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Why Does My Water Smell Like Sulfur?

Sulfur is an easy contaminant to identify due to its unique smell, commonly described as “rotten eggs.”  The cause of the sulfur or rotten egg smell in your water depends on your water’s temperature. The first step to fixing your water’s sulfur odor is to take turns turning on your hot and cold water to determine which – or if both – have a smell.

  • If the smell only occurs when you are running cold water, the issue comes from sulfate-reducing bacteria. This means there are bacteria present in your pipes that consume sulfate and deposit hydrogen sulfide into your water. 
  • If the smell only occurs when you are running hot water, the likely culprit is your water heater. When the anode of your water tank begins to decay, it releases a sulfur-like or rotten egg smell into your hot water. 
  • If the smell occurs regardless of water temperature, the problem lies within your water source. Whether that be well or municipal, hydrogen sulfide is creeping its way into your home.

How to Get Rid of the Sulfur Smell in Your Water

If the cause is bacteria: a simple home remedy can be the fix! You can flush your affected drain with ½ cup of bleach, or put ½ cup baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar into the drain. 

If the cause is your hot water tank: the solution can be as simple as replacing the anode and flushing the system with a chlorine bleach solution to rid the tank and pipes of any remnants of hydrogen sulfide.

If your water source is causing your water to have an odor: start by calling Culligan to receive a FREE water test. This will identify exactly what issues your water is facing and determine which products or services your water system needs. Standard solutions include installing a water softener or a whole house water filtration system.

How to Prevent Your Water From Smelling Like Sulfur

How do you keep sulfur smell from returning?? Regular drain cleaning is a great place to start. However, the best way to maintain clean water throughout your home is by installing a whole house water filtration system. 

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