Introduction: How to Eliminate BAD Smelling Hot Water

Picture of How to Eliminate BAD Smelling Hot Water

Most people don't have a problem with their hot water smelling bad. But for those who do it can be horrible. The problem is that the water (very often well water) reacts with the magnesium rod in the water heater and makes the water smell more like something from a septic tank. It can be really bad. I mean really bad. Like open the windows and vent the house bad. I had forgotten just how bad but a recent change has brought it all back.

I replaced my water heater this summer. Very often when someone who lives in the area puts in a new water heater they opt to remove the magnesium rod in them. The rod is there to help preserve and extend the life of the water heater. The idea is that the water will attack and eventually consume the rod and not eat holes in the tank itself. It is referred to as a sacrificial rod because it is meant to be dissolved over time. The problem is however that some water has minerals that react badly with the rod. My alkali water does just that, it reacts with the rod and makes the water smell really bad. In fact it even turns the water black. So when I turn on the hot water out gurgles this stuff that is like something from a volcanic hot spring. Not what you want to wash with. Removing the rod solves the problem, but it also usually voids the warranty on the water heater. And it can cut the life of it also. But there is another solution.

If you add a small amount of bleach to the water heater it makes it all better. It's actually pretty amazing that so little bleach can make such a big difference. We are talking about a cup at the most, added to 30 to 40 gallons of water. The problem is how do you get the bleach into the water heater.

That is what I am going to show you.

Vyger's very own water heater bleach injection system.

Step 1: Gravity and a Little Modification

Picture of Gravity and a Little Modification

Because of the way water heaters are made it can be pretty easy to do this modification. Even someone with no experience can do it. A few basic tools and some plumbing parts.

The plan is to make a funnel that attaches to the top hot water outlet with a shut off valve. To get the bleach into the water heater is then a simple process. First you turn off the line coming in so there is no pressure in the heater. Then attach a drain hose to the water heater drain and open the drain valve. Some water will come out but then it will slow and almost stop. The water trying to get out the bottom is creating a vacuum at the top of the water heater. If you open the valve that was installed air rushes in and water then goes out the bottom. Anything you put in the funnel will get sucked down into the water heater. SO you put your bleach in it, open the valve and "slurp", its gone, just where you want it to be. Add some water for a rinse and your done. Close the drain valve, reopen the inlet valve and your finished. The heater is once again pressurized and now the water is mixed with bleach which kills the reaction with the rod and the stinky smell it produces.

This is a completely DIY project since as far as I know there is nothing like this commercially available.

Depending on your plumbing, this is what you need to get to make one.

Cardboard --- The glue drips all over and it will not come off. It melts vinyl and plastic. Use cardboard to work on.

You need paper towels to clean the pipes and fittings. You need a saw to cut the pipe. A hack saw works good. A saw with big teeth will not. You need a file and utility knife to clean up the cut ends. You need a marker to mark the fittings and pipe and a wrench and pliers.

You will need to buy a small can of pipe glue and cleaner. Some Teflon tape for the screw threads. You need to get a good valve, preferably a brass one. And whatever fittings you will need for the configuration that you have. Draw out a picture of what fittings you will need and take it with you to the store. Buy extra fittings and plan on taking back the leftovers. It eliminates emergency trips to get more when something doesn't go together right.

Step 2: Dry Fit Stuff First.

Picture of Dry Fit Stuff First.

Always do a dry fit of everything. That doesn't mean you need to screw it all together and press the fittings all the way in. Just lay stuff out so you know where it will all go. Then start assembling things. Glue takes time to dry so work in sections. Don't try and glue everything up at the same time.

Always remember to remove the labels and price stickers. If you leave a sticker on and it ends up in a glued joint that joint could fail and leak. Clean fittings, clean pipes, clean applicators means clean joints and clean joints don't leak.

Sometimes it helps to file the edges of some fittings. It gives the overflow glue a place to set up and helps seal the joint.

Wrap threads with Teflon tape to help prevent leaking. Don't use to much, it could cause the fitting to be to tight and even split the other piece.

