Q&A / 

Toilet and Shower Water Rotten Egg Smell

Quick Column Summary:

  • Rotten egg smell in plumbing
  • Is it in all the faucets
  • Is it the municipal water supply

An anonymous person named Free who lives in Lancaster, CA moved into a new mobile home park. He or she's got a problem with water odor:

"My toilet smells like rotten eggs. The shower water also. I live in a brand new mobile home, in a park that uses well and city water. We've been noticing it lately, since its been hot, but not everyday.

I have a w/d hookup on the outside that's never been used. I also recent hooked up a Danby 18" dishwasher, and it drains out the kitchen line. There is no loop in the drain line, nor a vent on top of the sink, not sure if that matters. Please help. I can't afford to call a plumber as the park suggests."

Since I'm a master plumber, I've got some insight into this. Here's my proposed solution:

First, what's happening with all your neighbors? Since you live in a park with a common water supply, are all / many / a few of them having the same water odor problems?

If you discover some have the issue and some don't, ask the people with no odor if they have water conditioning systems installed. I had a sulfur odor in my well water and a conditioning system eliminated it immediately.

When you do smell the odor, is it at all faucets? Run the water and see.

If your water supply is connected to a municipal system, when you called to have a service person come out, what did they say? If it's a private well system for the park, it could be sulfur in the water from a number of sources.

You don't need a plumber to help you narrow down what the cause may be. You need to put on your Columbo trench coat and start to do deductive reasoning to determine if the issue is just in your home or widespread within the park.

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2 Responses to Toilet and Shower Water Rotten Egg Smell

  1. Tim:

    I have sulfur in my well water. The cold water is not very contaminated, but the hot water is unusable. The problem is apparently that the water heaters have an aluminum post inside which draws and collects the sulfur. in addition, by the effect of heating the water, the heater concentrates the amount of sulfur in the hot water.

    The major company that handles water treatment for homes, in our area, wants over $4000 for the system. I can't afford it.

    I rent my home. the landlord won't pay for anything. (I had to purchase and install the gas furnace and heating system. i made the landlord credit towards rent payments.)

    I have been told that if you remove the post from the water heater, and drain out all the water, rinse it out, fill it up and and start it up again (without any post); it will frequently fix the problem.

    What do you think?

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