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 possible.
The 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 mention the potential of danger above as there could be other chemical reactions taking place as well that are not directly related to the smell. We know how awful the smell can be!
Besides the smell, the chemical reaction can damage pipes and or fixtures, via corrosion of the metals, and can also cause black stains on silverware and plumbing fixtures
We usually find this rotten egg smell occurs when an electric water heater sits full of water with the power on, but with no water circulated through the heater. This happens in homes that sit vacant for awhile, possibly while on vacation, or in a seasonal home.
You may be surprised to find there are over 316 different chemicals found in drinking water in the US, some are natural from the waters source while others are added by municipal water companies for treatment purposes. If you have a well, the ground water will contain various minerals and chemicals native to the ground from which the water is drawn.
How to fix the rotten egg smell in my water:
Knowing what caused the rotten egg smell is one thing, but getting it fixed is most likely your primary concern. Fortunately is can be fixed once the source is identified.
If the smell is confined to your hot water only, then the likely source is your hot water heater. Solutions include draining/flushing the water heater tank and or turning the water temperature higher to kill the bacteria, or possibly changing out the anode rod. Some manufacturers offer replacement anode rods that are made of aluminum/zinc which limits the interaction with the bacteria.
If the smell comes from the cold water, we need to look upstream of the faucet to see where the reaction is taking place. It could be a water softener or possible a water storage tank. These are less common but can occur.
If the smell comes from both hot and cold faucets, the problem is likely the ground water itself. You can purchase test kits that will check the levels of hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, sulfur bacteria, and iron bacteria which could be present in the ground water.
If the problem is the water itself and not a hot water tank, water softener, or other upstream device, then water filtration would be the solution. Filters of various types are available to remedy all the issues we find in the various homes water supplies we service.
Bianco Plumbing LLC can find the source of your rotten egg smell and provide you a lasting solution. Give us a call to set an inspection appointment and receive a free estimate today!