3 Common Causes of Tap Water That Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Of all the foul odors you can come across in your home, one of the most concerning is the stench of rotten eggs. It’s a clear sign that it’s time to clean out your fridge or, in emergency situations, that you may have a gas leak. 

3 Common Causes of Tap Water That Smells Like Rotten Eggs

But what does it mean if your tap water smells like rotten eggs? Read on and we’ll explain.

What causes water to smell like eggs?

The odor that you’re noticing is typically hydrogen sulfide, which can be naturally occurring or produced by sulfur bacteria. While hydrogen sulfide is generally not dangerous in water, it can contribute to clogged plumbing and other bacteria growth. Plus, it’s very unpleasant to smell and taste, so it’s a good idea to find and fix the cause as soon as possible.

How to find the source of the smell

To locate where the hydrogen sulfide is coming from, ask the following questions.

  1. Is the odor only coming from hot water? If no, then it’s likely that bacteria are growing in the water heater. The tank may need to be drained and flushed to remove deposits and debris. You may also want to check the temperature (making sure it’s not too low) and the anode rod.
  2. Is the smell coming from faucets that are connected to a water treatment system such as a water softener? If yes, then the system should be inspected by a qualified plumber.
  3. Does the smell occur right when you turn on the faucet but then goes away after you let the water run for a few minutes? If yes, then the bacteria is likely forming in your plumbing system (or well, if you have one). If the answer is no, then the water may be picking up hydrogen sulfide in the groundwater.

Professional plumbing in Raleigh and Durham

While water that smells like eggs isn’t generally harmful to drink, cook with, or bathe with, it’s also not a situation you want to deal with for very long. To be safe, it’s best to bring in the expert team at One Call Plumbing. Our licensed plumbers will find the source of the smell and provide recommendations on how to resolve the issue. Schedule an appointment or call us at (919) 925-2006 today.