First the the noise
December 30, 2007 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Following-up on my previous question...We now have some noise in the pipes.

Okay, so we've concluded that the lovely rotten-egg smell is the result of nasty chemicals in the water being released by the anode in the water heater.

Now a new question...Does the process that creates the smell create actual pockets of gas in the water lines? I ask because we are now plagued with a crunchy-gurgling sound and occasional pulses of water in the showers. You'll be standing in the shower with the water running, then you'll hear this crunchy-gurgling noise gradually coming through the pipes, then a pulse in the spray. We aren't seeing this in any of the sinks, though.

This sound is different from what I recall water-hammer being. That's more of a sudden "slam" from a valve being closed somewhere in the system and inadequate air chambers in the plumbing.

So...any idea what I'm looking at here? Are these two (smell and noise) connected? Or, perhaps, might something not have been done correctly when the water heater was installed?

FWIW, we are on a well, with the attendant pump and pressure tank. I might suspect the tank, if we were seeing this noise/pulse problem everywhere, but, since it's just the showers, I'm not sure.

Anyway, I hope picking the hive-mind first mind glean some ideas before I call someone out to my house who might just want to re-plumb the whole place or something.
posted by Thorzdad to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Keep in mind, replacing the anode-rod has only about a 50% chance of fixing your problem. I had to replace my whole water heater.

No, it doesn't make/create any gas that I know of, but I'm sure there's all kinds of crap floating around in your tank. -That- might be what's causing the gurgling.
posted by The Giant Squid at 10:11 AM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: ...but I'm sure there's all kinds of crap floating around in your tank. -That- might be what's causing the gurgling.

I wondered about that, so I drained the heater last week. I didn't see too much crud in the water. Once re-filled, both the smell and the noise were absent. Until yesterday, when the noise returned. Haven't noticed the smell coming back yet. I'm sure it's just a matter of time.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:42 AM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: Follow-up (just in case someone stumbles across this doing a search)
Turns out the rumbling/pulsing was the result of a lot of nasty crud that got clogged through the shower head.
I removed it, and gave it a thorough soaking in CLR and Rust-Out. No more noise or pulsing.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:52 PM on December 31, 2007

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