What Makes Water Smell Like Sulfur and How Do You Treat It?
If you have ever turned on the kitchen faucet and been hit with an overwhelming smell of rotten eggs, you know there’s a problem. The smell comes from hydrogen sulfide, or H2S, a colorless gas that is very distinct from its smell. While the sulfur smell does not cause any health risks, it is still offensive and should be treated. That is why we’ve highlighted some ways to tend to it so you can drink a glass of water with peace of mind.
What Causes The Sulfur Odor
As mentioned, the rotten eggs odor comes from hydrogen sulfide. The chemical compound has a significant effect on one’s water supply, even when there’s only a small trace of it. It’s important to determine the source of the smell in order to find the best solution, as problems from different sources are solved with different methods.
If you only encounter the sulfur smell when using hot water, check the water heater. It’s most likely a result of the anode rod, which prevents the water tank from corroding. The rod breaks down sulfates in the water into hydrogen sulfide gas, which you will smell when running the faucet. Bacteria tend to build up in the tank if the water heater has not been used for a while.
If the smell comes from cold and warm water then there could be an issue with the plumbing or the well water. During the treatment process, water providers remove hydrogen sulfide from their supply, but low levels can still reach your faucet.
If the smell occurs in one isolated area, then the problem most likely exists in those drains and not the entire water supply.
Simple Solutions to Fix The Sulfur Problem
If the source of the problem stems from the water heater then it’s important for homeowners to flush and disinfect the system. Additionally, it is recommended to replace the anode rod with a zinc-coated aluminum rod. This rod will produce far less hydrogen sulfide gas in comparison to the traditional water heater rod.
Ground or Well Water Supply
Sometimes the water supply is so diluted with sulfur that the taste is unbearable. If this is the case, then it’s important to contact the local health department or well owner to fix it. There may be unsafe levels of hydrogen sulfide or possibly even more dangerous materials in the supply.
Clear Out Your Pipes
If you find that the smell only occurs in a particular faucet, you may need to clear your pipes. While it is not a 100% guarantee, simply turning on the faucet and letting it run for 10 minutes may clear out the pipes. This will hopefully stop the sulfur smell and provide a cleaner water supply.
Block Sulfur Smells With Water Filtration
While adding water filters to faucets is only a temporary solution, it allows homeowners to enjoy water from the tap. However, it’s important that you replace water filters every so often as they too can cause the rotten egg smell.
Enjoy Water Again with B&D Industries
If you need help with any of these solutions or continue to smell sulfur in your water, B&D Industries can help. We have licensed plumbing professionals who work with commercial, industrial, and residential properties in finding solutions to their problems. We’re committed to providing every client with exceptional services to ensure their needs are met in a timely manner. If you’re in need of plumbing assistance with your home and business, we’re happy to help. Contact us today to learn more about our plumbing capabilities.