LESLIE: Barbara in Florida’s got something going on with the water. It’s smelly. What’s happening? Tell us about it.
BARBARA: Well, I have – the water in my hot water delivery system, anything that comes out of the hot water spigot smells horrible. I have had plumbers come in. I’ve had a lot of things done to the hot water heater itself and nothing seems to solve the problem. Since I’ve moved in, it has had a very strong odor; like rotten eggs. And …
LESLIE: That’s a sulfur smell.
BARBARA: … I had a water softener system put in. That didn’t do it. Then, at that time, they flushed out the pipes with bleach and they changed the anode rod. That happened – cleared it up for about a month. And then, I finally had a plumber come back and do the same things; flush the system, change the anode rod and the water – smelly water just comes right back. And every person who has done the work and left, just shrugs their shoulders and the last one said, “I suggest you replace all the pipes with proper pipes.”
BARBARA: That’s about $6,500.
TOM: Well, he needed a copper pipe replacement job. He was (chuckling) free that week. (chuckling)
Barbara, your problem is actually not that unusual and there are a couple of things that could be causing it. Probably the safe bet is to replace the water heater. But when you replace it, you want to make sure you replace it not with a water heater that has a metal lining, but one that has a glass lining. Because sometimes what happens is there are chemicals in the water that can react with the metal in the water heater and cause this sulfur odor to occur.
TOM: And that probably is what’s happening at your house. Now, another thing that you could do is you could give a call to the manufacturer of the water heater that you have right now and check with their tech support department. Because if this has happened somewhere else – and it probably has – they probably have the solution for it. It sounds like you’re doing the right things but, in this case, I would not recommend replacing the plumbing; that’s not something to do with it. I would, however, recommend replacing the water heater but only using a glass-lined unit.
Barbara, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.