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 Posted: Sun Jun 2nd, 2013 09:09 pm
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frustratedowner
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I replaced a very old electric 80 gallon water heater with a Bradford White gas 50 gallon water heater and developed a stinky water situation. I am on a private well and have a water softener. The original anode rod was completely dissolved within 6 weeks. I replaced the stock anode rod with an aluminum one supplied by Bradford White. No luck. I purchased an electronic anode rod from Water Heater Rescue and 3 weeks later the problem is coming back. Can I try the hydrogen peroxide with an electronic anode rod in the tank? Should I be looking at shocking the well also?

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 Posted: Mon Jun 3rd, 2013 03:10 am
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eleent
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Hello:  It's not unusual for an anode to last six years in OK water and six months in over-softened water.  For an anode to last only six weeks, you must have some particularly aggressive or conductive water. I'd start by reducing the amount of softening you're doing so that 60 to 120 ppm of total dissolved solids remains in the water.  Some people suggest softening down to zero, but this can damage things. 

You certainly can do the things you mention, but I'd play with softening first.  Once your water is closer to normal, it will be easier to manage. ;)

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Mon Jun 3rd, 2013 05:25 pm
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elenano
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Sorry Larry, but I don't agree. Frustrated: the first question always is: does it smell everywhere, or just at one location? Answer that and we'll go from there. So far, I have never yet failed to solve an odor problem. But don't do anything with peroxide or bleach. That will solve odor problems short-term, but you want long-term.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Mon Jun 3rd, 2013 05:49 pm
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frustratedowner
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It smells everywhere hot, not cold. I am draining the water heater as we speak. I saw another post re. Bradford White tanks and someone suggested it could be due to not using enough hot water. They said it was better if the tank was used up once a day. I have a 50 gallon tank and I live alone so the usage is light. Draining the tank is a shot in the dark but...

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 Posted: Mon Jun 3rd, 2013 08:39 pm
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elenano
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I wouldn't bother with draining. It would be simpler to use peroxide, but again, that will give you a short-term fix. It needs to smell so we can nail down the cause.

Take some water in a bucket and go well away from any faucet and sniff. If it still smells bad, we can be sure it's the water heater.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Tue Jun 4th, 2013 03:14 am
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elenano
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Mondays tend to be crowded, so I just gave you the next step to do. Now let me explain the possibilities. This is partly for you, partly for anybody else who searches and wants to read this string.

The powered anode is intended to solve odor issues that result from Divibrio sulfurcans bacteria reacting with sulfur in the water and hydrogen created by the action of a sacrificial anode.

So far, if that is the issue, the powered anode fixes it every time. However, once in a while, something else is causing odor. A lot of people tend to think that a powered anode is an odor eater. It's not. If there is some other odor, it won't make it go away.

The essence of troubleshooting is not to assume anything or discount anything, so I'm not discounting the possibility that the powered anode is causing odor, but I think it's unlikely. We can test for that.

Other causes include there being a second anode in the heater that you didn't suspect was there; bacteria in drains and sink overflows that cause odor that you notice when you use hot water; and bacteria in the resin bed of the water softener.

If you solve this short-term, by draining the tank, or using peroxide or bleach, that means that we can't troubleshoot it until the odor returns.

Anyway, do the test I suggested and report back and we'll go from there.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Tue Jun 4th, 2013 06:02 am
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frustratedowner
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I did drain the water heater and the smell is gone for now. I'm sure it will return and I will try the bucket test then. I am pretty sure it is the water heater though as I have been going through the motions since February. Thanks for your help, Peter.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 4th, 2013 05:26 pm
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elenano
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Very likely you're right. But do come back as soon as you do that test and we'll go from there. I just looked at the first post. If you have a 50-gallon Bradford, that eliminates the possibility of a second, unguessed anode.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Tue Jun 11th, 2013 05:51 pm
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elenano
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Time to check in: Having drained the tank, did that get rid of the odor?

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Wed Jun 12th, 2013 09:31 pm
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frustratedowner
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Yes it did, for now at least.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 13th, 2013 04:57 am
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elenano
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Thank you. Please post here again when the odor returns.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 07:22 pm
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frustratedowner
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It seems the odor is just beginning to return. I can wait a bit to see if it gets worse or I can do the bucket test now. What do you think?

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 Posted: Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 03:44 am
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elenano
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Wait until it's a little stronger and then do it.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 04:40 am
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elenano
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I finally got around to checking your e-mail address in the forum database and hunting you up in my records, and I can't find you. Was the anode bought under another name?

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 08:19 pm
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frustratedowner
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Yes it was. My buddy's company is Concept Plumbing and his name is Mark Juliano. I am not sure if he used his name or his company name. Thanks, Peter

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 Posted: Mon Jun 24th, 2013 01:09 am
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elenano
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Yes. I remember him. Thanks.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Tue Jun 25th, 2013 03:15 am
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frustratedowner
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I should also tell you that I tried turning the softener down. I now have rusty sinks and tub and toilet. It had no effect on the odor problem. The odor is steadily increasing and I will do the bucket test in a day or so. Peter.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 25th, 2013 02:45 pm
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energyexpert
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Softener and rust should not be used in the same sentence. Two homes ago, (I built that one), the well water had 4000 ppb iron. The water guy said that an iron filter had to be ahead of the softener. A lack of an iron filter would cause the softener to load up with iron and be useless in 6 months. Softener technology may have upgraded since then, so my argument may be obsolete. Back then, iron filters removed iron, and softeners removed calcium, magnesium, etc. So if the iron filter is first and separate, then Larry's suggestion to soften less should not cause cause a carryover of iron.

David

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