Step 3: How to Glue a Pipe Joint

Picture of How to Glue a Pipe Joint

One of the first things that happens with these applicator in the caps cans is that the glue dribbles all over the threads of the can so when you put the lid back on it glues it on. Hence the large slip joint pliers. Its just the way it is. Also you get glue on your hands. Don't fret about it. It peels off, sometimes in long strips. Its almost like your peeling your skin off.

When you cut a pipe it will often not be straight and will often have burs on it. A large tooth file flattens it out nicely. A utility knife works good for cleaning up the inside edge. If you leave plastic stuff in the pipe it will often end up in the faucet screens of your sink. So the better you clean them up the less junk in the water line.

File a little around the outside also. It will help it seat in the fitting.

Wipe on some cleaner and then immediately wipe it off with a paper towel. If you do it fast the pipe will not be sticky. If you wait a few seconds it will soften the plastic and it will stick to your paper.

Spread glue on both the pipe and the fitting and while pushing it together twist it a little also. They say about a quarter turn. The glue should form a bead around where it meets the fitting. I usually roll it around with my hand (if its small enough piece of pipe) so the glue doesn't drip but instead flows around in the joint. Once it gets stiff you can put it down to dry and work on another joint. Don't put any pressure on the joint while its drying. You want it to set up and be evenly coated inside.

To cut a specific length I use a sharpie and draw a line all the way around. It helps you keep the cut flat so its not at an angle. Its probably overkill but I hate redoing things so I spend a little more time at the beginning to get it right the first time.

Step 4: Getting Fittings at the Right Angles

Picture of Getting Fittings at the Right Angles

When I first started gluing pipes I figured out to mark on them where I wanted them to line up. For a lot of things its not important but if your doing non standard angles then using alignment marks makes a lot of sense. You only have a few seconds before the glue stiffens up when you do a joint so marks make it possible for you to get it right the first time.

Step 5: Connecting It to the Hot Watter Line.

Picture of Connecting It to the Hot Watter Line.

This is not a new idea or invention of mine. I had the same type of thing in place on my old tank. When the guys installed the new one I told them they had to put it back on. Well, they threw it out with the old heater so they make a new one. But it had a few problems. They used so much glue that it ran down inside the valve and glued it shut. The top of the "funnel" was so high up I had trouble reaching it and it was in the wrong place. They didn't leave any pipe between the fittings so I couldn't even remove it and do it right. I had to just leave it and make a new one. At least its not expensive to do.-

So once again, this is how this works :

Close the line in to the tank, the arrow points the way to go for the handle.

Drop the drain line to the drain and open the heater drain. The tank depressurizes and then forms a vacuum at the top. Crack the top valve to let air in and make sure its not going to come out instead of in.

Use the bottle and pour the small amount of bleach into the funnel. Open the top valve and "SLURP" the bleach is on its way. Add some fresh water to rinse, slurp, and you are done with that.

Close the drain, turn the water back on. All done.

The hot water will smell a little like pool water. You can smell the chlorine in it. But it is not enough to bother anything. It's way better than the alternative. How often it needs to be repeated depends on your water usage, your water quality, and your water softener. When my water softener needs to be regenerated it will often trigger the bad smell in the water heater. Usually I treat it when I first smell it getting bad and that is the end of that.

Better to smell like a pool than a sewer any day. Yes, life in the country can sometimes be challenging.

A Few Extra Notes

I didn't mention it when I first wrote this but there are of course other types of pipe. The most common are copper and a relatively new one, PEX. This injection device can be made out of copper instead of PVC. But copper is more expensive and you need some experience working with it in order to solder good joints. Copper and PVC can be used together so if you have copper pipes you can still make this out of PVC and use it with the copper. You will need to solder a copper T in place in your copper line and have a threaded adapter soldered to it so the plastic can screw into it. I found that it is best to have a plastic nipple screw into a metal fitting, just like with my brass valve. If you screw a metal nipple into a plastic fitting the plastic will sometimes split.

