Have you noticed a rancid smell coming from the water in your home but you're not sure what's causing it? It's likely hydrogen sulfide. Fortunately, it's not bad for you, it just doesn't smell very good. In fact, your water smells like rotten eggs. Pee-yew, indeed. Whether the problem exists all the time or only when you first turn on the water, you want it gone!
We'll explain what's causing unpleasant smell and ways to improve your water.
Why Does My Water Stink?
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gaseous component that makes your water stink. It could be coming from your water's source if decaying organic matter, surrounding soil, or rock contain sulfur that leaks into the water. Or, your water could contain certain bacteria that convert sulfur compounds such as sulfate into that offensive hydrogen sulfide gas.
That vile sulfuric aroma permeates all your water, including what goes into your shower and laundry. Heating the water just exacerbates the situation, in part because it encourages sulfate-reducing bacteria, and in part, because the magnesium anode in the unit promotes unwanted conversion of sulfates in the water into H2S
It Smells Toxic, But it’s Not
While hydrogen sulfide and other sulfur derivatives are generally considered to be merely annoying, they can:
- Tarnish silver
- Corrode brass, copper, iron, and steel
- Stain fixtures in your bathroom with black or yellow marks
We think you’d agree these things are worse than “annoying.”
Ways to Improve Your Water1. Determine Where the Smelly Water is Coming From
Move throughout your home testing the hot and cold settings for each of your faucets. Make note of where the smells are coming from and how persistent they are.
If the rotten smell is detected only when the hot water is running, the issue is likely in the hot water heater. If the smell persists on both cold and hot settings, then the problem may be the water softener. These are both good indicators for issue areas, however, the problem can also present itself from outside your home appliances. For instance, if you are on a well system, the problem could be coming from the well. If you notice that the smell dissipates as the water is running, then it is likely a well water issue.
2. How to Fix the Problem
Aerating your water can help, you’ll have to remove the air from your water followed by a filtration to remove particles. Carbon filters can efficiently remove tiny amounts of H2S. These filters can either be small cartridge style that need frequent replacement or large filters similar in size to water softeners.
We recommend Kinetico’s Sulfur Guard, which quickly and easily removes sulfur from your water, although there are other iron/odor filter products available on the market as well.
On the other hand, a Reverse Osmosis filtration system will remove hydrogen sulfide plus dozens of other impurities — naturally-occurring and man-made chemicals you cannot necessarily smell or taste but which you don’t want to ingest. Reverse osmosis systems are safe, simple, and effective. Without contaminants, your water will look, smell, and taste like something you want to drink.
So, say goodbye to smelly, staining water, and hello to clear, delicious H20.