Why Your Well Water Smells Unpleasant | Ep. 131

Well water pump
The cause of your well water smelling unpleasant might not be as complicated as you thought. (AdobeStock ©Engdao)

When cleaning or showering, the last thing you want is for your hot well water to have an unpleasant smell. Luckily, there is a solution to treat this stinky problem.

Well water filters through a salt softener and chlorinator to filter the well water. It then passes through an electric water heater before entering your home.

With an electric water heater, there is something called an anode rod that is found in the middle of the tank. Its purpose is to prevent the tank from deteriorating — and, in some cases, it reacts with the hot water, causing an unpleasant smell.

An anode rod is a sacrificial element that is put inside water heaters so any corrosion that occurs will eat up the anode rod and not the tank. Occasionally, you will need to replace it.

The cause of the well water smelling unpleasant is a sulfate-reducing bacteria that grows inside the water heater. This triggers a chemical reaction between the new magnesium anode rod and the hot water.

Here’s the solution:

  • Replace the magnesium rod with an aluminum anode rod.
  • Install a powered-anode rod. This type of rod will not need to be replaced.

Also in this week’s episode of the Today’s Homeowner Podcast:

  • Learn how to prevent water damage when installing vinyl plank floors in a basement bathroom
  • How to kill weeds without chemicals
  • Durable wood finishes for deck handrails
  • How to remove rust stains from a linoleum toilet
  • How to properly paint over feather painting
  • The best way to clean and seal a paver patio

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Simple Solutions

Mightier Miter-Cutting Capability — If your power miter saw only cuts to 45°, can you cut angles greater than 45°? Yes, and here’s how.

Let’s say you need to cut a 60° miter, start by making a cutting guide from a piece of ¾-in. plywood or 1-by lumber. Cut the guide about 4 in. wide and at least 12 in. long. Rotate the miter-saw blade to 30° and trim off one end of the guide.

Next, clamp the guide to the miter-saw table. Now, to make a 60° cut, rotate the miter-saw blade back to 0° and lock it in place.

Hold the workpiece against the 30° mitered end of the guide and make the cut. The result will be a precise 60° miter cut. 

Dishwasher Installation Tip — Dishwashers are usually secured in place with screws driven into the underside of the countertop, but that job is greatly complicated if you have granite counters. So, rather than trying to screw into the countertop, secure the dishwasher to the cabinets with a pair of dishwashing mounting brackets ($6).

Open the dishwasher door and you’ll see two slots on the sides of the dishwasher. Hook the brackets into the slots, then drive one screw through each bracket and into the edge of the cabinet face frame.


Question of the Week

Q: How can I remove galvanized deck screws without damaging the wood boards?

A: If you’re able to get to get to the screws with a reciprocating saw and a metal cutting blade that’s the best way to go! You might have to carefully remove one or two of the boards before you begin to cut them. Something else you could try is to drill out the screw heads. Make sure the drill head is the same diameter as the screw and drill them out, pop out the board and snap off the screw head.



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