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Old 14-06-2010, 08:37   #1
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Hot Water Stinks

Hi

I have a problem with my hot water. It stinks bad. The tank is a Force10 using main engine and/or 120 volt to warm the water up and is five years olds. I haven't used 120 Volt yet this year only the engine to warm up the water. The cold water is fine only the hot water. I drained the tank a month and a half ago and the smell went away. It came back with a vengeance a few weeks later. I drained the tank again yesterday and the smell is now gone but for how long.

Does anybody ever experienced this and is there any solution to this problem, short of replacing the hot water tank?

Thanks
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Old 14-06-2010, 09:39   #2
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What does it smell like? How much hot water do you use?
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:20   #3
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Have you winterized the hot watrer tank with some sort of potable antifreeze? We live in New England, and in the spring it takes a while to get the taste out of the HW talk.
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:48   #4
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Although we have a different make of water heater, I suspect the essentials are similar or the same as are the difficulties vis-a-vis dirty/smelly hot water. You might want to take a look at Raritan 1700 Series HW Heater

FWIW...
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:51   #5
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Hi

I bought the boat this spring and the tank was empty when I got it. The drain valve was open all winter. It is hard to explain the smell of it. My wife says that it smell like rotten egg but I don't think so myself. I find that it smell more like some of the chemistry project I used to do when I was in high school. I read somewhere that it could be the smell of hydrogen, don't know myself what hydrogen smell like.

And yes, the cold water is just fine. No smell whatsoever.

Yesterday, after I drained the tank again and refilled with fresh water, I isolated the water tank from the engine line and went motoring for an hour. My idea was to take the engine out of the equation. If the smell comes back, then I'll know for sure that it got nothing to do with the engine heating line (I thought that maybe the antifreeze from the heating line could be leaking in the tank). When I came back the hot water was still smelling OK. Last time I did this kind of flush, it took a couple weeks for the stink to come back.
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:57   #6
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Standing water in a hot water heater with a zinc anode causes a rotten egg smell if not used often enough. The anode can be changed to another metal or use the water more often.

This has happened where I work in buildings where they don't use the hot water very often.

Dale
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Old 14-06-2010, 11:17   #7
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Well,

I just talked to the the manufacturer. According to the nice lady on the phone, the rotten egg smell is caused by a buid-up of bacteria that can occur in the tank when it is not used for a while. I was told to pour a gallon a vinegar in the tank, let it sit for a while and flush it. That should take care of the bugs. I will certainly give it a try and let you know if it worked.

Thanks
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Old 14-06-2010, 11:41   #8
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Thanks, and please let us know.
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Old 14-06-2010, 13:01   #9
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Standing water in a hot water heater with a zinc anode causes a rotten egg smell if not used often enough. The anode can be changed to another metal or use the water more often...
The rotten egg smell (hydrogen sulfide gas) is a byproduct of anaerobic bacteria that exist in some water, which react with magnesium and/or aluminum sacrificial anodes in the HWT.

Use a pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 20 gallons of water in your water tank, and run some of the solution into water lines and heater.
Let peroxide solution set in tank, heat, and pipes for 2 hours. Solution is not toxic and requires no rinsing.

Vinegar & chlorine also work, but "taste".

If problem persists, replace HWT anode with a zinc-alloy* anode.

*Often, replacing the standard magnesium or aluminum anode rods with an aluminum/zinc alloy anode will solve the problem.

R/O water has an enhanced conductivity (as does “softened” water shoreside) which can increase the amount of hydrogen sulfide gas produced.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:56   #10
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Hi again,

I did what GordMay suggested (Hydrogen peroxide) and my hotwater as not been smelling since. The water was quite bubbly for a while but when the tank was finally empty and refilled, everything was back to normal.

Thanks everyone
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