How to Fix a Tank Type Water Heater: Rotten Egg Smell Video
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Video:How to Fix a Tank Type Water Heater: Rotten Egg Smell

with George Allen

Rotten egg smells in your water may be due to your hot water heater. Check out these tips for getting ride of that rotten egg smell in your water heater tank.See Transcript

Transcript:How to Fix a Tank Type Water Heater: Rotten Egg Smell

Hi, my name is George Allen. I am a home renovator here in Kansas City, Missouri for Today we are going to talk about how to fix a rotten egg smell in a tank type water heater with tips from the's home repair website.

Before we get started some safety tips are make sure you cut the main power supply to your house you can find this in your breaker box, and make sure you turn off the main breaker not individual breakers because they are still a power source to your home. Also make sure your pilot knob is in the pilot position, and that your water supply is turned off.

Water Heater Smells is Caused by Bacteria

A rotten egg smell from your hot water heater is usually caused by bacteria in your water reacting to deterioration of your magnesium or aluminum sacrificial anode rod. Softened water and well systems often cause the most problems. Because sediment at the bottom of your tank may contain bacteria first try flushing out your tank to see if this fixes the problem. Even if you don’t have a problem it is good to flush a hot water heater at least once a year to remove any sediment build up it may have acquired. You do not need to shut off the power or water supply when flushing your tank.

Flush Your Water Heater

First you want to attach an ordinary garden hose to the draincock at the bottom of your hot water heater. This usually looks like a faucet found in your garden, or it looks like a dial with a threaded hole for your hose to attach to. Take the other end of the hose to a place such as a drain or to your front yard where the water is safe to drain out. Open up the draincock so the water can begin to flow out of the heater, don’t force the draincock open because it may break easily on older models.

Let about five minutes pass and then fill an empty bucket with the draining water. If the water is clear and free of debris then close the draincock and remove the garden hose. If not then empty the bucket and repeat until the water is clean and clear.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean the Heater

Another quick fix for the problem is hydrogen peroxide. Start by shutting off the cold water valve then turn on the hot water from a home faucet to alleviate pressure. Drain some water from the tank and finally open the plumbing on one side of the tank and pour in two pints of hydrogen peroxide for forty gallons of water. Close it all up and let it sit for two hours. Turn the cold water back on and let the water briefly flow from all taps throughout the home. This should work but may only be a temporary solution.

Replace Water Heater's Anode Rod

A more permanent solution is to replace your anode rod with a zinc alloy anode. If you are continuing to have problems you may need to replace your water heater with one that contains a plastic lining or switch to a tankless system. These are pricier options and should only be used as a last resort.Thank you for watching, for more tips on how to fix your tank type water heater check us out on the web at

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