Sulfur Smell In Hot Water? Here’s 4 Ways To Fix It.

Sulfur Smell In Hot Water is a Widespread Issue

Sulfur smell in hot water

Plumbing and water treatment companies are often faced with complaints pertaining to bad odors emanating from the water heaters. These unpleasant smells are commonly described as ”water smells like rotten eggs” or ”sulfur smell in hot water”.

The odor issues can cause numerous problems for the inhabitants, and often becomes a topic of conversation when guests are around. Today, we present the optimal, most efficient, method to get rid of this sulfur smell in water.

What Are The Causes of This Sulfur Smell In Hot Water?

First and foremost, it is worth noting that the sulfur smell in water can be caused by a number of different reactions.

If the odor is present only in your hot water, it is usually created by the presence of sulphate-reducing bacteria (sulfur bacteria) in your hot water tank. In some cases, it can also be caused by a chemical reaction between your magnesium rod and the hot water.

If the Sulfur Smell is present in both hot and cold water, the problem usually comes directly from the water source and it’s caused by the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas in the water underground. Since it’s coming from your water supply, this problem is the most expensive to fix since you need water tests and water treatement systems.

Here Are The Best Ways to Stop The Sulfur Smell in Hot Water

Preventing the Development of Sulphate-Reducing Bacterium 

Generally seen living in a low-oxygen environment such as water heaters, deep wells, as well as in the plumbing network, this sulfate reducing bacteria take their energy from sulfur. Since they usually proliferate in hot water, it is standard for the rotten egg smell to amplify when faced with these environments.

Temporary Solution: Concentrated Chlorination Treatment 

A temporary solution would be to do a concentrated chlorination treatment (chlorine bleach), which involves adding a predetermined amount of chlorine to your well and circulating the water through all your water systems. Once the smell of chlorine is noticeable throughout your home, simply let the water run until the smell disappears.

It is not recommended to use or consume this water for 24 hours after treatment, which makes this solution much less convenient. In addition, since this is a temporary solution, keep in mind that odors will be back in 1 or 2 months.

Permanent Solution: Corro-Protec Powered Anode

Since 2012, there’s a new way to solve this sulfur smell in house water and it’s guaranteed to work. By creating an environment in the water heater where the sulphate-reducing bacterium is not able to survive, the Corro-Protec anode will be able to stop that sulfur smell in only 24 hours.

In addition to being guaranteed for 20 years, the Corro-Protec only takes 15 minutes to install. Today, more than 80,000 households have adopted this solution and solved their hot water odor problems for good.

Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rod
Sulfur Smell In Hot Water? Here's 4 Ways To Fix It. 3

“Our house was having the sulfur smell in our hot water for some time after putting in a new hot water heater 9 months prior. After several attempts to shock our water and asking around for suggestions, we took to the internet and found Corro-Protec on a YouTube demonstration.

Best $$ we have ever spent. Anode rod was easy to install and smell was 90% gone immediately. Was completely gone by my morning shower so I was happy!!!’

Laura P.
United States

Rectifying This Reaction Within Your Water Heater 

Each water heater is equipped with a magnesium anode rod in order to temporarily limit corrosion within the tank. In most cases, the smell of sulfur will be caused by high levels of magnesium content water that comes into contact with the original anode already present within the water heater.

If the odor issue in your home water plumbing system comes from the reaction between the magnesium anode and your water, several options are available to you. However, it is important to know that these options are not all good in the long run.

Remove Magnesium Anode (NOT RECOMMENDED) 

It would be possible to eliminate these odors by completely removing the magnesium anode from the tank. However, doing so is very dangerous for the water heater because it will then be without its protection against rust. The weakest and most exposed places will then rust faster forcing you to change your tank after only a few years.

Replace the Magnesium Anode With an Aluminum Anode 

It is also possible to replace the magnesium with an aluminum anode. Water will no longer have a poor chemical reaction while supported by the new anode, and odors should completely disappear.

However, even though aluminum anodes are cheaper than magnesium anodes and last longer, the main issue is that as the anode dissolves, debris tends to harden and sink to the bottom of the reservoir. This can potentially end up in your faucets and cause breakage. In addition, some scientific research raises concern regarding aluminum residues found in water which could have adverse effects on people’s health.

Install an Powered Anode 

In conclusion, a powered anode is the ideal solution to these problems, because in addition to stops this sulfur smell in hot water in a few hours, these anodes are made from insoluble titanium, which limits their debris.

In addition, this technology requires no maintenance and is good for several years. Corro-Protec anodes are easy to install in your existing tank and will fix the problem, no matter what the cause of the odors, in just a few hours.

” Yes! The dreaded sulphur smell is gone. I did try an aluminum anode but was still getting the smell.

I ran my old water heater without an anode for over two years until i got a blast of crap blocking my tub faucet valves and elected to buy a new tank and along with a Corro- Protec Anode. So far so good and enjoying the green lighted comfort feeling furnace room now “

Yvan T.
Ontario, Canada

Other Kind Of Smell

It is important to know that a water softener will not solve the sulfur smell problem. Be aware that there are other kinds of odors in hot water tanks. This article is only about how to deal with sulfur odor problems. If you have other issues, you can read our full article :

https://www.corroprotec.com/blog/hot-water-tank-isnt-working/

See how Corro-Protec anode can stop sulfur smell in your hot water.

About Vincent Veilleux

After earning my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the UQTR University, I entered the water heater industries to explore my passion for new experiences and green technologies. In addition to my primary job fonctions, I also studied at NACE about Corrosion and Cathodic Protection.

127 Comments

  1. Dennis Aldrich on October 15, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I dont have an anode rod in my electric water heater, how can i install this rod?

