Puzzle - can anyone shed light on this?
We have no problem with the hot water in the house except in the bathroom
furthest from the hot water heater, and then only in the tub and not the
handbasin. Anytime hot water is turned on in the tub, the water runs black
then finally clears. Since it is the guest bathroom, it is something I'd
like to solve. Any thoughts, anyone?
It can also be caused by a trace amount or more of sulfur (H2S gas) in
the water. The tub being used less frequently than other fixtures and
usually with the best flow rate will allow precipitation of the H2S to
cling to the inside of the tubing and then break loose from time to time
as the water is used.
Quality Water Associates
Yes, we have quite a bit of sulfur in the water. I have to drain the HW
tank every once in a while because of the odor. Also, when I run the hot
water in the bathroom in question, I don't get the sediment until the water
actually gets hot. I drained the HW tank this morning, then also got the
sediment in the jacuzzi in the room next to the tank. Is there a solution,
other than a whole water treatment system? Thanks for your reply.
Actually it sounds as if you have a hot water only odor, that can be
caused by a trace of H2S in the cold but.... if there is none, then you
have a sulfate or other reducing bacteria problem and must kill them
before they get to the heater tank. Or, remove the anode rod or replace
it with other than a magnesium type but if you drop any of the old one
into the tank as you remove it - it's like ya didn't remove any of it
and you can't get pieces out of the bottom of the tank. Or, raise the
temp of the heater to 140f. Anode rods can be like real difficult to
loosen - the key is holding the tank from rotating. lol.
You can ad about a half gallon of bleach to the heater, draw chlorinated
water to all hot water fixtures and let it sit 10 minutes and turn them
on for a count of ten and wait 10 minutes and repeat for an hour. Then
let sit for as long as possible or at least a few hours and then drain
(with the power/fuel off) and flush the tank with cold water until the
last water out of the drain is as clear as you can get it. This can take
many times of flushing with about 30 seconds of cold water each time.
That's enough chlorine to burn eyes and bleach spots on clothes so no
hot water use until you're done and refilled with clean water.
No, no other way than treatment equipment if you do have cold water H2S.
It is easily treated and it isn't very expensive. Most will talk to you
about some bleach down the well. That usually doesn't work if your H2S
is naturally occurring, it can if the problem is reducing type bacteria
in the well but problem is, they're in the 'aquifer too and you can't
reach there with bleach alone. Chlorine raises the pH of the water and
chlorine is only a good disinfectant at a pH of 7.2. and lower to about
5.2. Plus shocking a well can cause serious water quality and
pump/plumbing. Also, shocking usually makes a bacteria caused problem
Quality Water Associates
Thank you for the great explanation. Our water is high in sulfur and in
iron. We had the odor problem for years with the previous water heater and
I would put bleach in there to kill the odor; that would take care of it
for quite a while.
Removing the anode would be quite a job, since the builder put a row of
cabinets on that wall and one sits squarely on top of the heater (with
cut-outs to accommodate the pipes). Looks like I need to discuss a water
treatment system with some local company. I agree - I don't want to shock
Thanks again, Gary - you have given me great advice.
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