It could also be adapted to PEX but the way to do that would be to have it mounted directly to the top of the water heater inlet and use that as support. PEX is flexible and would give no support to this if were just spliced into a PEX line. After it is put in place on the water heater the hot water PEX line could be connected to it.

A few more details about connecting to your existing hot water line :

When you decide where to mount this to the existing line, mark it and then dry fit your injector by holding it to the line where you want to cut it. In other words make sure it will fit before you cut the water line.

When you cut the line it will almost certainly have some water in it. It's annoying to have it run down your arm but there really isn't much way around it. If somebody opens up a faucet while you are cutting the line or after it has been cut you might get a lot of water coming out of it. Tell people not to turn any taps on while you are working on it.

Your Saw can easily get pinched and bind up. As you cut through the pipe it will sag. When it does the part that you have already cut will pinch on the saw blade. Don't get frustrated and yank on the saw harder. Just lift the pipe up and it will free the blade so you can finish the cut.

Once the ends of the pipe are cleaned and ready to glue make alignment marks. You can glue in one side of the T and then the other or you can even try to do them both at the same time. But one important thing is to hold it all together for about 30 seconds after you push the pipes in place. Sometimes the fittings will push back out so you need to keep pressure on the joints. If the injector assembly is putting weight on the joint you might want to hold it in place for a full minute or two to let the glue set.

And one last note : Do NOT pressurize the water line for at least 2 hours. Leave the hot water off long enough to give the glue time to dry. I usually go for half a day before I put pressure to the line but the directions say you can after 2 hours.

If there are some things that you don't understand just ask. You can ask here or even in the questions sections. We will all be glad to help you as much as we can.


catniptoys (author)2016-06-21
DoraO1 (author)2016-01-07

how long after you insert the chlorine, will the water be smell ffree?

Vyger (author)DoraO12016-01-11

The effect is right away. Usually though I wait a little while to run the hot water to make sure the bleach gets a chance to mix and circulate through the whole tank. Like 10 to 30 minutes. The swampy smell is gone right away but there is a bleach smell that replaces it. This lasts for a little while depending on your water use. If you were to run a dishwasher right away after putting in the bleach then by the time the washer is done a lot of the bleach is gone.

MathieuC10 (author)2015-12-12

is it possible to sinply put this valve (or a passthrough) system at the water intake of the heater instead? If not, why wouldn't it work? Thanks!

Vyger (author)MathieuC102015-12-14

Yes, if the inlet is on the top of the tank. In fact it would be better than using the hot. The tank that I have has the inlet on the side of the tank about half the way down. Since you are using gravity to pull the mixture into the tank it needs to be at the top of the tank otherwise you will not get the full pull of gravity. In fact it would even be possible for the water to exit out the tank instead of going into it. So it's not a matter of in or out or hot and cold as much as position on the tank.

BenP23 (author)2015-10-20

Yeah, this totally awesome but I just went to amazon and bought a filter system for the house. I am not as DIY as you guys are! I thought about trying this, but after all, who am I kidding, I can't make this. I looked at RO systems but I've heard RO can do nasty things to your pipes. Some people call it "dead water", I settled in this one

brtechnology (author)2014-09-28

From a previous problem with smells in hot water, it appears for money saving reasons new hot waters often come with aluminum rather than magnesium anodes. These breakdown quickly and give the smell and often a fine black silt. My local plumber told me to order a replacement made from magnesium and the smell went away immediately.

ccarney5 (author)brtechnology2015-08-20

We have been having issues with our hot water stinking to high heaven. I did a recommended treatement of peroxide, but don't think I used enough since I only had one bottle on hand and was completely desperate at the time. Where I found the peroxide solution, that site also suggested change the anode rod out for a zinc rod. Wondering if that will last longer and be effective.

JamesZ2 (author)brtechnology2015-05-12

Yes, savings costs to mfg.

A replacement mag/zinc anode costs appx. 78.00 now...

