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Aerator Use and Cleaning Q & A
Last Updated: 06/29/2012
Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that causes an obnoxious rotten egg odor in your water.
Most noticeable when water is first turned on ( because the gas separates from the water and collects in the pipes as the water sits ).

If you notice this smell in your water, it probably contains hydrogen sulfide (H2S ).

A common method to allow this "gas" to 'escape" from the water before it enters the house is an "Aerator" tank.
These need to be drained and cleaned occasionally.

Customer asks:
I have an plastic ( older models are fiberglass ) aerator tank ( typical 200 gallon tank used in Central and South Florida where freezing is rarely a problem ) as part of my water system.
We is your advice on cleaning this type of tank, ie. frequency of cleaning, solution to clean, etc.

Every 2 - 3 months the Aerator tank should be cleaned

1 ) Turn off house pump ( so no water can be used in the house while you clean and drain the Aerator Tank ).
2 ) Either turn off power to "well" pump that "fills" the Aerator, or secure the float inside to prevent the water from running ( spraying ) as you DRAIN the tank.
3 ) Before you DRAIN the tank ( you should have a pipe with a Valve at the bottom of the tank ), you should ADD 1 Gallon Bleach or Pool Chlorine.
4 ) And with the large LID removed, you need to BRUSH the inside of the TANK ( clean toilet bowl brush secured to PVC pipe or Stick to increase length of handle is what I've always used ).
5 ) Open the Drain, and continue to brush the inside of the tank as it drains.
6 ) Once empty, turn on the sprayers and let it RINSE for 1 minute ( and drain ) and then you can close the Drain, and allow 15 - 20 minutes to REFILL, before you turn the House water back on.
7 ) Check that your Sprayers are working. They can be unscrewed and cleaned when necessary to restore a good spray flow.

If you clean the tank every 2 - 3 months, it will work better ( no sulphur bacteria on the inside walls ), and with regular cleaning the job is quite easy ( just takes about 30 minutes of your time ).
If you neglect it for 6 - 12 months ( or longer ) then the initial cleaning will be much harder, and may require use some muriatric acid to remove iron and calcium build up in the tank.

Aerator Tank Outside

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