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Thread: Continuing water quality issues

  1. #1
    Caving311 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Continuing water quality issues

    Hi everybody!

    I've got well with a 3/4" main water line running in to a new Whirlpool 10" whole house filter, to a 5 year old Waterboss 900 softener, then to a 10+ year old water heater and fixtures.

    For several months, I've had issues that keep coming up. The first was rotten egg odor in the hot water. I started with bleaching my well, which took care of the problem for a week or two. When it came back, I replaced the outlet tube / anode rod ( which looked pretty bad and was worn to the wire in a few areas ) and flushed the tank with vinegar ( per the manufacturers recommendation ). I then replaced the old water filter with a new one since the gasket was bad, and the new one was cheaper than the gasket. In that process, I found the valves to the water softener had started to corrode ( fluffy green white ) so I cleaned them off. The corrosion hasn't seemed to come back. But the rotten egg smell had, so I bleached the water heater ( per the manufacturers recommendation ). This worked for a couple of weeks, and it came back. I put carbon based filters in the filter ( I had used string wound previously ), and it went away. But, the carbon filters clog to the point of dropping the pressure drastically within two to three weeks.

    I'm at the point where I want to get my water tested, and have some dealers try to sell me stuff, but I'm also thinking about adding a second filter before the carbon filter, and putting a string wound or polycarbonate filter there.

    At the moment, I've switched back to string wound filters, which take 2 to 2 1/2 months to clog, and my hot water has the rotten egg smell, and the cold water is cloudy with a slightly red tint, and occasional bad taste ( which seems to happen more after I use the water heavily ).

    Which makes me wonder if the string wound filter would work to extend the life of the carbon filters.

    Also, the string wound filters go from white to red to grayish black by the time they clog, which suggests high iron content and magnesium sulfate, I think. There is also a film on the inside of the filter canister, which goes away when I bleach it ( when I change the filter I put iron out, then bleach in it (( at different times))).

    Do you guys have any ideas of what could work to make this water better?

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted you to have as much info as possible.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Dan

    P.S.- 2007 OBC limits my EWH temp. to 140 degrees. Should I make sure my EWH is at or close to 140? For some reason, I think it was turned up over that years ago when my brother put a new dishwasher in, but I'm not sure.

  2. #2
    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Take the anode out of your hot water tank.

    Mine has been out for 15 years, no smell since.
    Trying to help people NOT get cheated ON THE NET.

  3. #3
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caving311
    Hi everybody!

    I've got well with a 3/4" main water line running in to a new Whirlpool 10" whole house filter, to a 5 year old Waterboss 900 softener, then to a 10+ year old water heater and fixtures.

    For several months, I've had issues that keep coming up. The first was rotten egg odor in the hot water. I started with bleaching my well, which took care of the problem for a week or two. When it came back, I replaced the outlet tube / anode rod ( which looked pretty bad and was worn to the wire in a few areas ) and flushed the tank with vinegar ( per the manufacturers recommendation ). I then replaced the old water filter with a new one since the gasket was bad, and the new one was cheaper than the gasket. In that process, I found the valves to the water softener had started to corrode ( fluffy green white ) so I cleaned them off. The corrosion hasn't seemed to come back. But the rotten egg smell had, so I bleached the water heater ( per the manufacturers recommendation ). This worked for a couple of weeks, and it came back. I put carbon based filters in the filter ( I had used string wound previously ), and it went away. But, the carbon filters clog to the point of dropping the pressure drastically within two to three weeks.

    I'm at the point where I want to get my water tested, and have some dealers try to sell me stuff, but I'm also thinking about adding a second filter before the carbon filter, and putting a string wound or polycarbonate filter there.

    At the moment, I've switched back to string wound filters, which take 2 to 2 1/2 months to clog, and my hot water has the rotten egg smell, and the cold water is cloudy with a slightly red tint, and occasional bad taste ( which seems to happen more after I use the water heavily ).

    Which makes me wonder if the string wound filter would work to extend the life of the carbon filters.

    Also, the string wound filters go from white to red to grayish black by the time they clog, which suggests high iron content and magnesium sulfate, I think. There is also a film on the inside of the filter canister, which goes away when I bleach it ( when I change the filter I put iron out, then bleach in it (( at different times))).

    Do you guys have any ideas of what could work to make this water better?

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted you to have as much info as possible.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Dan

    P.S.- 2007 OBC limits my EWH temp. to 140 degrees. Should I make sure my EWH is at or close to 140? For some reason, I think it was turned up over that years ago when my brother put a new dishwasher in, but I'm not sure.
    I can make some guesses and so can you, but what you really need to do is have a water test done. Take the sample from a point before the filters.

  4. #4
    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabie
    Does it mean that the cause of the smell is the anode?
    Could be, yes.
    Trying to help people NOT get cheated ON THE NET.

  5. #5
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    The smell is caused by SRB, IRB or MRB in the water; sulfate, iron or manganese reducing bacteria using the anode rod to get a hydrogen ion from to create H2S gas.

    Raising the temp of the water heater to 140*F kills the bacteria.

  6. #6
    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Trying to help people NOT get cheated ON THE NET.

  7. #7
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    Raising the temp of the water heater to 140*F kills the bacteria.
    One should be extremely careful when rasing temperature of water heaters. It is vitally important not to neglect this aspect when recommending this method of water treatment. I'm sure this essential caution just slipped Gary's mind as provding that would be the responsible thing to do.

    Great care must be taken as not to cause bodily injury due to extreme temperatures.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

  8. #8
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Code is either 120 or 130 new

  9. #9
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    And today that's why we find Legionella in our water heaters. That can kill you.

    We used to have all water heaters set at 140* from the factory. Now instead of 140*which will teach anyone to check the temp of the water before putting your their hand or themselves in it, we have bacteria growing in the heaters; as in hot water odor here.

    BTW, I grew up with a small coal fired water heater with no automatic temp control, today I still test the temp of water before sticking any part of me in it, and I have no scares, neither do any of the 5 kids I raised on 140*. Today we have millions of dumbed down dependent on the government people not realizing that the government and codes don't know everything.

  10. #10
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Many many things have changed from the way we used to do things. ASSME recommends water heaters be set to 160 and tempering valves be installed at each fixture. Expensive but effective.

  11. #11
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    And today that's why we find Legionella in our water heaters. That can kill you.
    I was wondering where this has been found? I have heard of no outbreaks in residential homes and tried googling for them. Maybe you could provide some details and links that can help support your claim?

  12. #12
    steve is offline Junior Member
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    I took my anode rod out as well, "must have good impact wrench to get it out" also hard to find plug size for that hole, so I cut off the bottom of the anode rod and used the plug to put back in that same hole, using a thread lock or thread sealer. "pipe dope".

  13. #13
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    I took my anode rod out as well, "must have good impact wrench to get it out" also hard to find plug size for that hole, so I cut off the bottom of the anode rod and used the plug to put back in that same hole, using a thread lock or thread sealer. "pipe dope".
    It would be in your best interests to get an aluminum anode rod in there. If the rod was intact it was probably magnesium which will cause issues in alot of water. If it was gone then the condition that caused it to be eaten away are now at work on your tank itself. The rod is self sacrificing so that the tank lasts longer.

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