Posted Monday, January 28th, 2019 by & filed under Articles.

Water Smells Like Sulfur

Have you ever smelled a rotten egg before? It’s not only unpleasant, it’s actually rather off-putting. If you ever come across this smell in your water, the culprit is Hydrogen Sulfide. Don’t panic if you have found this stench. The gas is not toxic. It’s just a nuisance and it has three common sources.

The Water Itself

Hydrogen Sulfide can result from a bacterium that eats away at organic materials. This bacterium will live in oxygen depraved areas like wells or plumbing systems, eventually finding its way into your water. Hydrogen Sulfide can also come from naturally occurring sulfur in the ground that has dissolved into the water. If your water contains Hydrogen Sulfide you should be able to smell it in both cold and hot water.

Water Heater

          If you only smell sulfur when you turn on your hot water, most likely you can point fingers at your water heater. Water heaters contain an anode rod which essentially protects the water heater by allowing corrosive water to attack it instead of the water heater tank. Overtime, a magnesium anode rod will start to decompose and harbor sulfur-causing bacteria, which create a sulfur smell.  

P-Trap

          A p-trap can collect junk or garbage. When water runs through this garbage it can stir it up, creating a sulfur smell. If this is the case you should only catch a whiff of the scent in one area of the house.

Solutions

          If you have any of these issues, don’t give up hope. There are plenty of options available to eradicate this nuisance. If the gas is in your water at relatively low levels, a simple in-line whole-home cartridge filter should do the trick. However, if your water has a high concentration of Hydrogen Sulfide in it, a whole-home filtration system would be your safest bet. If your heater is causing you problems, replacing the old magnesium anode rod with a brand-new aluminum rod can solve the issue. In some cases, removal of the anode rod completely is required. Cleaning the p-trap of any garbage will take care of a one room predicament.

Why Bother?

          If Hydrogen Sulfide isn’t toxic and presents no serious physical harm, why should I spend money to get rid of it? Despite the obvious stench, which is a good enough reason for most people, the sulfur smelling gas can cause black stains. Yuck! Plus, it eats away at certain metals, raising the risk of pipes bursting. So, if you smell a sulfur odor, don’t wait. Call a professional and get rid of it.

Martin Water Conditioning

          Martin Water Conditioning offers a free water analysis to detect any problems with your water. We offer plenty of filtration systems at affordable prices able to fit within any budget. We would be happy to serve you in any way!