Why Does Your Hot Water Smell When You Get Back After a Holiday?

Posted on: 31 July 2018


If you've just got home after a long holiday, then you may be looking forward to nothing more than a nice long soak in the bath or a relaxing shower. Your homecoming may not be as pleasant as you'd like, however, if you notice that your hot water doesn't smell so good when you start running your taps or turn on your shower. Why does this happen and what should you do about it?

Water and Bacteria in Your Tank

You may well have turned off your hot water while you were away – after all, there's no point wasting money on heating water that you won't be using. While turning off your system isn't a problem as long as you follow your manufacturer's instructions, it can affect the water that sits unheated and unused in your tank while you're on holiday.

Typically, the heat keeps your hot water free from bacteria but, if you've turned your system off, then your water may have lost this heat protection. Over time, bacteria that is allowed to live in the water may make it smell a bit off, giving you a noticeably nasty aroma when you turn on taps or run your shower on your return.

Heat Up Your Water

The simplest way to make your water tank a bacteria-free zone again is to heat the water up. Your thermostat should be automatically set to make sure that your tank's water temperature doesn't drop below 60ºC, the optimum temperature to get rid of bacteria. So, simply turning your hot water system on again and leaving the water to heat up should do the trick. Once the bacteria has been dealt with, then your water should lose its nasty smell.

What If the Smell Stays?

If the nasty smell in your water lingers even after you've heated the tank and run water through it a few times, then you may have a different problem. For example, your thermostat's setting may have changed, or you may have a problem with the thermostat unit itself.

This may mean that your hot water system may not be able to deal with bacteria as it should – this is not a good thing, as you and your family could get sick. So, to get the problem sorted out once and for all, you should call a plumber out to service your hot water system and to fix it. For more information, contact your local hot water service.