+ s/h

Funny! I did the exact opposite. Researching sulphur smell I ended up swapping the magnesium rod for an aluminum one and the smell disappeared. FWIW, water is very high in iron. Wroger-Wroger was dead-on, the chemistry is the key. Find the rod that works with your water.

imark77 (author)2015-06-23

question, and I am surprised that nobody has asked it yet.

do you cover the top of the funnel with something to prevent materials, objects, dust and debris from getting in to it?

Vyger (author)imark772015-06-25

I suppose it could be a smart thing to do. If there were mice in there or something they could make a mess and it could get pulled into the heater. Even something like aluminum foil would work. I have not up to this time covered it with anything but that could deffinately be an option for the future.

tomatoskins (author)2014-09-22

I like it. I assume that small amount of bleach won't have any ill side effects if ingested. Good use of ingenuity!

Vyger (author)tomatoskins2014-09-22

I don't think it would bother you if you did drink it because its such a small amount (and it quickly gets even more diluted as the water is used) but but I never use the hot water for either cooking or drinking anyway. Even though the well water is clean enough to drink I use bottled water anyway. I buy RO water for drinking and cooking. It just tastes better and it doesn't leave a film on top of the tea.

JamesZ2 (author)Vyger2015-05-12

The film may just be the minerals rising to the top once heated/boiled.

Our ph is 6.9, but still a little hard. If we boil distilled water, walmart drinking water, our well water, or healthfood store quality mineral water. Each one produces no to some film.

It is the mineral makeup in the water causing the film...unless a possible rainshed supply to your aquifer source needs some EPA related abatement.

mishap91 (author)tomatoskins2014-09-28

My brother, in Georgia, use to maintain the common well at a trailer park and he used bleach also and said 1 drop of bleach per gallon of water is all thats necessary to keep the water safe for drinking. BUT, Bleach is a carcinogen period! A better safer, cheaper way is to use 35% FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide at the same rates. ANYTHING MORE then that with bleach WILL cause health problem such as CANCER. Many municipality's are now using the peroxide in their swimming pools because its a NATURAL substance and it DOESN'T cause cancer. Please look up on the Internet all the uses of this wonderful product. It's what the UK used to help cure our soldiers of pneumonia back in WW1, I also use it for my own lung problems from smoking. It only takes 4 DROPS in 8 oz. of water to help me break up the congestion to cough it out. I use it to clean & sanitize everything in my home. BUT! BE CAREFUL with it. IT'S NOT THE PEROXIDE YOU BUY IN THE DRUG STORE. READ ALL WARNINGS! The peroxide in the stores has had heavy minerals added to it to keep it from exploding when the cap is on tight. (I believe 99% food grade peroxide is what they use to put the NASA shuttle up in the air.)

Tinker_001 (author)2014-09-28

We also had a problem with the nasty rotten egg smell in our hot water (Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas that gives water a distinctive “rotten
egg” odor.) We live in a community which uses well water that is treated near the pump with chlorine. They do not soften or use Potassium permanganate to remove Iron (Potassium permanganate is a point-of-entry treatment method that
oxidizes dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide into solid
particles that are filtered out of the water. It can also be used to
control iron bacteria growth in wells.) To get rid of the bacteria We increased the water temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, It works great and we don't have to "season" our hot water tank with chemicals. The only drawback is now we warn people who may be visiting that the shower may be hotter than normal.

JamesZ2 (author)Tinker_0012015-05-12

You are right...other article i have researched that at appx. 140 deg...bacteria is killed.

A maintained good quality u.v. filter inline prior to water heater will also suffice.

Vyger (author)Tinker_0012014-09-28

Interesting: I turn mine up (hotter) in the winter to help keep the pipes from freezing. I will have to see if it makes a difference.

