Written by Allison Clark-Dondzila
First, we need to know if you have installed a new hot water tank in the last year. If so this could be your problem. The anode rod inside the hot water heater reacts poorly with well water creating an odor. It may start in the hot water but it will cross over to the cold water also. Removal of the anode rod (which our softener technicians can do) is needed to eliminate the odor. Removal of the anode rod will void the warranty of your hot water heater but it WILL get rid of the smell. It is a personal choice on whether you want to do this or not: smelly water vs. voiding the warranty. It is your call. There may also be another rod material available; you can contact the company that installed the water heater to find out. If you have not replaced your water heater in the last year there are other solutions to get rid of the smell.
You have two options. There is a temporary fix or a permanent fix. Chlorinating the well will temporarily fix the problem. The odor could come back in a month to a year or more. To eliminate the smell entirely you need to install an iron filter. An iron filter will stop the iron before it has a chance to build up in your pipes and create an odor.
The odor is most likely caused by two types of iron that have built up (not only in your well casing and waterline but also inside your pipes): hydrogen sulfide and/or coliform bacteria. Hydrogen sulfide is a small black, oily particle. Coliform is a bacteria, a bacteria that grows rather quickly in humidity or heat. You may notice a smell more in the summer months or periods of hot weather than during the colder months. Both types of iron are removed permanently with an iron filter.
One of the most successful products that we carry here at Champion Water Treatment is The Rustbuster Iron Filter. Each year we get several calls of problems or issues with smelly water and yellow/orange stained showers –toilets, dishwashers, fixtures, etc. If you’re in an area with high iron content this is the solution to your iron problem. By adding an iron filter to your water treatment you can stop iron before it reaches the softener, before it has a chance to build up in your pipes, creating an unwanted odor and staining your fixtures. An iron filter will also extend the life of your softener! Imagine a maintenance free system that traps iron effortlessly. No more scrubbing, no more stains, and no more smell!