One annoying problem that can develop with your hot water heater is that it causes the hot water to develop a foul odor. Smelling rotten eggs when you turn on the tap in the morning is not pleasant. The odor of sulfur is caused by bacteria growing in the tank, and while the water isn't necessarily harmful to use, its odor is extremely annoying. Here are some things a water heater repair professional might try to get rid of the odor.
Clean The Tank With Peroxide
Getting rid of the tank could involve draining out the smelly water and then filling the tank with clean water with hydrogen peroxide mixed in. The peroxide kills the bacteria in the tank to get rid of the odor. This fix could be temporary. While it gets rid of the odor that's present, it doesn't do anything to keep the bacteria from growing back. It's possible the odor will return in a few weeks unless steps are taken to correct the cause.
Replace The Anode Rod
The anode rod is an important part of a water heater. The rod prevents the tank from rusting out by sacrificing itself. However, this process can lead to an odor problem in the tank. If this is the cause of your problem, the plumber can replace the anode rod with one made of aluminum and zinc. This could solve the problem permanently, but there are other factors to consider, too.
Well water, soft water, old plumbing pipes, the composition of city water, and water that stays stagnant for long periods in an empty house can all contribute to water odors. One possible way to eliminate the problem of water that smells like rotten eggs is to change out your water heater tank with a tankless hot water heater. However, that solution is expensive and extreme, and a plumber can usually find a solution for smelly water once the cause is pinpointed.
Before you jump to the conclusion that the odorous water is caused by your hot water heater, it's a good idea to make sure the smell is coming from the tank. If water coming from a cold faucet has the odor too, then the problem could be in your plumbing pipes or your water supply might be to blame. If the cold water smells fine and only the hot water is affected, then the cause of the problem is likely in the hot water heater and a plumber can clean the tank and make repairs that put an end to the problem.