Odor, kitchen appliances, faucet
QUESTION: Help! I’ve been upgrading my kitchen appliances and I had a new dishwasher installed. For several weeks, after dishes washed, I’d open up the door and the rotten egg smell was overpowering. Then, I had a new sink and faucet installed. Now, the rotten egg smell happens EVERY TIME I turn on the faucet, and, not in the dishwasher. I have to let it run about 20-30 seconds and the smell stops.
My installer came back and checked hookups and the garbage disposal for odor. He checked all the other faucets in house, etc. and can’t find anything wrong. There is no smell at any other faucet. The smell is sickening. I called the faucet manufacturer and though he thought I was nuts, he is sending me another ceramic cartridge disk. My installer said to email you to see if you had any suggestions, as he was stumped. I would appreciate any help/suggestions you may have to eliminate this.
ANSWER: “You are not nuts, we have had this happen several times,” says Vince McDonald of McDonald Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Sacramento. “I have personally smelled this and you would think you were at some sulfur hot springs like up at Mount Lassen,” he says. “You certainly won’t impress your friends when they come and check out your new kitchen!”
“Each time the cause of the problem was the water heater anode rod, which protects that water heater from corrosion and ultimate failure by leakage. It is installed at the time of manufacture of the water heater. It is also a sacrificial component of the water heater. Without it, your water heater will corrode and leak much sooner.
“Because all water is aggressive and corrosive to some degree – some much more than others – it is necessary to have a device inside the water heater to keep the water from eating away at the tank,” he says. “On some very rare occasions, as the anode breaks down, the byproduct ends up smelling like rotten eggs.”
“Contact your water supplier and ask if they have any experience with this problem. Because it only occurs with certain anodes and water, they may have some suggestions. Have your plumber check with your water heater manufacturer. They will more than likely have a replacement anode that will not react to your water. It is important not to just reinstall a new anode of the same composition because the problem will reoccur. Finally, have your plumber also flush your system with chlorine tablets to get the smell out of the pipes and plumbing fixtures.”