When we return to our houseboat after 2-3 weeks away, we experience a smell from the hot water faucets that smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. It stinks so bad we have to open up all windows/fans to evacuate. After a couple of sessions of this, it goes away.
At one time our boat had the ability (may still have it) to draw lake water in as fresh water, run through a couple of filters and onto fresh water pump. It's a separate system but eventually makes it to the fresh water pump.
The previous owner said he would experience this smell after using lake water, but we haven't drawn in lake water in the 6 years we've had the boat, just city water. Could there be something that grows in hot water heater tanks when we're away and once cycled, it's gone until the water heaters sit off for 2-3 weeks? If so, what can I do to eradicate this (short of replacing water heaters)? Replacing water heaters looks like it would require floor removal, as there are two of them in bilge of boat (shorty household type) and the smell's gotta get way worse for me to consider that.
Wow. Thanks! Great site. I used to sell water heaters, elements and thermostats at a hardware store. Never new they had anodes in them and we sure didn't sell them. In reading this, I'm now concerned that I don't have headroom between w/h and bottom of floor to get old one out (flexible might go back in). I guess, (not knowing what they look like coming out) I might could snip it off as it comes out, huh?
BTW...Incredible that the owner of that site has a water heater that's lasted 29 years!