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My Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs

My Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs

My water smells like rotten eggs and how to fix it! When your homes water gets a rotten egg smell, it is the result of a chemical reaction in the water. While in most cases the water is still drinkable, it can be dangerous at times and should be corrected as soon as...


Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my water smell like rotten eggs?

This smell is caused by bacteria in the water that reacts with the magnesium and aluminum anode rods inside most water heaters. The reaction produces hydrogen sulfide gas which while harmless, smells awful.

We usually find this when electric water heaters sit full of water with the power on, but with no water being circulated through the heater. This happens a lot in homes that sit vacant for awhile.

Solutions to the problem include draining/flushing the heater, turning the water temperature up higher to kill the bacteria, or changing out the anode rod.

Some manufacturers offer a replacement anode rod that is aluminum/zinc which limits the interaction with the bacteria. If the smell does not subside, the water heater may need to be replaced.

We do recommend turning the power off to the water heater, if the home will be vacant for awhile to keep the smell from developing.

I have a water leak but have no idea where or how to turn my water off?

We recommend all homeowners know exactly where their water shut-off valves are and keep a 5 foot tee-handled water key onsite.

There is typically a water meter at the edge of the property or out at the street. It is usually in a concrete or plastic box. This is what the water company uses to turn your water on/off.

Most water companies do not like you to use their meter, and many homes will have a secondary valve within a few feet of the water meter. It may be in a box or in an upright black or white pipe with a cap on it.

Using the water key, most shut-off valves just require a quarter-turn to get the water off/on. If you do not see a shut-off valve close to your meter, check closer to your house. Sometimes contractors will install a shut-off valve at the edge of the home for easier accessibility, or there may be a ball-valve handle type shut-off in the crawl space.

Should I turn my water off if I go on vacation?

No one ever expects a pipe to burst or a valve to start dripping while away from home, but why take the chance? A few extra minutes to turn the water off can give you peace of mind.

Continuously running water in your home for a week can do substantial damage and cause a headache that no one wants to deal with.

Why is my water bill so much higher this month?

Increases in water bills can occur over the summer months with watering of flowers, gardens, and lawns, especially if you do have an irrigation system. Other increases in water bills can be due to a drippy faucet (inside or outside), or believe-it-or-not, a sporadically running toilet.

We suggest performing a meter test, in which you check for any movement on the water meter for about 10 minutes.

Make sure no one is using any water in the home at the time of the meter test.

Newer meters are digital and have number indicators while older meters will have an arrow indicator. If the meter does not show any movement, there is not active water leak, and it may be just increased water usage. If the meter shows movement, we suggest following up with a plumber to do a more thorough assessment.

Why is my toilet gurgling/bubbling when I use the bathtub, the shower, or run my washing machine?

This is one of the first signs that there may be a blockage in the drainage lines, sewer lines, or septic system. This usually will not remedy itself.

We recommend snaking and/or use of a hydrojet to clear the blockage.

In some cases, it may be a full septic tank that needs to be pumped or roots growing into the line. If this is a recurring problem, we recommend running a sewer camera to assess the condition of the sewer/septic lines and check for obstructions, root masses, or damaged/collapsed piping.

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