BARKing (author)2014-09-23

RO water is a great solvent. RO water is not so good for drinking as it has no minerals in it so it pulls minerals from the body. There are RO systems that re mineralize the water with good minerals but no strong flavours. Mineral Pro is one brand that does this.

captainhurt (author)BARKing2014-09-28

Ignore the spam promoting water filters. Ignore the dangerous spam spouting nonsense about "body leaching"...its simply not how digestion and metabolism work.

distilled is the purest water available...just plain water, no pollutants, the way it needs to be.

water filters are almost always specific, removing only specific chemical pollutants, they have defects, failures, get clogged often DUMPING junk into your water worse than no filter at all! and that doesnt count when old water lines, water line breaks, depressurized lines, bacterial/mold cultures in pipes/lines/tanks and metal ions truly "leaching" into water lines.

go for distilled water.

JamesZ2 (author)captainhurt2015-05-12

Do what I did...replace every last fitting and component from nsf approved water pipe in my well hole to every last plumbing part in the entire house. (Pvc or cpvc so no mineral levels have a chance of dissolving copper or aluminum sodder)

Install an inline sediment filter, a quality u.v. filter, do proper maintenance on such, have water tested yearly to make sure no sudden changes to aquifer....

Peace of mind.

redpola (author)BARKing2014-09-28

What is RO water?

Skattie (author)redpola2014-09-28

Reverse Osmosis

Vyger (author)redpola2014-09-28

Put simply:

RO uses a membrane that will only allow the water molecules to pass through. It works very much the way a cell's membrane does. So the water goes through the membrane leaving all the other stuff on the other side of the membrane. It is very close to being the equivalent of distilled water which is obtained through evaporation but does not involve the expensive process of heating the water up past boiling and then condensing it back again. Most people don't think about the fact that rain water is distilled water. It starts out pure but then picks things up as it falls through the air, like acid from exhaust fumes. Rain water washes the atmosphere.

I wonder if in their atmosphere models they took into consideration that since the warming atmosphere holds more water vapor and results in more rain, the increased rain fall removes more junk from the air and reduces pareticulates which is one of the causes of the atmosphere heating up.

bytes2go (author)redpola2014-09-28

Reverse Osmosis filtered water - removes everything but the H2O molecules... the most expensive filter systems are RO.

wolfkeeper (author)BARKing2014-09-26

Demineralised water doesn't pull minerals out of you; you can drink pure distilled water without any problems.

But any minerals in the water can contribute to your dietary intake of minerals; there's DRIs for the different minerals. Provided you have a reasonable diet it makes absolutely no difference whether water has been remineralised or not.

Skattie (author)wolfkeeper2014-09-28

I'm afraid that is an incorrect statement, and that BARKing's statement is accurate. Totally demineralised or distilled water is "hungry" for minerals and will collect them wherever it can, your body included. Osteoporosis is a likely result of drinking such water. "Hard" or mineral-rich water in limestone or chalk-rich areas can be problematic for steam-irons, kettles and water-heaters, but is wonderful for strong teeth and bones.

TheBarton (author)Skattie2014-09-28

Show some science about your distilled water theory. I've read about it, and the only people speaking about leaching of minerals come from people selling water filters.

Skattie (author)TheBarton2014-09-28

I think it's a bit off the topic of this instructable, but in terms of "some science" here is a World Health Organisation report:

Skattie (author)TheBarton2014-09-28

I'm the last person to advocate water filters or bottled water, precisely because plain old water straight out of the ground or the tap is the best you can get.

CopterRichie (author)BARKing2014-09-28

That argument about minerals in the water is not good for drinking is just not true. In fact, 95% of the requirement for minerals comes from the food we eat and less them 2% comes from the water. I really do not know how the fables get started but I do know very few folks bothers to validate the information before spreading it on.

Gunther45 (author)2014-09-30

I have a question on when you say your water smells like a septic tank. I have an issue usually after it rains heavy that the hot water will have a sulfur like smell. I wouldn't say it is bad enough to open the windows or anything. And it is not always just usually after a heavy rain but I do have Well Water. Would you say that is the same issue? I will probably give it try eventually but if you think it the same issue I will prioritize it up my list.

