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Hot-Water Heater

Boat Maintenance Special:

By Capt. Bill Pike

An eroded anode in the hot-water heater
An eroded anode in the hot-water heater was the source of a foul odor in Betty’s fresh water. A new one was a quick and easy (not to mention fairly inexpensive) fix.

The Evil Smell of Corrosion

A couple of years back, a sulfurous odor began emanating from the hot-water side of Betty’s freshwater system, at least for a relatively short period after a faucet was turned on. I asked some friends about the problem and their opinions were almost unanimous—my Raritan hot-water heater needed to be treated chemically and then flushed with fresh water, a tedious process the way it sounded. Rarely into tedium, I telephoned Raritan and got an easier, lazier take on the problem. The anode in the unit had probably eroded to a point where it was no longer preventing corrosion, a Raritan tech said, and the corrosion was causing the evil smell. “Change the anode and I’ll bet your problem goes away,” he added cheerily, “and it’ll make your water heater last longer too.” He was spot-on, totally.