Rotten egg smell from water, both hot and cold

Old 10-21-07, 08:05 PM
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Rotten egg smell from water, both hot and cold


I have been having a problem with our water. The first few seconds its run after sitting idle for a while (more than 1.5 hours) it has a stong sulfer or rotten egg smell. The smell goes away after a few seconds. The smell seems worse on the cold side. The problem was not helped by changing the anode rod in the water heater, it might have even gotten worse. The smell is worse in the kitchen which is unsoftned on the cold side. The softned cold water has a little bit of smell to it but is not nearly as bad as the unsoftned water. Our water comes from a shared well and none of the other houses have any problems. We recently replaced a few pieces of pipes (1/2 copper to 3/4 inch copper) if that could make any difference.

From reading online it sounds like it could mabey be iron or sulfer bacteria. Anyone have any ideas on what this might be and more importantly how to fix it. If this is beyond diy who would be appropiate to call? A pumber or well person

Thank you
Old 10-22-07, 03:24 PM
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If it were just the hot, I would suspect the heater, but if both, I suspect the supply. Have the well tested, and have your system checked by someone that understands wells.
Old 10-28-07, 09:46 AM
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I have my own well at 600 feet. Came up with sulfur also, the plummer put an air hammer and a charcoal filter for the hole house. It works well , no more rotten eggs. He first installed a water softener but that did not work so he took it back out and install what I said above.
Good Luck
Old 11-07-07, 11:59 AM
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Ah, the old rotten-egg-smell-from-the-well-water, trick. Our county's well water expert told us that a slowly increasing smell of this type was often caused by bacteria buildup in the well. Her solution, "bleach (a.k.a. santize) the well". This is done by pouring a specific amount (based on your well diameter and depth) of diluted bleach (regular Chlorox) directly into the top of the well, opening all interior and exterior valves until you smell bleach at each one and then closing them, letting everything sit for several hours, and then opening an exterior hose bib until you don't smell bleach anymore. (Attach a hose & run it way from the house - you don't want the bleach to kill your good, septic tank bacteria). This will santize your entire system all the way to each fixture.

"Bleaching the well" in this manner, kept our sulfur smell away for ~3 years. NOTES: 1- It took about 3 gallons of bleach (at 50% dilution) for our 6", 200' well. 2- Sometimes this process would break off chunks of gunk (bacteria?) from the inside of the well, so be sure to check (and maybe replace or flush) your house's sediment filter or faucet aerators after this process. 3-The first time this happened, a plumber told us it was the rubber bladder in our holding tank that was, he charged us a few hundred $ to replace it and also bleached the well as a "courtesy". When the smell came back a couple of years later, we cussed a little and then called the county as mentioned above.

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