Hot Water Heater Smells like Rotten Eggs

Well, there’s one smell that no one likes to notice in their home – and that’s rotten eggs. No matter what’s happening in your day, one whiff of this very unpleasant (and very overpowering) odor is sure to throw you off!

If your water heater stinks, there’s a reason.

When your water heater smells like sulfur, here’s what is probably happening: anaerobic bacteria that’s found in water mixes with sulfur, aluminum and magnesium sacrificial anodes – which is a fancy name for a rod that’s screwed into the top of the tank.

As a result, hydrogen sulfide gas is produced, which causes the rotten egg smell.

How to Eliminate Hot Water Heater Smells on Your Own

When you notice this rotten egg smell and you’ve confirmed that it’s coming from your hot water heater, you can go into water heater repair mode and try a do-it-yourself solution.

  • Shut off the cold water valve that’s connected to your water heater.
  • Drain some of the water from your hot water heater.

hot water smells like rotten eggs

Image courtesy of soquelcreekwater.org  

  • Disconnect the metal hose.
  • Using 3% hydrogen peroxide that you can purchase from the drug store, pour in 1 cup (equivalent to 8 ounces) for every 10 gallons your water heater holds. Be sure to use a funnel to prevent spillage. If your water heater has a maximum capacity of 40 gallons, you’d pour in 4 cups of hydrogen peroxide, which adds up to 32 ounces. You can buy a 32 ounce bottle for less than a buck!

hot water smells like rotten eggs

Image courtesy of stevejenkins.com 

  • Next, reconnect the metal hose that you disconnected in step 3.
  • Turn the cold water valve back on, which will refill your tank.
  • Let it sit for a few hours.

If you’re wondering why hydrogen peroxide will get rid of the rotten egg smell, it’s because it’s a surefire way to kill the foul-smelling bacteria. It’s classified as environmentally safe by the FDA, so no worries there.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Cedar Rapids Can Help With Water Heater Repair

If you try this solution when you’re trying to figure out how to eliminate hot water heater odors and it doesn’t work for whatever reason, you may need a bit more assistance. You don’t want to play around with it too much and cause any damage.

Your best bet? Call upon the services offered by our reliable team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Cedar Rapids.

Our trained experts know all there is to know about water heaters, as each plumber has years of experience working and resolving all kinds of related issues. We’ll start by thoroughly examining your water heater to properly diagnose the problem.

Using professional tools, we’ll fix the issue so you can enjoy warm showers – without an unpleasant rotten egg smell! And if we’re late to our agreed upon appointment time, we’ll be accountable. We’ll pay you $5 for every minute after, up to $300.

We’re happy to do a full inspection – even if you don’t have any issues – to ensure your water heater is in safe and working order. Proper inspection and maintenance is a good investment, as it will lengthen the life of your water heater and prevent future issues.

Give our Cedar Rapids team a call today to set up an appointment!