In your article on saving money when heating water, you advise lowering the temperature of water heaters. This may be poor advice. While there may be a financial saving, there is a serious chance of increased corrosion (i.e. shorter unit life) and a definite chance of hydrogen sulphide generation in storage systems producing black water and noxious smells.
BR from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
"Who ate the beans?" Stinky hydrogen sulfide gas, the notorious rotten egg that is the bane of many homeowners, can naturally occur in well water or can be caused by a variety of chemical reactions between bacteria, sulphates, and even with the magnesium "sacrificial" anode rod in a water heater tank. The sacrificial anode is designed to dissolve more easily than the metal parts of the tank, thus prolonging tank life. In some circumstances, the anode can actually cause odors and removing it will decrease or even eliminate the odor.
Though very high water temperatures can kill bacteria, it's a very dangerous solution. According to Larry Weingarten, author of The Water Heater Workbook, "Another trick that does not work is to temporarily turn up the heat (on the water heater) as high as it will go. These bacteria will quickly reappear unless the condition in the tank is made less hospitable to them. In addition, the scald risk is tremendous with 160 or 170 degree water."
Thus, the best and safest solution to odorous water is to pre-treat the water with a suitable combination of chemical treatment and filtration. Also, troublesome wells can be super-chlorinated to destroy bacterial contamination (though it is useful to ascertain the source of contamination).
Sign up for our free weekly eNewsletter Surviving Tough Times.
Looking for an answer to a frugal living question? Click here to ask a
Dollar Stretcher Stretchpert!
Copyright 1996 - 2013 "The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." All rights reserved unless specifically noted.
Contact the Dollar Stretcher at:
PO Box 14160
Bradenton FL 34280
"The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." does not assume responsibility for advice given. All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation.