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more stinky stinky stinky!

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6 replies to this topic

#1 activa



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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:36 AM

Ok, we had a STINKY problem with the dishwasher at our home that you grand muckety-muck, poobahs, and potentates of appliances helped us solve: it was the "natural" detergent we were using.

Of course, if it's a tradeoff between sparkling, glistening crystal and mirror-polished silver, and using a toxic detergent that strips flesh to the bone, or a "safe" natural cleanser, well... toxics wins every time! (Hey, we're Americans--better living through chemistry).

This time, it's the well in our new house. It was drilled about six years ago, but we really just started using it about four months ago. The water was fine then. About a month ago, it started smelling of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide).

Could this be a result of the extremely high rainfall we've had in the last few months? How do we tell if this is a characteristic of our local water or just some cultures that have taken up residence in our well? What's the best remedy in either case?

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#2 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:45 PM

We have the same issue with our well. You'll find that the smell varies widely from season to season and year to year. Sometimes, the smell is strong that it'll make you gag in the shower, where your head is engulfed in a cloud of the stuff. Other times, we cant' smell it at all. It's a biological thing.

Unfortunately, it's probably more than that, too. In the Northeast, the sulfide smell is often accompanied by other two other nasties: radium (dissolved radon gas) and fluoride. The presence of fluoride is non-trivial: fluoride is bio-toxic in any amount, attacks all organs in the body, attacks the reproductive system of both men and women, and has been proven to lower IQ by 20% on average.

You need to install a reverse osmosis system; it nukes everything. Here's the system we use:


Good price, easy to install. Tastes great, less filling!

#3 grey shrek

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:56 PM

Many many years ago , before Regina Sask. built a million $ filtration plant we had to use a charcoal filter system to remove smell . Would gag trying to have a shower or drink a coffee.

#4 BearsFan4Eva



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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:20 AM

I had the same problem and I changed my anode rod and did the peroxide as well.

[align=justify]The sulfur smell is hydrogen sulfide and it may be generated in your hot water heater or it may be coming from your well. Run the hot water and cold water separately to see if the odor comes from both or just the hot water. If you notice the smell only in your hot water then most likely your water heater is the culprit. Many modern water heaters contain a magnesium anode to protect the heater against corrosion. As the anode rod breaks down (which is what it is designed to do), it can generate hydrogen sulfide if your water contains any sulfate. A magnesium rod can be replaced with an aluminum rod to eliminate this problem. The problem can also be caused by sulfate-reducing bacterial growth, which can thrive in the warm environment present in a water heater. This problem can be eliminated by disinfection of your hot water heater and plumbing system with hydrogen peroxide. First, shut off the water and heat to your water heater. Then drain it, add 1 pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide for each 40 gallons of water, re-pressurize the heater, turn the heat back on, run 2-3 gallons of hot water to each fixture, and then let the system set for at least 2 hours (overnight would be better). This will clean the tank and piping of bacteria. Although this mixture is non-toxic, run a hot water faucet the next day until the water is cool. Then go through the same procedure as before to drain and re-pressurize the tank. Lastly, check the water temperature as soon as the burner shuts off. If the temperature is above 125 degrees F, lower the temperature. This will reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria, reduce potential scaling, make the water safer and lower your energy bill. If you had the smell in both your hot and cold water, the problem is your well. Hydrogen sulfide is formed from decomposing underground deposits of organic matter like decaying plants. It can occur in deep or shallow wells and is the result of bacterial action that reduces sulfates in water to hydrogen sulfide. The simple solution for this is shock chlorination to the entire water system--starting from the well all the way through the distribution lines. Chlorine should be kept in the system for several hours, preferably overnight. If the problem persists, then you may need to install an oxidizing filtration system to remove the hydrogen sulfide. If you have very high levels of hydrogen sulfide (over 5 ppm), then you may need chlorine injection, aeration, and filtration in combination. Hydrogen sulfide is best tested on location. Test kits can be ordered from HACH (800-227-4224, http://www.hach.com). Note: High levels of chlorine can cause damage to your water pipes and is toxic, so use caution and flush thoroughly after shock chlorination. [/align]
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[align=justify]Hope that helps![/align]



#5 activa



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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:30 AM

Thanks all. Local H20 utility recommended dosing with bleach. You're supposed to cycle water through hose back into well until you smell the chlorine. First time I didn't do the math and so didn't let the water cycle through the well long enough. Second time I realized a 225' well with a 6" casing plus pressure tank/system holds about 350gals. At 20sec/gal I calculated nearly 2 hours of cycling. Actually only took a little over an hour, then ran all faucets, hot and cold, until they smelled of chlorine. Let stand for 12 hours, and now the system is rid of the odor. We'll see how long it lasts.

#6 BearsFan4Eva



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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:57 PM

I tried that. Used to gallons of bleach and smell was gone for 3 weeks but it returned. Hope it works for you.  It really is a pain to have that smell linger in the house after anyone takes a shower. Im my case I did find it was only with the hot water so the water heater was the culprit. Good luck!

#7 kdog



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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:25 PM

I have known people to use Iron filters to remove this odor, which is similar in operation to a water softener except that the media is comprised of birm rather than resin, and cleaning or "recharging" of birm is done with potassium permangenate rather than salt. After several years though, the sulphur dioxide in the water will cause the birm to solidify and requires replacement (which is how I came to know this)- since the birm is not overly expensive to replace, the users are happy with this setup as they benefit from the cleaner smelling water

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