Best Anode Rod for Smelly Water: The Best Way to Treat Foul Smell

You may be wondering about the best anode rod for smelly water. If you have a water heater at home (and so do almost everyone in the US), you must have been familiar with the foul stench of rotten egg issue.

Many heater owners must have encountered this issue at least once in their lifetime, showing that this problem is quite common and somewhat ‘normal’. What’s important is that you understand why the problem happens and what to do next.

Why Water Smells Foul?

Before deciding on the best anode rod for smelly water, you should know the science behind the foul stench. The rotten egg stench doesn’t happen on its own. The main culprit is most likely the anaerobic bacteria present in the water.

best anode rod for smelly water

These bacteria may react with sulfur. To make things worse, most heaters have this sacrificial anode rod (made from aluminium or magnesium). When the rod reacts with the sulfur and bacteria, it will create hydrogen sulfide gas which emits the ‘unique’ rotten egg smell.

Read also: Can Anode Rod Causing Rotten Egg Smell

This is basically a common issue happening to all heater owners, so no need to fret. There is no need to raise a finger and blame anyone, including the heater manufacturers. This is a common condition that may persist in some areas, so what’s imperative is to learn how to tackle this issue.  

You should know that heaters have this (sacrificial) anode rod as a protective component. It’s designed to attract (or draw) corrosive minerals. Instead of the tank’s inner lining being corroded, the rod corrodes. The problem is: when the rod corrodes, the metal will react with the sulfate and produce hydrogen sulfide.

What Not to Do

Many handymen or plumbers advise their clients to remove the (sacrificial) anode rods, so these rods won’t be the source of the foul smell. However, you should know that it will make the inner part of your heater rust so fast.

Moreover, some plumbers may advise their clients to replace their magnesium anode with the aluminium type. You should know that aluminium and magnesium will cause a similar rotten egg smell, so it’s not sound advice.

Will Replacing Anode Rod Get Rid of Smell?

There are some possible solutions to deal with the smelly water. Some experts believe the standard aluminium or magnesium (anode) rod should be replaced with the zinc alloy anode to solve the smelly water problem. It’s not advisable to use pure aluminium because it has a high possibility of reeking. The zinc anode rod should take care of the issue.

However, you should pay attention to this arrangement: If your heater comes with only one anode rod, then it’s not advisable to put two inside the tank.

Putting two rods will only worsen the issue as the odor will be even stronger. But you should also know that some heaters do come with two anode rods. If this is the case, then you can place the aluminium-zinc rods

Which Anode Rod is Best for Smelly Water?

A lot of sources state that zinc anode rod is best for the foul smell, but then again, it’s better if you consult a professional expert. They should be able to suggest what to do and not to do.

They may also suggest that you remove any rod until the smell issue is resolved. So, before you think about having water heater anode rod replacement, it’s best to talk it out with the pro and see which method works the best.

Read also: How to Replace Thermocouple On Water Heater

Final Words

Don’t be hasty when you want to deal with the smelly water. It’s always best and wise to discuss the best option with the expert. They should be able to provide suggestions of the best methods, including the best anode rod for smelly water.

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Jhon Thermon is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.