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The water smells like rotten eggs – What should you do?

If the cold water in your home or business smells like rotten eggs, the hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfur bacteria in the water supply are likely to blame. If the smell only occurs when you turn on your hot water faucet, it may not be a water supply issue but the result of a chemical reaction inside your water heater.

You might be astonished to learn that drinking water in the US contains over 316 different contaminants. Strange odors in tap water can be a typical issue for many people, especially if the water source is a well or still water source.

Why Does My Water Have Rotten Egg Smell?

Drinking water in some areas of the nation may contain hydrogen sulfide gas, a chemical with an odor similar to rotten eggs. This might happen if water touches pyrite, other minerals, or organic stuff. A state-certified laboratory’s analysis of your water is the best approach to learning exactly what is in it.

If you only notice the odor when using your hot tap, your water heater may be the source of the smell rather than your water supply, as it may result from a chemical reaction inside the device.

How Do You Fix Smelly Sulfur Water?

Here are steps you can take fix the unpleasant rotten egg smell present in your water:

Clean the Water Heater’s Tank

If your water system is tankless, flushing it out once or twice a year is always an excellent idea. It will aid in clearing up sediment and bacterial accumulation in the tank, improving your water’s overall taste and odor and the efficiency with which your system runs. It is a crucial first step when dealing with rotten egg smells since, even if it doesn’t eliminate the smell, it will improve the long-term performance of your hot water heater.

Make the Water Source Safe

If you’ve already checked your hot water tank without result or if both your cold and hot water smell like rotten eggs, it’s time to consider water treatment at the source, the well. Various treatment options are available to remove the sulfur odor from well water.

  • Chlorine: Install a chlorinator (also known as a chlorine injector system) on your wellhead to deliver chlorine continuously while the water is running. When paired with an Air Charger self-cleaning backwash carbon filter, chlorination may continually remove odors and chlorine from the water. Chlorination works by killing the sulfur bacteria that generate the stink.
  • Peroxide: Set up a chlorinator-style system but substitute hydrogen peroxide for chlorine bleach. Next, backwash the catalytic carbon filter. In contrast to chlorine, the carbon system leaves no salts or residues behind in the water.
  • Air Charger Carbon Filter: You need to install a catalytic carbon air filter for the air conditioner. While you don’t need chemicals, the device also can inject peroxide to extend the life of the catalytic carbon. There is no need to replace filter cartridges because carbon lasts long and is simple to replace.
  • Air Compressor Tank Aeration System: Under certain circumstances, this system can remove odors by injecting a lot of air under pressure.
  • Ozone gas: A very powerful solution. To fast get rid of sulfur smells, use ozone gas injection.

Note: You can use chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide to shock your well to mask sulfur odors temporarily. It often prevents odors for one to two months. Please consult a professional for further information.

Install a New Anode Rod

The plug connecting the magnesium anode to the water heater’s top is on many water heaters. You can take it out by shutting off the water supply, releasing the water heater’s pressure, and unscrewing the plug. Make sure to close the gap. However, removing the anode can result in a shorter water heater lifespan.

You might wish to inquire with a water heater dealer about the possibility of installing an alternate aluminum anode. While preventing the formation of hydrogen sulfide gas, a replacement anode may prevent corrosion.

Replace Your Hot Water Heater

It could be time to upgrade to a brand-new water heater if you have attempted the aforementioned fixes and your hot water smells like rotten eggs. It will remove the water hardness content and thus mitigate that awful smell in your water. We have a range of smart water treatment products that will work together to provide you with clean and healthy water supply.

Install a Water Filtration System

Aeration Filter
DROP Aeration Filter for Sulfur Reduction

If your water has a rotten egg odor and both your hot and cold water sources have it, you won’t be able to get rid of it by just addressing your water heater. A whole house water filtration system should be able to eliminate the odor even though you might not be able to combat the sulfuric gas in your water supply directly.

Hard water users may already be utilizing one of these systems to prevent their household items and plumbing pipes from degrading more quickly due to the minerals in their water. At DROP, we provide a range of water filtration solutions to reduce bacteria and minerals in your water supply.

FAQ

Is it okay for my water to smell like rotten eggs?

Most of the time, the smell of rotting eggs has little to do with how clean the water is. In rare cases, the gas may come from pollution or sewage. Get a water test to check the nitrate and coliform levels in your well water to be safe.

Is it Safe to Shower With Smelly Water?

Because hydrogen sulfide-containing water is still safe to consume and take a bath with, despite the unpleasant odor, you can relax (metaphorically speaking). However, the smell of hydrogen sulfide can be comparable to that of sewage.

Should I Call A Plumber If My Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs?

You can get in touch with a plumber to flush and clean your hot water tank to eliminate the unpleasant smell. This will get rid of the bacteria and things that make hydrogen sulfide. A plumber can replace a corroded anode rod while doing a water heater flush to potentially prevent the stink from recurring. However, if both hot and cold water smell like rotten eggs, you likely need a water filter to resolve the issue completely.

The Bottom Line

Water with an unpleasant odor might interfere with your home’s normal operations, but with careful examination and attention to detail, you can quickly make your water smell’s disappear.

Sources

  • https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/wells/waterquality/hydrosulfide.html#:~:text=In%20most%20cases%2C%20the%20rotten,for%20coliform%20bacteria%20and%20nitrate.
  • https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/water-qas-why-does-my-water-smell-rotten-eggs

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