JamesZ2 (author)Gunther452015-05-12

Is your well hole encased so ground water does not access your water supply until the bottom area of your well?

Depending on its construction, i have heard of someone who even had pink water after it rained. It was due to the his well encasement not being properly sealed and the red died mulch that was around his well area leeched into his well water source everytime it rained.

Vyger (author)Gunther452014-10-03

It sounds like the same problem. If it is possible to disconnect one of the pipes, either the inlet or the outlet, you should be able to get a shot of bleach into it, or H2O2 of you can find it, using the same idea of creating a vacuume at the top. Use a funnel and be warry of spilled bleach since it can ruin your cloths. But if one shot will clear it up then setting up the system to make it easier to to do would be worthwhile because eventually the bleach clears out and you need to do it again.

Tomnician (author)2014-10-23

Pretty sure you are never allowed to use a Female PVC/C fitting in your home for any reason. You even mentioned that they tend to crack, I think that may be why they are not allowed. Inspector made me replace my female PVC fittings with the CPVC/Brass Female fitting.

Huge emphasis on bleeding the tank as well peeps.

JamesZ2 (author)Tomnician2015-05-12

Per the codebook...

2.7.9 Threaded Joints Listed adapter fittings shall be used for the transition to threaded connections . No threaded PVC female fitting(s) or joint(s) shall be located in a non-accessible location.

alaskanbychoice (author)2014-09-28

While this all sounds good, I use a different method and solution.

I have an inline filter, I just shut off the filter valves take off the filter housing and pour hydrogen-peroxide in and re-install the filter housing. Open up the hot water taps a for a minute or two to flush the hydrogen-peroxide into the hot water tank and let it sit over night. It works better and longer in my case without the odor or effects of the chlorine bleach.

Vyger (author)alaskanbychoice2014-09-28

I know what your talking about, I have a filter as well. It keeps sand and dirt out of the lines. But with mine the filter is before the water softner and a long way from the water heater so for me that wouldn't work.

alaskanbychoice (author)Vyger2014-10-03

I have a similar situation, I just use the by-pass valve on the water softener when I do this. Just remember to put the by-pass valve to it's run position after charging the water heater with the Hydrogen-peroxide.

R D (author)2014-09-30

Well I am not sure of what kind of problem a friend had but the egg smell was bad and every silver thing in the house was black. He tried all of the filters and none worked at all as far as they could tell. A neighbor heard of the problem and told him that he would help him clear up the problem. His solution was to set up a tank with a top of wood boards like a cooling tower. He then ran a water line around the top with shower heads located at even intervals so that water from the well would spray up into the air and fall on to the boards. I T seems that the sulfur was in a gas form and the exposure to air allowed it to escape. Another pump was set up to take water that was caught in the tank an sent to the house. It worked to perfection. It can be tested with a garden hose spray nozzle set to give a fine spray and a tub or kids pool to catch the spray if you want to see if it works on your well, just dip out a glass from the tub for a drink, your nose and mouth will work for a lab test.

Vyger (author)R D2014-09-30

Water that comes from underground, like well water usually has very little oxygen in it. It has no contact with the atmosphere. The bacteria that are causing some of the problems are anaerobic meaning they live without oxygen. Aerating the water puts oxygen into it and so it will eliminate many of those types of bacteria. However, depending on the circumstances you could end up introducing other air born bacteria.

My well water as it comes out of the ground is clear. It looks perfectly clean. But it has no oxygen in it. If I fill a jar with it and leave it sit in a few hours it turns cloudy with rust. The iron combines with the newly introduced oxygen and changes into rust. if it is left to sit for several days the rust settles out and forms a thin layer on the bottom of the jar and the water is clear again. I should do a picture series to show it actually happening.

AJMansfield (author)2014-09-30

That is not how I was taught to do PVC joints when I was a plumbing apprentice. The procedure I was taught: brush PVC primer/cleaner on the pipe and fitting; apply cement while primer is still wet; fit together; clamp until dry. The softening of the plastic is actually the whole point of the primer - it prepares the plastic for solvent welding by softening it. "Don't put any pressure on the joint while its drying" is the opposite of true - if you don't, (and you applied the cement correctly) the cement will push the joint apart while it is drying, and make it exceptionally brittle and weak.

