Welcome to Q&A for Home Maintenance Q&A section, where you can ask questions and get answers from me and other members of the community.

Spam, self-promotion, questions with abusive, inappropriate language, and irrelevant questions will be deleted.
All of the questions are moderated!

You'll be notified when your question is answered. Please reply with Feedback to share whether a solution worked or didn't work. Thank you!

Connect on Google+
Find on Google+ Local

Water heater smell in basement when a/c is on.

0 votes
We hve carbom monoxide detectors in the house but they don't go off. The basement smells from this and I'm worried. The water heater is 20+ years old. I heats water pretty good but sometimes runs out of hot water too fast. There is a small hole in the basement part of the chimney I think from a previous gas or oil appliance. It is open. Should it be or could this be the problem.
asked in Gas Water Heater by fdb (120 points)
Share this question on your favorite network.

1 Answer

0 votes


Hi Fdb,
Since you didn’t describe that water heater’s (or maybe something else) “smell” scent / compared it to anything, I can’t suggest any remedies. The hole in your chimney should definitely be sealed because it might compromise proper draft but it’s difficult to say if it has anything to do with the problem you’re describing.
The odor doesn’t have to be associated (however it’s possible) with a running air conditioning unit, it might be just “amplified” because of the circulating air is pulling that smell from some area. 
A water heater tank might be responsible for creating such unpleasant odor but this would be associated with running hot water faucets or having that hot water stored in some open container. 
The main reason could a bacteria inside the tank that makes your water smell: it could develop if the water temperature is set too low (below 120F) or if your water source is such (local / private well) that requires special rod to be installed (different that the one that comes with the appliance – anode rod - http://checkthishouse.com/6075/water-heater-maintenance-3-anode-rod-shut-down-combustion-air.html)
20+ year old water heater may have a significant amount of mineral deposits accumulated inside the tank which decreases the amount of hot water stored inside and sometimes significantly increases the heating time. Also, at that age of your water heater you should be prepared for its failure (cracking and leaks). I’m not saying that it’s going to happen today or tomorrow but you shouldn’t be surprised if you see some water dripping from the appliance and accumulating around its base. 
Maybe you should consider water heater replacement and see if this takes care of the problem.
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)