Hot water smell

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Franktr

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I know this is a common issue but I need some help. We have two 50 gallon Rhem hot water heaters. The house is 3.5 years old. One tank serves the guest bathrooms and not used often. The hot water started to smell about 18 months ago. I drained and flushed this tank twice. I replaced the anode and turnEd the temp to the highest. Smell came back. Drained and flushed and installed aluminum/zinc rod. We left for 3 weeks and now both hot water sources smell unbelievable. The tank that serves our bathroom never smelled until now. We were gone 6 weeks in 2019 no issues. Also we have a softener and I talked with some neighbors with the same system zero issues. Could it be the softener causing this?

Do electric anodes work?
 
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Jeff Handy

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Are you on well water?

If so, maybe you need to bleach the well, then bleach treat all the plumbing, bacteria may have colonized in there.

It would make sense that it gets worse while the system is dormant for awhile.
 

Duckbutter

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The only time I ever saw this problem was the water heater anode, going by your description I'm baffled, where it doesn't happen on cold and you'd replaced anodes.

Jeff may have the best starting point, have a pro treat your well, though I'm still inclined to think it's the anodes, or you live near a fracking site and something recently introduced to your tap water is reacting with the anodes.
 
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Twowaxhack

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I’d drain and bleach both tanks, heat to 140and then run water at each hot fixture and appliance until I smelled bleach.

Let it sit 24 hrs like that.

Drain it back down then fill it back up. Keep water temp around 130.

I’d start there.
 

Franktr

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Thanks everyone. the subdivision is on a well system managed by a company. We have water shortages and receive boil water notices several times a year especially when it gets hot. Too many people watering there grass. What I am doing is adding about a gallon of chlorine to each hot water tank and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Run it through all facutes until I smell it let it sit 30 minutes. Flush all until no smell.

than add a U V light system. What do you think.
 

Twowaxhack

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I think I’d get the water tested and see what I’m dealing with exactly.

maybe get a chlorine injector.
 

Franktr

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All day to find Chlorine liquid add a gallon to each treat and flush. Wife still is taking a shower on our RV as we did last night. I am okay with our shower now. Ordered a water test and UV demo. Hope it stays fixed
 
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