I Learn As I Go

As most of you know, I am now living on a nice little 10 acre ranch in the Texas hill country, that used to be my dad’s. My wife is paying for the place, and continuing to work further south (many ask me how the hell I pulled that off and I just shrug and say she really likes me).

This past December, I replaced the front water heater after I walked by the closet in sock feet and ‘squish’. No big deal. Plumbing can be a real nightmare if things go wrong, and I have had enough things go wrong with former plumbing repairs to have the tools and supplies necessary to keep from running to the hardware store 4 times for a simple repair. The replacement was pretty much uneventful.

As time went by, I noticed that the hot water from the kitchen faucet began to give a very noticeable rotten egg odor. One never really gets used to it, and when the wife came up for spring break, she could barely use the kitchen sink because of the smell.

That water heater feeds the kitchen and front bathroom. The master bath and laundry has its own heater as does the extra bedroom. Those hot water feeds do not smell.

Hmm. Interesting. Just the hot water…not the cold. Brand new water heater. Yes, we’re on a well, and we do use a water softener.

A little research yielded some interesting info: the newer water heater contains an anode: a magnesium rod that runs from top to bottom in the heater. This anode, referred to as a ‘sacrificial anode’ because it gives up its life to absorb all the bad things in the water that lead to corrosion of the tank. However…however the magnesium as it corrodes gives off particles that feed the sulfur dioxide bacteria. here is an article

Given that this heater is brand new…maybe five or six months old, the anode couldn’t be corroded to nothing yet, so I cranked up the thermostats to 140°, and the smell was gone within 3 hours.

‘Course, we cannot leave the thermostats at 140, so I lowered them after 8 hours. This was Sunday. The smell has not returned, but hints every now and then.

I have one in the shopping cart at Home Depot dot com.

Maybe I should order two. Supposed to replace it with an aluminum one that runs about twenty bucks.

They say if one replaces this anode every couple of years, it can double the life of your heater.