service Arctic Air; Jesse was on-time and did a great job.”

- Leon Paley
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”The team that installed our new central air was very professional and polite. They did a excellent job. The price was reasonable. Highly recommended!”

- Joseph Burek
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