Why does My Tap Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs?

Every time you run the tap, you smell the unpleasant odor of rotten eggs from the water!! Is this the issue you face in your everyday life?

Then, you are not alone in that party who tolerates the problem. The common reason for the tap water smells like rotten eggs are the hydrogen sulfide present in water.

The natural level of hydrogen sulfide in water is only 0.01-0.05%. Such a low percentage of this chemical doesn’t bring any damage to your health. And the surprising fact is- you can’t smell this low amount of sulfur.

So, what causes the undrinkable smell of your tap water?

Don’t worry! In this guide, we break down the reasons behind the rotten egg smell of your water and the solution to get rid of this issue.

Tap Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Reasons Behind the Rotten Egg Smell of the Tap Water

From this chapter, you can learn why your tap water smells like sulfur.

  1. Builds up in the Drain

A common reason behind the rotten-egg smell tap water is the drain, not the water. If there is any build up in parts of the drain, it may form disgusting slime. When you don’t run the water, the slime is covered by water. In return, you can’t smell it. But when you turn the tap on, it disturbs the covering and you can smell the rancid rotten egg odor.

To ensure the smells come from the drain, just take a cup of water from the sink. Then, go to another room and smell the cup water. If the odor doesn’t come from the water, it’s likely because of the drain.

  1. Water Heater

Water heaters can be another reason behind the hideous smell coming from the water.

Now, you may ask- how can I understand my water heater is the source of the smell? Well, if the hot water smells like sewage, understand it is responsible for the heater.

Almost every heater contains an anode rod to prevent corrosion from building up in the tank. The rod inside the heater breaks down the sulfate in the water and converts it into hydrogen sulfide. In return, the tap water smells like rotten eggs.

  1. Municipal’s Water Supply or the Well Water

The water supply you get from the municipal or a well may be another source of smell water. Because of the hydrogen sulfide buildup, the smells like sewage or rotten eggs. Also, the bacteria contained in water will also be another reason for stink water. 

The way of getting rid of the issue

You know the causes behind the tap water smells like sewage. Now, it’s time to learn about the solution.

  1. Apply Baking Soda & Vinegar

In the case of the stinky drain, we recommend you apply baking soda & vinegar. The acid contained in vinegar reacts with the hydrogen sulfide and removes the odor. So, try out this trick to remove the hideous odor from your water.

  1. Maintain your water heater or replace the anode rod

The water heater you are using may also be a source of stinky water. Regarding this, you can flush the heater efficiently to eliminate the rotten eggs smell. However, replacing the faulty anode rod will be the best trait to solve the issue. Make sure you get an anode rod with zinc-coated aluminum. Such a type of anode rod produces less amount of hydrogen gas.

  1. Treat your water with chlorine

Though the sulfide odor of your well water or the water you get from the municipality is not harmful, it’s intolerable to smell. The easiest way to get rid of this issue is- shock the water with chlorine. On the other hand, you can hire a professional plumber to install a water filter to refine your water. 


What do you do when your water smells like rotten eggs?

The simplest way to get rid of the rotten egg smells is to shock the water with chlorine. Chlorination can destroy sulfur bacteria and eliminate the hideous odor.

Will a carbon filter remove the rotten egg smell?

Yes, the carbon filter can remove the sewage smell from the water by disinfecting and killing the bacteria.

How long does hydrogen sulfide stay in your system?

Depending on the weather, the hydrogen sulfide may stay about 42 days in your system.

Why is sulfur bad for you?

A low amount of sulfur can’t bring any damage to your health. But if you inhale excess sulfur, it may damage the brain. Therefore, eye irritation, sore throat, coughing, and so on are also the result of inhaling sulfur.


From the above discussion, we learned there are various reasons behind the tap water smells like rotten eggs. Among them, hydrogen sulfide is the main reason behind the stinky water.

To eliminate the odor from your water, you can try out every trick we mentioned above.

If any of the tricks don’t work for you, it’s time to call for a certified plumber to do this task for you. Also, you can call your local municipal water department for help.

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