Foaming hot water?

Doing the inspection today and noticed that the hot water causes a lot of bubbles there’s faint smell from the hot water but nothing from the cold water kind of almost maybe like a cleaner but I can’t tell can’t figure out what the smell is. The cold water runs crystal clear. Each faucet is that way what the heck causes that?


Both the hot and cold water lines appear to be CPVC there’s no expansion tank on the water heater but I don’t see an obvious difference between the lines so far.

Could be air… fill up a clear glass with hot water and let it stand for a minute. If there is no more foam, it’s air. Otherwise it’s some sort of substance.

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I just did that and the bubbles went away so looks like it’s air but why is there a smell difference. It’s not a strong smell but there’s definitely a difference between hot and cold

Well, where was the water just prior to having this odor?

FWIW, It’s a fairly common occurrence. Do some research, you’ll find plenty of possible causes once you point your scope in the right direction.

The smell is either from the gas that’s coming out of the water when heated (thus the foaming/bubbles) or from the tank itself. What does it smell like? Take a sample of cold water and boil it… if you get the same smell as from the hot water, the smell is from the dissolved gas in the water. If there is no smell after you boil it, then it’s the water heater adding it.

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its an electric water heater.

could be old stale water in the water heater. how long has it sat unused?
could be a stink from heating the well water if its on a well.
if its run awhile the smell will most likely go away. once the old water is replaced with new.

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What’s the manufacturing date on the water heater? Is it perhaps a sulfur or rotten egg smell? If so it’s the anode rod.

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The house is now vacant nobody knows how long it’s been vacant as the current owner moved out sometime between yesterday and 3 weeks ago.

It’s not really a rotten egg smell it’s kind of smells like cleaner of some kind I know the smell but I can’t place it.

You have just discovered why the hot water has air in it. The water in the unused water heater will become saturated with air and will become apparent as it passes the aerator in a faucet. It’s a non issue.

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Is that a new faucet? I normally have foaming happen with new faucets for the first week or so.

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That usually happens with both the hot and cold when exchanged and releasing air pockets. The Op was specific to hot water only.

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