Why does my water smell like rotten eggs

Last updated on: July 1, 2024.

Bathing or drinking water that smells like rotten eggs is no fun. The good news is, the tickling unpleasant rotten egg smell in hot water or cold water can be dealt with. If your water smells like rotten eggs, do not ignore the signs. Get to the problem of the issue and know how to remove the rotten egg smell from your water supply.

If you are wondering why you smell rotten eggs from the water coming from your water heater tank or tap water, you must be informed it is due to too much sulfur bacteria or hydrogen sulfide gas. If your hot water smells like rotten eggs or the cold water smells like rotten eggs, hurry up and deal with the dead bacteria in the water supply to your home.

In this article, we will learn more about how to get rid of this sulfur-smelling water from your water heater tank or tap water supply to your home. With that said, let us get started.

3 Key Takeaways

🔸 If you can smell rotten eggs in your building’s water supply it could be due to the sulfur bacteria or chemical reaction occurring inside the water heater.

🔸 Long-term exposure to sulfur in water can not just damage the well and plumbing system, faucets, and other fixtures by causing corrosion, but it can also lead to health issues such as stomach problems, diarrhea, dysentery, and dehydration.

🔸 The Waterdrop Under Sink water filter with 1.6 GPM capacity is one of the best under-sink filters to reduce lead, remove rotten egg odor, and filter water quickly.

Why does water smell like rotten eggs?

Why does water smell like rotten eggs?

A strong rotten egg odor in the water supply is an indicator that there is an alarmingly high level of sulfur bacteria. If there is a presence of Hydrogen sulfide gas in your building’s water supply, you will notice that the water smells like rotten eggs.

Even with this strong rotten egg odor, you must observe of the cold water smells like rotten eggs or the hot water smells like rotten eggs. If you are confident that only the hot water smells like rotten eggs, you can be assured there is no problem of immediate concern in your water supply. The rotten egg smell in how water is due to a chemical reaction occurring inside in water heater tank. When the water heater temperature rises beyond a level, it leads to a sulfur smell in the water supply. Installing appropriate corrosion protection inside the water heater can prevent the chemical reaction from occurring inside.

Cold water smells like rotten eggs

If your water smells like rotten eggs only when you turn on the cold faucets, the reason is due to sulfate-reducing bacteria. The environment that leads to poor aeration and corrosion will promote the growth of sulfate-reducing bacteria. If you provide corrosion protection, you will be able to kill sulfur bacteria and remove the rotten egg smell from your cold water supply.

Hot water smells like rotten eggs

The hot water supply that has a rotten egg smell is due to the chemical reactions in the water heater. There is a metal rod called the ‘Anode rod’ inside hot water heaters to provide corrosion protection. This Anode rod could be either a magnesium anode rod or an aluminum rod. When the magnesium anode reacts with sulfates in the water, it will generate a hydrogen sulfide odor. The water heater temperature or the warm environment inside the heater supports the sulfur bacteria growth. You can reach out to a trained boiler inspector to sort out this problem.

Hot and cold water smell like rotten eggs

Hot and cold water smell like rotten eggs

If you are getting a rotten egg smell when you turn on the hot tap and the cold faucets, you must be cautious as there could be a serious problem. If you smell rotten eggs in both hot and cold water, the reason is hydrogen sulfide gas in the entire water supply. Sulfur bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide gas as the result of feeding on the sulfate content in the water.

When the hydrogen sulfide gas gets trapped in the underground water supply, the entire water supply or the building’s water supply will promote the bacteria’s growth.

What causes high sulfur in water?

Too much sulfur in the water supply is a result of high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas. When the sulfur bacteria in the water supply is on the higher side the rotten egg smell will emanate. To remove hydrogen sulfide gas and its odor, you must kill sulfur bacteria and the dead bacteria present in the water supply.

What are the long-term effects of drinking sulfur water?

What are the long term effects of drinking sulfur water?

The long-term effects of using tap water and drinking water that has sulfur in them are many. While some might lead to serious complications in health, others might not. One of the common problems of sulfur bacteria exposure n tap water is damage to silverware and plumbing fixtures. Extended use of sulfur water can cause black stains in silverware and plumbing fixtures due to corrosion.

However, it has been said that despite the strong rotten egg odor in drinking water, there is not a problem of immediate concern. It is a serious issue if the sulfur odor or rotten egg odor is from other contaminants, such as sewage. If sewage water or other harmful contaminants have penetrated into the building’s water supply, well and plumbing system, or distribution system, it must be addressed at the earliest. Harmful contaminants in tap water or drinking water can lead to very serious health complications.

Is it safe to shower in water that smells like sulfur?

Is it safe to shower in water that smells like sulfur?

If your tap water supply smells like sulfur it is not a problem to shower in it. It is safe to shower in water that smells like sulfur, as long as you are confident that the water’s hydrogen sulfide gas is from bacteria. If the smell is from harmful contaminants like sewage water or other contaminants, the water can be deemed unsafe for use. Hydrogen sulfide gas by itself is hazardous when it is in the air. You must immediately look for ways to vent the gas to the atmosphere or remove it from the water supply.

How do I fix smelly tap water?

How do I fix smelly tap water?

The problem with a smelly tap starts with the distribution system. You can try flushing the drain valve or cleaning and disinfecting it to get rid of the odor. Periodic cleaning and maintenance of the reservoir or the pressure tank is also an effective way to prevent bacterial growth.

A few of the other methods that will work to remove the odor from the plumbing system, well, or distribution system are; shocking the well with a chlorine bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide, installing a chlorine injector system, air charger carbon filter, air compressor tank aeration system, ozone gas. Having a consistent cleaning routine for the tank, well, or distribution system by itself is sufficient to keep bacterial growth at bay and keep away from unpleasant odors.

What is the best filter for sulfur water?

Keeping your drinking water supply free from chlorine, lead, sulfur, heavy metals, and other contaminants is easy. With the Waterdrop Under Sink Water Filter, you can be assured that you have invested in one of the country’s leading water purification brands.

Waterdrop Under Sink Water Filter

The durability of this water filtering system depends on the 304 stainless steel material it is made with. The 1.6 GPM capacity provides a large water flow. You will also benefit from the burst-proof and leakage-proof design, the ability to reduce lead content in the water, and the 1 to 2-year lifespan that this environment-friendly purification system offers.

The Waterdrop unit comes with the capacity to filter up to 8000 gallons of water before needing a filter replacement, costing under $0.05 per day for filter replacement. The food-grade quality products used in this purification system make this highly reliable and safe for use. The Waterdrop under sink filter has also been rated as one of the best units with minimal labor time and space. It does not require any drilling, and takes under 10 minutes for installation and 30 seconds for filter replacement. Reach out to the experts or customer service to know when the water filter needs replacement.

The biggest advantage of this filtration system lies in its ultra-high flow rate. This is ideal to get faster and quicker filtration. With the 1.6 GPM water flow rate, this filtering unit takes only 2.3s to fill a cup of water. The stainless steel faucets in the unit assure durability.

If you are looking for a high-performance and durable under-sink filter that can guarantee you safer water taht is free from lead and unpleasant odor, this unit is a great choice. Invest in this unit to keep your water supply fresh and clean.

Pros and Cons of Waterdrop Under Sink Water Filter

⁃ Waterdrop Under Sink filter of the best durable water filters available in the market.
⁃ The effective choice is to reduce lead content in the water.
⁃ Sturdy build and durable parts that will function with efficiency for up to 1 to 2 years.
⁃ Economical and environment-friendly with BPA-free parts.
⁃ Equipped to filter up to 8000 gallons of water.
⁃ Effortless and easy installation.
⁃ Ultra high flow rate of 1.6 GPM.

What are the symptoms of high sulfur levels?

What are the symptoms of high sulfur levels?

If you continue to intake water with too much sulfur, there are other symptoms that will begin to show up in the body and in the things the water comes in contact with. Once you begin to notice the following signs and symptoms, you must watch out if there is too much sulfur in the water that you use.


If you notice that the silverware and plumbing fixtures in your home are changing in color it is a clear indicator that there is too much sulfur bacteria in the water.


Did you know that high levels of sulfur content in the water will corrode metals? If you fail to tackle the sulfur content in the water, you will begin to experience problems in the plumbing system as iron, steel, and copper metals begin to experience corrosion.


Along with sulfur-smelling water, you will also notice that there is a change in the taste of the water.

Stomach issues

With increased intake of sulfur, you must know that this can result in frequent stomach issues like dysentery and diarrhea. This can turn into serious complications in infants, young children, and animals.


Too much sulfur and the stomach issues that it paves the way to will eventually lead to dehydration as well (as a result of diarrhea).

Experts suggest that any of the above signs must not be neglected. Act promptly by taking measures to prohibit sulfur infiltration into your water supply. Do what is required to get rid of the sulfur damage that is already done and to prevent further hazards.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Does Brita remove sulfur?

No. Brita pitcher filters are not certified to remove sulfur or sulfates from the water. However, you can use Brita pitcher filters to remove hydrogen sulfide concentrations in small amounts from the water. The carbon filter built into the Brita pitcher will facilitate this.

2. Does hard water cause a sulfur smell?

The sulfur smell in hard water can be a result of the hydrogen sulfide gas or the sulfur bacteria that is reacting with magnesium. The scent could also be from high concentrations of iron in the water.

3. What does it mean when your tap water smells bad?

The bad smell that comes from the water coming from the hot tap or the cold faucets can be a result of hydrogen sulfide gas from the sulfur bacteria, sewage, or corrosion.

4. Can you drink water with hydrogen sulfide in it?

Drinking water that has high levels of hydrogen sulfide concentrations in it is hazardous to health in the long run.

5. Will bleach help a smelly sink drain?

Yes. Liquid chlorine bleach solution is effective in removing unpleasant odors from a clogged sink drain. Pour in a cap full of bleach and follow it up with a jet of hot water for a minute or two. This will remove all the unpleasant smell that emanates from the drain immediately. You must remember that this is not helpful ok clear the drain, but only to get rid of the smell (since the liquid bleach cannot disintegrate soap scum, hair, and another blockage).

6. Is hydrogen sulfide cancerous?

We do not have any conclusive studies or research on the cancerous effect of hydrogen sulfide on humans or animals.

7. Will a water softener remove the sulfur smell?

No. Any regular water softener solution or unit that does not have a separate sulfur bacteria filter will not have an effect on sulfur-smelling water.


With this, we have reached the end of this article. We trust you we able to understand why you have a sulfur smell in your water and the measures to handle it with ease. Invest in a good water filtering unit like the Waterdrop Under Sink water filter to cleanse your water before you use it. Protect your health and plumbing fixtures by removing all traces of sulfur and the rotten egg smell from your water.

About The Author


Gary Wright is a certified water technician & distinguished water treatment expert, Gary Wright possesses an unrivaled depth of knowledge in water softeners and filters. Gary’s passion for water quality is rooted in his own personal experience. He grew up in a small town with hard water, and he remembers the challenges of dealing with dry skin, an itchy scalp, and cloudy drinking water. As an adult, he decided to become a water treatment expert so that he could help others avoid the same problems. His expertise empowers individuals and communities to enjoy pure, refreshing water for a healthier lifestyle.