4 weeks after Chlorinating Well, Sulfur smell is back in Hot Water

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  #1  
Old 10-25-16, 07:41 AM
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4 weeks after Chlorinating Well, Sulfur smell is back in Hot Water

4 weeks ago we chlorinated our well as suggested by several friends in the area with wells. We did this due to a horrible sulfur smell in the hot water, from the Manganese. Unfortunately, afterwards, there was so much hardened (dead?) manganese it killed the pump and we needed a new well pump that was installed by a profession well drilling company. They blew all the gritty black residue out of the well prior to inserting the new pump.

When the new pump was installed the well company also chlorinated the well, as required by law. Our well is a 4" steel (unfortunately) well.

We were fine for several weeks. No more black slime in the toilet tanks, no stinky water. Life was sweet.

Last week I began to notice that the sulfur smell was becoming stronger. This week the smell is epic!

We called the well people who suggested we switch to a paper filter in our system instead of the string filter we had been using. This, they said, would trap some of that black slimy stuff. They also suggest that we change the rod in the hot water tank.

The hot water tank is 30 years old and running wonderfully fine, other than this odor.

Questions:
1. Why did this smell come back after only a month? Friends who have chlorinated their wells have only had to do this every few years?

2. Will the paper filter stop the black slimy stuff from showing up in the toilet tanks...if it is there, it is also in our drinking water, which makes me gag a bit.

3. Changing the rod in the water heater...this will alleviate the odor I have been told, but what about the long term issue of that manganese? What type of rod do we insist be put in the tank?

4. Should we get a new water heater? If so (stupid question I am sure) do the new tanks list what type of rod they have, and if so...what should we make sure we get? Do the on demand ones cope better or worse with this manganese issue?

5. How often can one chlorinate a steel well?

In other words, what are your suggestions for this problem? The hot water smells so bad at this point, I want to shower at my sons house so that gas does't fill my house with stench. My husband is not a DIY kind of guy, and I don't want to call people out to do work that may or may not help.

~K
 
  #2  
Old 10-25-16, 03:08 PM
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How long have you owned (or lived in) this house ?

The problem seems to originate within the aquifer that your well is drawing from.
 
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Old 10-25-16, 05:00 PM
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Still have not had the water tested to see what the real issue is?
No carbon activated filter?
 
  #4  
Old 10-26-16, 08:07 AM
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Did the black slimy stuff come back also?

Some wells send up more solid or semisolid matter than others. This means you have to replace the filter cartridge more often than, say, your neighbors.

Chlorinating the well alleviates sulfur and odors caused by organic means down below. It does not alleviate sulfur and odors caused just by chemical action or chemical presence in the water.

The best tank anode rod is magnesium. Aluminum rods are sometimes used for less cost or for reducing some odors but do not retard tank corrosion as well.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 09:27 AM
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The test shows iron and maganese. We were told it is the manganese that is causing the issue?

When we asked about what filter to use in the filter just before the softener, we were told to use a accordian'd paper filter? Would carbon be better?

Yes, Allan, the black slimy stuff did come back. Do you think that a magnesium rod will help. It seems to be only the hot water, although every once and again, I can smell it as I flush a toilet that hasn't been flushed in some time?

I've already sunk $1900 in a chlorination and new well pump...someone suggested a chlorination system? Is that feasible? I am frustrated to the point of tears (it is a woman thing) with this.

The well guys just tell us to try the rod change and filter change and see what happens. We have switched to the paper filter, we are in the process of having someone replace the rod. If that doesn't work...what next?
 
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Old 10-28-16, 09:31 AM
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Vermont,

We have lived in this house for two years. The problem started about two months ago?

We had no issues up until that time. When we purchased the home the inspector tested the well through the county and we were told we had great water. The few weeks after chlorinating it was great. Why would it go bad after just a few weeks?

The well is about 30 years old. Appliances that came with the house are not stained and run fine? Water heater is older and still working great, minus the stench.
 
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Old 10-31-16, 08:14 AM
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What kind of hot water tank do you have? You may have an anode that needs replacing.

Water Heater Anode Rod - Testing | Replacement
 
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Old 11-01-16, 12:07 PM
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After speaking to the tech at the well place, he also suggested an anode change.

We have called someone who does this type of work, and he is waiting for the rod (which makes me wonder if one has to wait for one, is this not something you could pick up at a plumbing store?)

We hope to have this addressed this weekend.

Question also...

When we awaken in the morning, and flush the toilets that have sat overnight, we sometimes get a sulfur smell there too, not nearly as strong. Could the water from the hot water sometimes meld/mix with the water from the cold and this happen? One night, after being away from the house all day to tend my mother, we can home and turned on the tap to the master bath sink and smelled it a little there too. Other than that, if I wash with cold water we don't smell it...

I just want this over. I have actually cried over this mess.

Thank you
 
  #9  
Old 11-01-16, 02:51 PM
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The new anode rod "might" help you deal with the presence of the sulphur smell in the hot water . . . . but won't help with the incoming cold water.

If you lived there for 2 years without this issue, I'm wondering if there was any recent local activity in the neighborhood which could have disrupted your aquifer, so that it's now being replenished with water from a sulphur laden source ?

Something has changed !

Here's a link to a fairly comprehensive article on the sources and treatment of sulphur water in a neighboring State:

Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfur Bacteria in Well Water - EH: Minnesota Department of Health
 
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Old 11-02-16, 07:38 AM
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No building around us, we live very rurally. We had a VERY dry summer, that is the only thing I can think of that is different.

So you would think the first step (after testing) is to have the anode changed, and then call the softener people? I understand the anode may help, but we still have the black haze atop the water in the toilet and sometimes the water in the toilets is a yellow/brown color.

The hot water heater is 30 years old, should we just buy a new one instead?
 
  #11  
Old 11-02-16, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by smithereens76
". . . The hot water heater is 30 years old, should we just buy a new one instead? . . ."
Old tank, new tank, big tank, small tank . . . . it's still the quality of the incoming water supply, and a new anode rod ought to help with the HOT WATER, but it won't do anything for you regarding the cold water. Hopefully, the cost of installing the new anode rod won't exceed the cost of a new tank.

30 years is a long time on a HWH; it must have been a high quality tank; stone lined ?
 

Last edited by Vermont; 11-02-16 at 08:08 AM.
  #12  
Old 11-02-16, 09:08 AM
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Now we all know I know zip about these things, so I can't answer.

The inspector, when we bought the house told us two things would need to be replaced in the next few years.

1. The furnace, and boy howdy was he right ... on the coldest two days of winter.

2. The water heater. He suggested we keep it as long as it was running well, and other than the nasty, make me gag, breaks my heart stench of the thing...it has been working like a champ.
 
 

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