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Old 06-12-2010, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Smelly water; well water and Anode rods

Ok, so, we have quite a problem around here with Magnesium anode rods, and well water causing a smell on the hot water. This is pretty common, take the rod out(void warranty) and the smell goes away.
Bradford White has a solution to this, for certain zipcodes they send water heaters with an Aluminum rod. We are not getting calls as frequently, but still some calls are happening after the new install.

I was at a house today where we put a new electric water heater in sometime in march. I was replacing a failed softener. So, because they had unconditioned water for a few days, I drained the heater. While draining the heater, I smelled that familiar smell.

My question is, if the new Bradford White heaters have an aluminum rod, why is there still a smell?
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indie View Post
My question is, if the new Bradford White heaters have an aluminum rod, why is there still a smell?
Are you sure about that?

I'm pretty sure that water heaters are supplied with a magnesium anode rod and if you have problems with the stankin water you need to change to the Bradford White A420 anode rod...
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
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Yes, I'm quite sure. I have talked to the rep about it. If I was at work I might be able to give you the designator that they use in the model or serial number. Bradford white deliberately sends aluminum to certain zip-codes, due to this problem. The area covers a large section of Northern Indiana, and surrounding States.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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We have the same problem around here.

I have yet to find an anode of ANY material that will stop the stink.
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:54 AM   #5
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Default does this work

i did the beach thing only once for the smelly water , i for get what the correct term was ,when you poor bleach down the anode rod , my ? is does this realy work , i did for a company i no longer work for so i don't know if they got any call backs on it.........
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:12 AM   #6
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If it's the hot side only, drain the tank completely and flush it. Then re-fill and crank the thermostat up to 160 or so and let it cook until it shuts down. Drain it and drop the thermostat. If it's both hot and cold its probably Hydrogen Sulfide gas and to get rid of that you need either a charcoal filter or RO
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:14 AM   #7
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Default smelly water

A water softener is not designed to take out sulfur smell. Changing the anode to aluminum is the correct thing. There can be bacteria in the water; chlorination is the proper way to go. Personally I do not think 120 degree water is hot enough to kill bacteria in the water heater.

We have many seasonable clients that we call snowbirds that end up getting bacteria in the hot water. We chlorinate and turn up the thermostats or gas control top a temperature that will kill the bacteria and keep it from growing back again. We find this with electric water heaters where you can get a 15 degree plus or minus from the stats with the temp difference between the stats and water. Typically we discover the water at 110 degrees or less.

Good luck wit this.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:04 AM   #8
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Talking the warranty police....

[quote=Indie;120363]Ok, so, we have quite a problem around here with Magnesium anode rods, and well water causing a smell on the hot water. This is pretty common, take the rod out(void warranty) and the smell goes away.

Why are you worried about the warranty, ???

Take care of your customer and dont worry about it...

If their is no other way to get rid of the smell, just take the rod out and move on....

voiding the warranty is the lesser of the two issues, and usually a heater on low pressure well water will last years past the warranty period anyway....

Their are no "anode rod police" out there that are
gonna tear down a leaking heater to see if the anode rod is still inside it....

give the customer the option to either fight the smell or simply remove
the rod and gamble on how long the tank lasts...







ps.. you got to do something with your avatar... it aint pretty
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:36 AM   #9
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spot on. spot on. breid................
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:43 AM   #10
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I would like to see some studies of anode rods and tank longevity. I suspect that even without an anode rod the tank will still hold up about the same length of time unless the water is really really bad. I can honestly count the number of anode rods I've changed in 30 years on one hand.
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