Why does water smell like sulfur? - Posted by JB

Posted by Glen B on February 29, 2000 at 24:40:23:

You are right. Water smells like sulfer for two reasons, either it has sulfur from mineral content (only in wells, not municipal water since they filter it out) or it is bacterial contamination, usually in pressure tanks (you don’t have this), or in water heaters or water softeners. I suggest that you disinfect the softener brine tank and the resin bed with chlorine to kill the active bacteria. I have seen it many times when inspecting properties.

Why does water smell like sulfur? - Posted by JB

Posted by JB on February 27, 2000 at 20:11:24:

We have a property that was vacant for about six months before we bought it. Now our first tenant is complaining that the water smells like sulfur. They ran the water for about 20 minutes to see if this would help but it just stunk up the whole place. It is on city water so it doesn’t make much sense.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what could be causing this?

I thought it might have something to do with the water heater sitting for so long, but the tenant says the cold water smells also.

Thanks for any help!

Re: Why does water smell like sulfur? - Posted by Glenn OH

Posted by Glenn OH on February 28, 2000 at 08:56:48:

We had the same situation in our house when we moved in last May. It had been a foreclosure I got at auction, and had be vacant for over 15 months. Our problem was the water softener tank, which had water standing in it, evidently with an ideal environment for bacteria. We replaced the softener and got rid of the problem. Your solution may not be this drastic, but my wife is extremely allergic to sulfer, so we were not going to try anything to salvage the old softener.

Re: Why does water smell like sulfur? - Posted by DougO(NM)

Posted by DougO(NM) on February 27, 2000 at 21:03:02:

You may need to change the water heater anyway, I would suggest calling the water department and ask if anyone else is reporting this problem.