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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    alabama
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    3

    Default Sulphur smell in water

    Our house is five years old. Shortly after moving in, the sprayer in the kitchen and sink in one of the bathrooms started developing a sulphur odor when not used for several hours. These are the only two fixtures with this problem. We have run water straight in a glass after the fixtures not being used over night and each time, the water has the odor. The kitchen faucet however, has no smell. Only the sprayer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Sulphur smell in water

    Well or city water?

    Smell in hot water only or both hot and cold?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    alabama
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Sulphur smell in water

    Well water. Smell in hot and cold. Dissipates after about a minute.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: Sulphur smell in water

    If it was hot water only, then I would definitely suspect sulfur-reducing bacteria making a home in the water heater. If the hot side is the only source, this is frequently easy to resolve by swapping out the standard WH magnesium anode rod for an aluminum rod. And......that might still be a possibility although you notice the odor on both hot and cold. The gases made inside the WH from sulfur-reducing bacteria *can* end up in the cold supply also. It all depends upon the plumbing configuration and how those gas bubbles rise from the WH tank into the pipes. They'll follow the path of least resistance. As a result, one fixture might have an odor in the cold side while another has none. It just depends.

    However, there are also other possibilties as to the source of the odors. It might originate from the well itself. Any signs of bacterial iron/iron algae in the toilet tank? Any iron staining of white porcelain fixtures, etc? Do you know the iron content of your raw water? (if any)

    Have you had a thorough raw water test done? If not, I highly recommend it. (Local well-drillers might offer that service or can guide you to a reliable lab) Or....they might already know what problems are likely in your area. (Although this can vary dramatically from one well to another. Again, it depends.)

    We chlorinate our well because of iron algae and iron content. If that's the case in your instance also, be advised that you'll need a specialized piece of equipment/sand filter ahead of your water softener to remove the particulate iron created by cholrination or that will slug your softener in short order. (The end result of a properly chlorinated well and appropriate filters is a great water supply. If you live in a town or city, they do that for you. When you have a private well, you get to be your own water-treatment & delivery department.......with all of the associated costs. <G>)

    You'll also find some useful info here as regards sulfur/rotten egg odors in well water.

    http://www.goodwaterco.com/watereducation/comprob.htm

    You could also try "shocking" your well AND plumbing lines/fixtures once and see how long that rids you of the problem. Google "shock well" and you'll find much info on the procedure. It amounts to a one-time disinfection procedure that would kill off any existing bacteria in the well, your plumbing, WH, etc. Sometimes the magic works and you're rid of the problem for a long time. If it returns in short order, then you know you have a problem that will require additional measures.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 04-18-2008 at 12:11 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    alabama
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Sulphur smell in water

    Thank you for the advise. I will follow up on these items. I am still a bit confused as to why I only have the problem out of one faucet and the sprayer in the kitchen and no where else. Three baths, kitchen, laundry slop sink and only these two have problems. I was wondering if these two with the problem may have metals different than all the others and possibly were reacting with metals or organisms in the water. Sounds like I need to start with the water test.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Sulphur smell in water

    dobber,

    If your pressure tank & WH have a population of sulfate reducing bacteria growing in them, those bacteria will be producing tiny bubbles of hydrogen sulfide gas. Those little bubbles will act just an air bubble inside the plumbing of the house. They will follow the course of least reistance as they rise thru the water contained in the plumbing. If the physical configuration of the pipes leading up to those particular faucets is such that the path to them is the course of least reistance for the bubbles.....that's where the bubbles will go......and with them, the odor. Impossible to say from here whether or not that is the case.

    http://www.uldrinkwell.com/drinkwell...egg_smell.html

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