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Old 05-19-2014, 11:51 AM   #11
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I've used that Camco stuff to keep the water fresh, but not for sanitizing the entire system. I think the OP needs to sanitize everything and go from there.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:48 PM   #12
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Hot water smell

The Anode rod in the heater causes the production of Hydrogen Sulfide (rotton egg odor), the rod breaks down with the help of sulfate reducing bacteria (not harmful) the process releases electrons that keep your hot water heater from rusting (metal minus an electron is rust). Bleach kills the bacteria, that's why you get a short relief of the smell (very short) best to replace the rod but depending on the water you may need to change it on a regular basis. Your other option is to just remove the rod and put a plug in its place. This will shorten the life of the heater! how much is really hard to say.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual_T View Post
The Anode rod in the heater causes the production of Hydrogen Sulfide (rotton egg odor), the rod breaks down with the help of sulfate reducing bacteria (not harmful) the process releases electrons that keep your hot water heater from rusting (metal minus an electron is rust). Bleach kills the bacteria, that's why you get a short relief of the smell (very short) best to replace the rod but depending on the water you may need to change it on a regular basis. Your other option is to just remove the rod and put a plug in its place. This will shorten the life of the heater! how much is really hard to say.
Interesting "take;" will need to look into this farther as this is not my understanding of the process.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:41 PM   #14
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I have worked in water treatment for 15 years. I deal with smelly hot water heaters in customers homes just about every day.
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Old 05-19-2014, 03:13 PM   #15
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I typically fill my water heater in the spring and leave it all season.
Once in 8 years over 3 trailers we had rotten egg smell from WH.
I drained it and flushed and refilled and we went camping.
Never happened again.
I did NOT change the anode, I didn't sanitize, I only drained flushed and
went on.
Some cases might be tougher than others and I agree it depends on
the water but this is my story....
Don't make this harder than it needs to be and don't remove your
anode- it's there for a reason.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:32 PM   #16
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Got one better TURBS

There is a concentrated pool chemical you can buy--Chlorinating Concentrate (Sodium Dichloro-s-Triazinetricone or Sodium Dichlor for short). Sodium Dichlor contains 62% available chlorine. Compare that to household bleach which has something close to 3%. One pound of Sodium Dichlor is equal to 8 gallons of bleach!

Bleach contains other stuff, including a lot of salt, and that salt and other stuff is what causes the bad taste and why you have to flush the fresh water tank so well.

It takes only 1 teaspoon of the concentrate per 100 gallons of water to initially sanitize the system. After that, if you are at a park that has well water, just put a 1/4 teaspoon for a 50 gallon tank into the fill tube and fill your tank. This insures the system will always be sanitized. No, you do not have to flush again!! It's the equivalent to drinking chlorinated city water.

You can find this stuff at any pool or spa store.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:55 PM   #17
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Hot water heater anodes and rust protection

Solving rotten-egg odor in water heaters

Simplest, cheapest solution to stinky water heaters

Probably more information than you would ever need to know about anodes.

As you can see the anode works by galvanic action alone and does not use bacteria to operate (just being there causes the electrons to flow to protect the iron tank).

Bacteria does grow in warm stagnant water and some types can eat your anode and crap H2S gas (the rotten egg odor). A sanitizing agent like chlorine or peroxide is needed to kill them; smell gone.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual_T View Post
The Anode rod in the heater causes the production of Hydrogen Sulfide (rotton egg odor), the rod breaks down with the help of sulfate reducing bacteria (not harmful) the process releases electrons that keep your hot water heater from rusting (metal minus an electron is rust). Bleach kills the bacteria, that's why you get a short relief of the smell (very short) best to replace the rod but depending on the water you may need to change it on a regular basis. Your other option is to just remove the rod and put a plug in its place. This will shorten the life of the heater! how much is really hard to say.
I had this exact problem in my home water heater. Bacteria from my well was attacking the anode rod producing the sulfur smell. Bleach took care of the problem for a few weeks then it started coming back. The real fix was a new anode rod made out of a different metal that the bacteria didn't like.
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