Vyger (author)AJMansfield2014-09-30

My wording on that was not so great, I will edit it. My meaning was to hold the joint still, not twisting it or allowing it move such as laying it down with gravity putting pressure on the joint. Yes you have to hold it together as sometimes the glue pushes the joint apart.

I used cleaner primarily because I was using used pipe and it needed to be cleaned. I just looked up some discussions about the difference between cleaner and primer and it appears that there is very little, chemically they are the same. I apply the glue while the cleaner is still wet so it is the equivalent of or very close to, using primer. But it was not purple. Why Purple Primer? Apparently it is so the inspector can easily verify that primer was used. And not surprisingly there have been occasions when some have actually poured the primer into the glue to make it purple so it looks like they used primer.

If anyone is interested here are a couple of articles and discussions on this topic.,368786

Wildbilly66 (author)2014-09-28

Awesome solution. I bleached my new tank out a couple times and in about a month the smell would come back. The water softener really jumps starts this bacterial sulfur waste problem. I removed the rod like everyone else. THANKS! Now to make a adruino solution that does it automatically ;)

Vyger (author)Wildbilly662014-09-29

Just a thought, after doing all this reading and discussing it is possible that the bacteria are holding out in your water softener and that is your resavoir of reinfection. The nect time you recycle it you might add bleach to the brine so it flushes the resin bed.

Bown86 (author)2014-09-28

Where I live we just use a zinc anode rod to get rid of the sewer smell and black tint in the water. I'm not sure if it would help your water situation, it seems to be a lot like mine.

We can't add bleach to our wells or water where I live because it reacts with the iron in the water and streaks your clothes with red stains, it doesn't happen if you stay away from bleach. I learned this the hard way when i had the well shocked, the technician used Javex bleach and my neighbour came and warned me a little too late, it took days of constant running water to get back to normal.

Vyger (author)Bown862014-09-29

I found 2 interesting articles on the process of shocking a well. You might want to print these out for the next time.

Vyger (author)Bown862014-09-28

The process of shocking the well might have been what caused the iron problem rather than the bleach. We do have a lot of iron in the water also. It stains the grass red from watering with straight well water.

I use softener salt with rust remover in it for the water softener. That way most of the rust is intercepted. It is not the recommended way, which is to use a separate rust filter, but it does work. I have a green sand rust filter but it gave up a long time ago and the company that made it is gone so I can't get parts for it. Even when it was working I was still getting some rust through. So the sinks and tubes get a red stain on them. The dishes also I found out.

"Iron out" works for cleaning that stuff and it can work with cloths also except that it will take the color out of many materials. Works great for whites.

It could be the big difference is in the PH of the water. Ours is way to the alkali side. If you add sulpheric acid to it you can get it to be neutral. My son did a science fair project on it and took water samples from all over and tested them for PH. Only the RO water was neutral and the river water.

Bown86 (author)Vyger2014-09-28

Thanks for your reply, everything I have is iron stained , it's so sad. I can't even buy white sheets or clothes because the washer water will dot them red sometimes. Iron out is a savior! The iron out toilet pucks are good too if you have stains in your toilet.

I've since had the well shocked with peroxide and haven't had the rust completely take over like it did with the shock with bleach. I can't say how it worked with the smell because using the zinc rod helped tremendously.

I'm not sure we get a proper shock treatment around here, they just throw the liquid down and let it sit a day, then tell you to run your water for 6 or more hours, if makes me worry about the pump. But with the peroxide you don't have to run the water as long. I thought they would scrub it but he said my well is 360 feet deep.

About This Instructable




Bio: The name comes from the First Star Trek movie, that pretty much says it all.
More by Vyger:Making an Agate LED NightlightBeer and Cheese BreadRedneck Key Rack with Options
Add instructable to: