What Causes Water to Smell Bad

If you ever notice a strange smell coming from the faucet at home as your pour yourself a drink, get ready to brush your teeth, or fill a pan for cooking dinner, do not consume that water! That smell means that something is wrong with either the plumbing in your house or the source of the water coming into the house. Water should always smell normal.

Common smells when there are water problems may include a smell of rotten eggs or bleach, or the water may just smell unusual or dirty. If you smell something unusual, go to each faucet in the house and let the water run several minutes. This will push the water sitting in the pipes of your plumbing out and down the drain. Then see if the smell is still coming for each faucet. If the odor comes from just a few faucets, the cause of the odor is somewhere in the faucets or the pipes supplying water to those faucets. If the odor continues to come from every faucet, the source of the odor is likely in the plumbing system or down the line in your water source.

Metallic Smells

If the water has a metallic smell, there may be a problem with the water heater. To figure this out, turn on only the cold water and let it run for a few minutes. Is there still an odor? Then turn on only the hot water and let it run for a few minutes? Is there a metallic odor? If only the hot water smells, the problem is most likely from the magnesium rod in your water heater. Magnesium rods protect the inside metal surface of a water heater tank. After many years, the magnesium will begin to corrode, which means you need a new water heater.

Another cause for a metallic smell is that you have heavy metals in your water. If you live in an older home with old pipes, iron, zinc, and manganese can get into a home’s water supply from the metal of the pipes. If your water heater is less than seven years old, you can rule out the water heater as the source of the metallic smell. If you continue to have metallic smells, you should call in for plumbing services in Roswell, GA, and have your water tested for lead and other metals.

Moldy and Rotten Egg Smells

Although you can’t see it, tap water can be infected with mold. Mold is naturally attracted to moist areas, and it can even grow inside faucets. Sometimes a mold problem is caused by algae blooming near a local water supply. Ingesting mold can cause serious health problems. If you suspect mold, you should call a plumbing company to check it out. And most likely, if you have a problem with mold, your neighbors do as well, and you should inform them of your experience after the plumbing company has verified the presence of mold.

No one likes the smell of rotten eggs. If you ever smell tap water with this smell, there is hydrogen sulfide in your pipes. Sulfur is the result of minerals in the environment breaking down and turning into hydrogen sulfide gas. Sulfur occurs naturally as vegetation decays. There is also sulfur in minerals in certain soil and rocks. The sulfur most likely entered the water source, such as a well. Besides the obnoxious smell, hydrogen sulfide can corrode the pipes in your plumbing system. It is acid and can weaken the plumbing and turn pipes black. Again, you’ll need the help of a plumber to clean out your pipes.

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To learn more about what causes water to smell bad, and other plumbing issues, call Plumb Doctor LLC at 770-912-8922.