Water softener being the root cause of the rotten egg smell

Old 05-03-18, 05:10 PM
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Location: Canada
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Water softener being the root cause of the rotten egg smell

Hello guys,

I acquired a 10 years old house last year. As part of the purchase process, I of course proceeded with a water analysis which revealed some numbers outside the norms:
  • arsenic (0.013 mg/L)
  • baryum (1.44 mg/L)
  • TDS (872 mg/L)
  • iron (0.5 mg/L)
  • sodium (204 mg/L)
  • last but not the least, iron bacteria

I therefore asked the house seller to split half-half with me and install a completely new water filtration system.

We picked the local installer with the best reputation.

He installed the following:
- big blue sediment filter
- greensand / permenganate filter
- a metsorb filter for the arsenic, by far the most expensive piece of this setup
- a water softener

Keep in mind that this was my first house with a well, and I knew absolutely nothing about this equipment. Had I known today, I would have picked an installer who instead favors a chlorine-injection system. Too late...

The first 3 months were like a dream, perfectly tasting water and no odor.

Over the course of the next 5 months, things went downhill. The water have started smelling more and more like rotten egg.

Today, enough was enough. I decided to:
- completely clean the permanganate tank
- clean all injectors
- start a backwash and literally sit beside the filter for 1h30, making sure that all cycles were ok (for example, that the brine cycle was sucking enough permanganate, and then filling it back properly)

The greensand filter seems to operate perfectly.

After testing the water, unfortunately same odor.

I therefore decided to put all filters in bypass mode, except for the greensand one. SURPRISE! The water softener is the cause for I'd say 90% of the odor. I'm not 100% sure for the metsorb, it might be responsible for 10%. One thing is obvious: the water tastes and smells perfect when only the greensand is active.

The big question #1: is the resin in the water softener now full of iron bacteria? Can I simply disinfect it or this could be a permanent damage?

The really expensive question #2: what about the metsorb filter? The media alone is worth 2000+$ CAD.

Old 05-03-18, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
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By far not a water expert, just been dealing with customers homes for well over 40 years and know what's worked for me.
Both the hot and cold water effected, if it's just the hot you have and issue with the anode, simple about a $20.00 DIY fix.
Incoming water, I would installed a activated charcoal whole house filter long before that other stuff.
Old 05-04-18, 05:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Yes, it's important to know if the smell is mainly in the hot water or if it's also in the cold. Softened water is more prone to developing a bacteria in the water heater which produces a rotten egg smell.

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