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Calgary Plumbing: Stinky Water!

Calgary Plumbing: Stinky Water!

The title sounds a little ridiculous, doesn’t it? Stinky. Water. But this is a real problem for many homeowners and it’s not one that should just be ignored. Smelly water is usually an indication that there are bacteria in the water which could be hazardous to drink. Plus, it’s just not all that appetizing! You don’t really turn on your faucet and enjoy breathing in the odour of rotten eggs, do you?

What Causes Stinky Water?

Stinky water is usually caused by anaerobic bacteria in your hot water tank. It’s found naturally in a lot of water and by itself is fairly harmless. However, when it reacts with the magnesium and aluminum in the anodes of a water tank, it produces hydrogen sulphide gas-the stinky egg smell. The reason why it’s dangerous is because, if you drink water with these bacteria in it and you have any wounds, sores or lacerations on your body, the bacteria can cause painful, smelly infections. All in all, if you have smelly water, it’s time to fix the problem.

How Do I Get Rid of Stinky Water?

Getting rid of stinky water is mostly a matter of understanding the cause. The bacteria on their own tend to be harmless, though dumping some hydrogen peroxide into your plumbing is a way to get rid of the problem temporarily. In order to do this, turn off the cold water (but leave the hot on to relieve pressure) and dump a few pints of hydrogen peroxide into the plumbing. This usually kills the bacteria and you shouldn’t have stinky water anymore, though as soon as you leave the plumbing alone for a week or two, it will come right back.

A more permanent solution rests in changing the anodes in your water tank. You shouldn’t remove the anodes altogether-they are there for a reason after all-but you can replace them with zinc/aluminum anode and just one at that. Zinc mitigates the influence of aluminum, so there’s nothing for the bacteria to react to. This works pretty well unless you are in the habit of softening your water (many people in Calgary have to do just that), in which case you will probably need powered anode rods. These rods work by creating an electrical reaction inside the water heater. This gets rid of the magnesium and aluminum and is a more permanent solution than the other zinc/aluminum anode because they are more permanent.

Keep in mind that with aluminum/zinc anodes, you will have to run your cold water for a minute or two in order to get rid of the aluminum water so that it’s drinkable again.

Fortunately, stinky water isn’t the most common plumbing problem in the world, but you never know when it will happen to you, so better informed than stuck with the smell! And if you have any other plumbing problems, feel free to contact Clearview Plumbing and Heating for servicing and even emergency repairs at…

Clearview Plumbing and Heating operates as a Calgary-based plumbing services company in Alberta, Canada, providing round-the-clock availability for various plumbing tasks in the Calgary area.

For assistance, contact us at 587-912-1413.