When your water smells like rotten eggs, the stench is an unmistakable sign of sulfur-contaminated water. While it doesn’t cause any serious health effects, the odor is extremely off-putting, and the sulfur can damage your plumbing and other objects in your home.
Effects Around the House
Hydrogen sulfide gas dissolved in water corrodes metals such as iron, steel, copper, and brass. People will often see stains on plumbing fixtures and blackened or discolored utensils and silverware. Similar problems can occur with your clothes; not only does hydrogen sulfide hinder the ability of laundry detergent to clean clothes, but it can also leave them stained. Not to mention that hydrogen sulfide will corrode any metal in the washing machine, as well.
The sulfur-reducing bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide gas also produce a white, gray, or black slime. Additionally, they create favorable conditions for other types of bacteria to flourish. For example, iron bacteria are common and are evidenced by a rust-colored slime. Either of these slimes will coat the insides of plumbing pipes, leading to clogging and corrosion.
Identifying the Source of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas in Your Home
Your water can become contaminated by sulfur-reducing bacteria, which live in oxygen-deficient environments. Plumbing systems, water softeners, and water heaters are favorable environments for them. What they do is alter the chemical makeup of natural sulfates in the water to make hydrogen sulfide gas. (Hydrogen sulfide can also be found in groundwater as the result of decaying organic matter, like plants.)
The source of the sulfur stench in your home is probably your hot water heater. If the smell only comes from the hot side, then it’s probably a result of the magnesium control rod (which prevents the steel tank from corrosion) chemically reducing naturally occurring sulfates to hydrogen sulfide. In this case, the solution is to replace the magnesium rod with an aluminum rod.
However, this solution doesn’t always work.
Removing Sulfur from Water
A great way to remove sulfur from your water is to install a Kinetico Sulfur Guard system. This system provides an efficient way to remove sulfur from your water that expensive, high-maintenance systems can’t match. Visit our website to request a free quote or get a free water analysis.