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What To Do When Your Tap Water Smells Bad

Written By: City View Plumbing & Heating

What To Do When Your Tap Water Smells Bad

Tap water plays a pivotal role in our daily lives. Tap water is usually transparent, tasteless, and odorless, but sometimes it can suddenly smell or taste differently. However, every smell isn’t a cause for concern. Read on as we discuss what you need to do if your tap water is cloudy or has an unusual odor.

Determine if the Smell is of Concern

Tap water is disinfected with chlorine to keep it clean and chlorine does an excellent job at eliminating most pathogens. If your tap water smells or tastes like chlorine you shouldn’t be concerned. Your tap water may also occasionally smell like iron or copper due to the fact that the pipes it flows through are made from these metals. While trace amounts of either of these metals are not cause for major concern, if the taste is exceptionally strong and persits for a long period of time, it could potentially lead to copper toxicity. In this case, it is necessary to consult a plumbing specialist. If you are unsure whether the smell is something to worry about, do not hesitate to contact your local water company to inquire. 

A Rotten Egg Smell Means Bacteria is Present

Sometimes, your tap water may smell like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is a sign of bacteria, indicating that you will need to inspect your drain. Organic matter plus the moisture and low lighting conditions of a water system provide ideal conditions for bacterial growth. The first thing you need to do is figure out if the water only smells like rotten eggs in one faucet as opposed to both the hot and cold sides, or several faucets in your home: 

  • Narrow down the source of the odor by filling a glass with water and moving it away from the sink. Swirl it around after a few minutes and give it a sniff. If the water smells fine, your drain is in fact the issue.
  • Contact the best plumbing company in your area to discuss water conditioning and to properly remove bacteria from your drain.

Identify the Root Cause of the Smell

However, if you performed the glass test and your tap water is still cloudy with a smell of rotten eggs, there is more work to do. In this case, your water heater or water source may be the problem. Many electric water heaters have a magnesium corrosion control rod that converts natural sulfates found in your water into smelly hydrogen sulfide gas. 

  • If only your hot tap water produces this smell, your water heater is the issue.
  • If both your hot and cold tap water produce this smell, the issue lies deep in your water source and you will need the help of the best plumbing company in your area. 
  • A plumber can assist you with water conditioning solutions that will get your tap water back to a safe, healthy quality you can consume with confidence.

City View Plumbing Keeps Your Tap Water Clean and Safe 

For nearly 70 years, we have prided ourselves on being the best plumbing company in Minnesota and have served the residents of our local community with excellence and diligence. Our HVAC technicians have the expertise and product knowledge in water conditioning to help address the problems of your home’s most important systems and, most importantly, provide solutions. Is your tap water cloudy or not smelling the way it should? Schedule an appointment today and let us get to the root of the issue.