Hot Water Tank Problems – How to Solve Odors and Bad Taste

Often during the year especially during the hot summer time homeowners will often phone either their water utility or their plumbing heater tradesman or contractor complaining of foul smelling water which also tastes bad. 99 times out of a hundred it’s usually a case of hot water tank sediment. Coupled with the symptom of putrid water taste and odors may also be low sink and shower water pressures and output.
While distasteful smell of the home water supply may sometimes in the summer time be due to algae blooms at the waters source, it’s not that frequent an issue. Winter time seasons of course it can be almost ruled out on the spot in terms of plumbing diagnostic workups. The heating and plumbing store or the water utility may recommend that you need a hot water tank replacement – yet in most cases this is both premature and a highly aggressive approach seldom warranted both in terms of costs, and actual needs.
In most cases simply draining the sediment from the hot water tank will be the simple fix. It’s so easy to do that most home and property owners can do it as simple as 1, 2, and 3 with minimal supplies, tools and expertise with little fear of damage or mistakes what so ever.
Here is a simple sequence to follow Planters Decor to flush the hot water tank unit:
1) For electric (non -gas) hot water heaters begin by shutting off the power from the circuit breaker. If you have a gas (natural gas / propane / butane) hot water heater shut the valve providing the gas supply
2) Next shut (turn off) the cold-water supply to the tank. It should be easy to spot. It will be a valve near the bottom entry to the water tank in most cases. In other cases you may find it as a water valve near the heater itself. If you are concerned it is the wrong valve (there is usually a hot water valve as well), trail the pipe the valve is attached to. Feel the pipe for cold temps as opposed to the hot water outlet pipe which will be hot or at least warmer to the touch.
3) Near the bottom of the water heater you can spot a drain valve. In most cases it looks similar to a faucet. Or it may be a simple round dial with an outlet to attach a hose in the middle of it. If there is such an outlet with a hose attachment- attach a simple garden hose to it, make sure it’s tight so there is no leakage. Open the spigot and stand back to drain the effluent into a safe place where it can drain away. Either a nearby sink or basement drain, or perhaps the house can snake outside via a door or window. In other cases Mid Century Modern House Plans of some older hot water units the faucet will have an outlet – it’s not meant to attach to an actual garden or utility hose. In these situations drain the water into a bucket or series of containers, ensuring that minimal spillage occurs. Have some towels nearby to mop up spills. It’s good to have two or more buckets (that are small enough in height to fit under the lip of the drainage faucet outlet). This way as one bucket fills, you can swap in the next and empty number one. It’s sort of like an old fashioned fire brigade.
When the tank is good and empty you can start the process of refilling the tank. Very important do not turn power or gas back on until the tanks are fairly full. Otherwise you risk great damage to the tank unit – gas or in the case of the electric heated unit – to burn out the dry uncovered electrical heating element in one brief second. It happens all the time with careless amateur and novice plumbers who all said would pay less in total had they called in a professional plumbing tradespeople to begin with.
Two other tips from experts. First when emptying the tank you may have to pinch open the pressure relief valve to get flow started – not unlike a gas siphon. Secondly as you start to refill the reservoir again with cold water slightly open up the taps around the home slightly to allow air to escape as the water displaces air in the canister and lines. Otherwise once filled up your guests and family may have a gasp as they turn on taps and burst of noisy compressed air emanate out of the pipes. Just remember to turn off all faucets tightly once the procedure is underway or completed.
Lastly when and only when the hot water tank is good and full (you will be able to hear the sound of rushing water into the unit itself stop), do you turn on power or gas to the unit to allow the heating function to come back on.
It may take some time to fully and completely heat your home’s hot and warm water supply up to optimum temperatures. Especially if you are dealing with cold well water, or its winter season this may take an extended time period to complete. Be patient you will be rewarded with sweet smelling and tasting water, and as well may experience faster water flows and clothes cleaning cycles, showers and baths.

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