One of the most unpleasant scents you’ll encounter is a sulfur smell in your water heater, which is a common problem that both water treatment firms and plumbers have to fix. The smell is akin to rotten eggs and can be a serious problem for residential and especially commercial establishments that could lose business because of it.
Where Does The Sulfur Stench Come From?
As with many problems, a sulfur stench can arise from multiple causes. If the smell is only present within heated water, this typically means that it comes from sulfate lowering bacteria that is present inside the water tank. However, it might also be the result of chemical reactions which have transpired between the heated water and magnesium rod.
When the sulfur odor is emitted both from cold and hot water, this usually indicates that the trouble is connected with your water source. There is probably hydrogen-based sulfide gas underground in the water supply and if this is the case it will take a considerable amount of money to fix it.
How to Eradicate The Sulfur Smell
While the rotten egg smell emitted by sulfur can be a serious annoyance to residential dwellings, for commercial establishments it can quickly lead to a substantial loss of business and possible bankruptcy. There is nothing that will turn away potential customers faster than bad smells, so business owners should treat it as an emergency that must be fixed as soon as possible. Steps for doing this include:
- Apply concentrated chlorine bleach: Adding chlorine to the well and then circulating your water throughout the entire system will remove the scent, but the downside to this approach is that you won’t be able to use the water for up to twenty-four hours after application, which may make it suitable for homes but not businesses. Additionally, it is a temporary solution as the odor will return in one to two months.
- Use a Powered Anode: By using a powered anode, you’ll be able to produce an environment inside your water heater that will inhibit the growth of sulfate-lowering bacterium. In fact, once a powered anode is used the bacteria won’t be able to survive and the scent will be gone in just twenty-four hours. Powered anodes can be installed quickly and have a service life of about twenty years.
Replace Magnesium Anode With Aluminum
Some property or business owns choose to replace their magnesium anode in favor of one made with aluminum. By doing this the water won’t produce an unpleasant chimerical reaction, which will eliminate odors and prevent them from appearing.
However, though aluminum-based anodes are more affordable than their magnesium counterparts and have greater longevity, the downside is that the anodes can dissolve, causing debris to become hard and then sink to the reservoir’s bottom. It might wind up inside your faucets where they can cause breakage. Many experts believe that the best solution is an anode that is powered because it can prevent the sulfur smell while limiting debris, but these models are usually made with titanium which makes them more expensive.