Reasons Why Your Water Smells Like Sulfur

Water Sample

There’s nothing like having fresh, clean water available from the tap, but sometimes, the water in your home is anything but that. Sometimes, instead of clear, beautiful water, you might open up the tap and smell something completely unpleasant, resembling a dozen eggs that have gone desperately wrong.

What does this mean for your water? First, the good news is that the smell doesn’t mean that your water is necessarily contaminated. However, it does mean that you’ve got a rather horrid smell from your water, which isn’t something that you want to have in your kitchen or in your sink, even if it is safe to drink.

If you’re like most people, you’re going to want to get your water cleaned out right away if you smell sulfur, and you’re likely going to want to involve water test labs to ensure that sulfur is the only thing in your water. But what’s the cause of the sulfur? Take a look at some possible problems here!

Lack of Action

When you’ve just moved into a new place, especially if it’s a place that hasn’t been lived in for a while (or ever), there’s a good chance that you might notice a sulfur smell when you first turn the water on in your home. That’s because sulfur is present in the groundwater, and when your pipes don’t get much action for several weeks or months at a time, sulfur can enter your pipes.

The good news is that when you actually get the water going through your pipes again, you can flush the sulfur out and get clean water flowing again. If you smell something resembling rotten eggs coming from your sink, your first move should be to run all of your faucets non-stop for roughly 30 minutes. This will give your pipes time to flush the sulfur through the system and get water that doesn’t smell back into your home.

Water Heater Problems

The above scenario of sulfur in the groundwater has one dead giveaway: the smell will be present from the tap regardless of which faucet you actually activate. But if the smell is only coming from the hot water tap, there’s a good chance that your water heater is the real problem. When it’s having problems, your water heater will react with the magnesium and aluminum that exists in your water heater, and that can lead to a sulfur presence in your water.

In the short term, it’s a good idea to use a water filtration system to clean your hot water out and remove the unpleasant scent when you use hot water for tea, coffee or other important uses. In the long-term, however, you’ll need another solution.

Testing Water at Home

Test Your Water

Knowing where the smell is coming from is only half the battle when it comes to taking care of your water. With over 300 chemicals that could be present in your tap water, it’s a good idea to have your water tested as soon as you notice the smell of sulfur coming from your tap. Sulfur might not be harmful, but its presence could be a sign of other chemicals that could cause serious problems. It’s much better to be safe and know for sure what’s really in your water if something isn’t right with it.

Clean water should be something that’s present in every home, but sometimes, things happen that lead to water being less than ideal. When you smell sulfur, it’s important to get the pipes clean and involve water test labs to ensure that your water isn’t going to cause you a problem. After all, water should be helping improve your life, not making you worry!

Check out Environmental Testing and Research Laboratories’ website for more information.