why does my bathroom sink water smell like rotten eggs
This is a common problem in some areas with high sulfur well water. The issue is that iron fixing bacteria takes up residence in the well, slowly corroding steel parts and generating hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs. Often the issue is only severe on the hot water side of a system because the bacteria loves 125F-140F warm water in the hot water heater, thriving there and making a very odoriferous problem. Chlorinating the system is recommended as a fix by many plumbers. Unfortunately, this is usually a very temporary solution. The bacteria which causes the odor is endemic in the well and after the system is chemically sanitized then the bacteria simply re-established itself where it was, being re-introduced by the well water.
Fortunately this particular bacteria is not toxic. If the problem is really noticeable only on the hot water side (also extending into the cold water line near the water heater), then a good permanent fix is to increase the hot water heater temperature to about 160F, which will kill all the bacteria on an ongoing basis. This is a scalding hot temperature, so a mixing/tempering valve must also be installed, bringing the water back below scalding temperatures as the water is dispensed. This arrangement is also sometimes known as a "hot water extender" because it increases the hot water capacity on standby. Unfortunately, some hot water heaters cannot be set this hot. Others require a "performance kit" or other accessory.
The only other permanent fix I know of is to install a chlorinating system or something similar which continuously injects chemical sanitizer into the water as it is pumped out of the ground.
If your water smells like rotten eggs, the odor is usually caused by the levels of sulfur bacteria and Hydrogen Sulfide that can be found in a buildingвs water supply. If you only experience the smell when using your hot tap, it may be a chemical reaction occurring inside your hot water heater, and nota problem with your water supply. What Should You Do? If you do experience any new odors it is always important to find the source of the problem by checking taps and water supplies around the building. If the smell is only from the hot water tap the problem is likely to be in the water heater.
Contacting a trained boiler inspector is the best cause of action here. If the smell is in both the hot and cold faucets, but only from the water treated by a water softener and not in the untreated water the problem is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the water softener. Changing the water softener solution will solve this issue. If the smell is strong when the water in both the hot and cold faucets is first turned on, and it diminishes or goes away after the water has run, or if the smell varies through time the problem is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the well or distribution system. This could also be a sign that there is a more dangerous problem in your water supply.
If the smell is strong when both the hot and cold faucets are first turned on, the problem is likely hydrogen sulphide in the groundwater. This could also be a sign that there is a more dangerous problem youвre your water supply. If you are concerned about what is in your water you can purchase test kits that will check the levels of hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, sulfur bacteria, and iron bacteria. One of the better alternatives to drinking straight from the tap is using a water filter that eradicates harmful contaminants. At Waterlogic, our mission is to deliver fresh, clean water to all offices. Our Firewallв filtration water coolers eliminate 99. 9999% of bacteria found in tap water sources. Take a look at our or for a water cooler.
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