Help, My Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs!

August 1, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

Does your tap water smell like rotten eggs? There are many reasons for this and some solutions that can help fix the problem. Hydrogen sulfide gas can actually give water a rotten egg taste or even an odor. This gas can occur in wells anywhere and be produced by different things. Read on more to find out what you can do if your water smells like rotten eggs and if you need an emergency residential plumber to correct the problem.

Water & Rotten Egg Smell

There are many reasons why hydrogen sulfide gas may be present in your water. It can occur naturally as a result of decay and chemical reactions with rocks and soil. It can also be produced by certain sulfur bacteria in the groundwater, plumbing system, or well. It can also be produced by chemical reactions or sulfur inside of water heaters. Finally, even though this is rare, it can come from pollution.

Sulfur bacteria can produce slime and encourage other bacteria to grow, including iron bacteria. The slime can clog plumbing, wells, and irrigation systems.

Detecting Rotten Egg Smell

You can detect bacteria in the following ways:

  • Bacterial slime may be gray, black, reddish brown, or white if related to iron bacteria.
  • Black stains may be present on plumbing fixtures and even silverware.
  • Corrosion may be noticeable on metal components of the water distribution system and on pipes. This may be indicative of hydrogen sulfide gas.

In most cases, the rotten egg smell is not related to the sanitary quality of the water. There are rare instances where the gas can come from pollution or sewage. To be safe, you can easily test your well water for coliform bacteria and nitrate.

What You Can Do

The first step in finding out the cause of your rotten egg smell is finding out the source of the issue. To find the source, you can easily determine which faucets have the rotten egg odor after you have been away from home for several hours. The smell will end up coming out of the hot and cold water faucets.

If the problem is in your water heater, you would need to remove or replace the magnesium anode. Most water heaters have a magnesium anode attached to a plug on top of the water heater. It can easily be removed by turning off your water, releasing the pressure from the water heating, and unscrewing the plug.

You will also need to ensure that you disinfect and flush the water heater using a chlorine bleach solution. This can kill the sulfur bacteria. Additionally, you may need to increase the water heater temperature to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the sulfur bacteria.

If your issue is the well, plumbing system, or water softener, you can try disinfecting the systems using a strong chlorine solution. You can also hire a licensed contractor for assistance.

If you are having an issue and the cause is the groundwater, you can try installing a home water treatment system or even drilling a new well in a different formation.  

If you are in need of an expert plumbing contractor, try contacting Orchard Plumbing so they can correct the problem.

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