  2. Mike wallace on October 6, 2019 at 8:27 am

    How long is the rod, have limited space above water heater.

    • Corro-Protec on October 7, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Our Corro-Protec Anode is 12 inches long!

      • Bob on June 25, 2020 at 5:48 pm

        I have a 5th wheel and the rotten egg smell is in the bathroom sink only both hot and cold water. How do i get rid of the smell?

        • Corro-Protec on July 2, 2020 at 7:57 am

          Hello Bob,

          If the smell is coming from only one faucet, the problem isn’t related to the hot water tank.

          You can try to :
          Remove the aerator clean and bleach it.
          Remove the faucet soak in Iron Out for 24 hours and reinstall.
          If the solution above does not work, you might need to replace the faucet.

          Hope this helps,
          Steph

  3. Matt B on September 14, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    We have a tankless water heater and seem to be having smell issue with our hot water. Our old heater had a tank and had the same odor problem. Is this recurring smell caused by the same problem?

    • Corro-Protec on September 16, 2019 at 8:05 am

      It is very rare to have this smell with a tankless water heater, we would like to know more about it, we sent you an email from info@corroprotec.com

      • John on November 25, 2019 at 9:46 pm

        I have this same issue…tankless water heater, but we get a few seconds of rotten egg smell when using the hot water.

  4. Steven on June 4, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    We live in a motor home park. Other people here have the same thing. We all live in the northern Salem and the water come from the river.

  5. Jason on May 29, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    I have a unit on our 55 gallon tank and love it. Fixed our rotten egg smell quickly. I am curious how the power supply works. Is it a current-limiting supply, or is the current a result of the 24V applied potential and some internal resistance in the anode rod? I ask because our supply went out and wondered if I could use a non-current limited higher wattage 24V supply as a replacement.

    • Corro-Protec on May 31, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Hello Jason, you can’t use non-current limited power supply for your Corro-Protec Anode. To ensure you have optimal protection, you need to use our Corro-Protec Rectifier. Please contact-us if you have any problems at info@corroprotec.com

      Thank you,
      Vincent

  6. Laura on May 24, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Our house was having the “rotten egg” smell in our hot water for some time after putting in a new hot water heater 9 months prior. After several attempts to shock our water and asking around for suggestions, we took to the internet and found this product on a YouTube demonstration. Best $100.00 we have ever spent. Anode rod was easy to install and smell was 90% gone immediately. Was completely gone by my morning shower so I was happy!!!

  7. Susan Brown on March 14, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I had fixed my odor problem with an aluminum rod a few years ago, but I have hard water issues, and its led me to replace the anode too often. We are happy to have found a long term solution

    • Anna Beard on May 16, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      Exactly how did you fix the odors with an aluminium rod?

      • Corro-Protec on May 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm

        The aluminum anode does not really eliminate odors.

        By removing the magnesium anode already present in your tank, the chemical reaction between the magnesium anode and your hot water will no longer continue and the odors should stop. We tell customer to replace the magnesium anode with a aluminium or a titanium anode because It is very important to have protection against corrosion in your water heater! Take note that the magnesium anode is not the only factor that can create odors. Powered titanium anode is the ultimate solution to cancel all rotten egg smell in hot water.

  8. Arnold on February 20, 2019 at 10:21 am

    We also have odor problems, but they are present in cold water and in hot water. However, it looks like it’s amplified in hot water.
    Could an anode like yours solve this problem?

    • Corro-Protec on February 27, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      Yes, the smell in your hot water will no longer be amplified.

      • Phil Miller on February 2, 2020 at 10:05 am

        What about the cold water smell?

        • Corro-Protec on February 4, 2020 at 7:49 am

          Our Powered Anode only stop the smell in hot water!

  9. Mark on February 9, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    Interesting! My neighbor advised me to simply remove the magnesium anode… I will continue my research because it doesn’t seem to be a very good advice from him. Does your product work every time for water odors?

    • Corro-Protec on February 11, 2019 at 9:10 am

      Yes it will! If not, we have a 90 Day Money Back Guarantee!

    • Bonnie Casto on September 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      We have stinky bad rotten egg smell in our got water, we installed a new hot water tank 2 weeks ago , how can we fix please any info will help me ??????

  10. John Rickwood on February 2, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Thanks! No more smell in our hot water few hours after the installation.

    • Kim & Steve on January 20, 2020 at 11:27 am

      Hello. We are having an issue with smelly water from a hot water faucet. However it’s only from one water source in our home, in our bathroom sink. The tub kitchen and other sources I’m our home have no issues with odour. Can someone advise.

      • Corro-Protec on January 20, 2020 at 12:25 pm

        Hello,

        If you have smell coming from only one specific faucet, the cause of the smell is somewhere in the fixtures or pipes supplying this specific faucet.

        Regards,
        Vincent

        • Scott R. on January 31, 2020 at 11:52 pm

          OK, I get that the smell is coming from the fixture or the pipes serving that fixture, but what could be the cause when you have an isolated condition like this?

          • Corro-Protec on February 6, 2020 at 11:10 am

            It could be caused by bacteria that have grown in a pipe, part of a pipe or vent that is blocked, or due to a leak. We recommend that you do business with a plumber to find a permanent solution to this problem.



    • R. K. on May 12, 2022 at 1:43 pm

      Hi I’m having an issue with the hot water only. There was a filter put on and the smell went away briefly but now is back.

      No one else where I’m living has this issue in there home.

      If I replace the hot water heater will that cure the smell maybe?

      • Corro-Protec on May 13, 2022 at 6:58 am

        No, replacing the water heater will not cure the smell. I suggest installing a Corro-Protec anode. This is easier, cheaper and guaranteed to work.

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