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Why does my water smell like rotten eggs or sulfur?

If your water smells like rotten eggs or sulfur there is likely one reason. That reason is stagnant water. Stagnant water is defined as:

Stagnant water means motionless water, not flowing in a stream or current; also known as Standing Water

When water is left to sit and the temperature is right, a bacteria in the water flourishes and makes its way to your tap. Upon arrival and meeting the fresh air the bacteria's gases smell terrible.

There are several situations where this occurs and they are as follows:

  • New neighborhoods where large water supply pipes have sections that are unused. The solution typically is opening a fire hydrant upstream of the unused portion on a periodic basis until houses occupy the street. This is a task for the local water and sewer company, not a plumbing company

  • A water heater that is unused for a period of time. This is a very common occurrence in houses with an absentee owner such as AIR BNB's and vacation homes. The solution to flush the heater thoroughly and even add some hydrogen peroxide to the tank. This isn't an easy task unless the heater has been setup for this and a plumber should be called. It is also helpful to raise the temperature of the water heater to kill the bacteria, but make sure it is a safe temperature for all who may use it.

We hope that you have found this information useful and will consider Avery & Sons for your next plumbing problem.

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