Why Water Smells Like Sulfur In One Faucet?

It’s an unexpected surprise when you turn on the kitchen faucet and its water smells like sulfur. Everyone wants clean water for drinking and washing. When you turn on the faucet, you expect clear water without any smell.

But if you turn on the faucet and the water smells like sulfur, what will you do? The water smells like sulfur in one faucet is not a pleasant experience. The sulfur smell in the water is not harmful but no one wants to drink water with a bad smell.

Sometimes in the house water only from one faucet smells like sulfur and water from the rest of the faucet smell normally. In this article, we will see how to get rid of the sulfur smell from the faucet water.

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What Causes Sulfur Smells In The Faucet Water?

Water Smells Like Sulfur In One Faucet

First of all, if the sulfur smell is coming from the water don’t worry, your water is safe to use. You can easily solve this problem if you know the reasons.

The most common reason for the sulfur smell in the water is Hydrogen Sulfide. A small amount of Hydrogen sulfide can cause an extremely bad smell in the water.

Hydrogen sulfide doesn’t make any bad impact on your health. But its bad odor is not bearable. This sulfur smell feels like rotten eggs smell and people get scared of it. Your nose wrinkles and you can’t even stand near the kitchen faucet.

sulfur smell in hot water

Here are some possible causes why you are getting a sulfur smell from the faucet.

Bacterial Contamination

In the water, you may get a sulfur smell or a rotten egg smell due to sulfur-reducing bacteria. These bacteria use sulfur as an energy source. It releases hydrogen sulfide gas as a byproduct.

When this gas dissolves into water, it reacts with water and the sulfur smell comes out from the water. Bacterial contamination may occur in the well water or municipal water supply.

Corrosion of Pipes

Pipe fitting in any house becomes corroded with time. Iron pipes get corroded quickly as compared to other pipes. Corroded pipes release iron and sulfur-containing elements into the water and make water smell like sulfur.

Natural Sources

The sulfur smell in the water also may occur due to natural sources. Sulfur is a natural element so in some areas, it is common to find sulfur elements in the water. So, sometimes sulfur smell occurs due to the nature of the water. So, when water flows from the pipe and comes out from the faucet, you smell sulfur in the water.

Water Cleaning Chemicals

Sometimes water cleaning chemicals may also produce a sulfur smell in the water. But this smell is not permanent and after some time it goes away on its own.

Water Heater

In the house, we use a water heater to get hot water. But with time, inside the water heater, its elements won’t remain in the good condition and creates rust and corrosion. If you only smell sulfur water in hot water then it is a high chance that the water heater has some issues.

How To Clean Hot Water To Remove Sulfur Smell?

Clean Hot Water To Remove Sulfur Smell

Most people complain about the sulfur smell in the hot water. If you only smell sulfur when you turn the hot water faucet then the main reason is hot water heater. The solution to this problem is not difficult.

The first solution you should try is to turn up the temperature of the water heater. Turn up the temperature to 160 degrees to 200 degrees for a short time period. This process will kill all the bacteria inside the water heater including hydrogen sulfide. This process will work most of the time and the sulfur smell will go.

After increasing the temperature, still, the sulfur smell is coming from the water then use the next solution.

In the water heater, a magnesium corrosion rod is used. Due to some chemical reactions this rod generates hydrogen sulfide in the water and creates a sulfur smell. Change the magnesium rod to get rid of the sulfur smell. This is not an expensive process.

How To Remove Sulfur Smell From Water In One Faucet Only?

How To Remove Sulfur Smell From Water In One Faucet Only

If you are facing a sulfur smell problem in one faucet only then most probably the pipeline attached to the faucet is the culprit.

There is a high chance that bacteria build up inside the pipeline. This bacteria travels from the pipeline to the faucet and comes out with a sulfur smell.

Chemicals build up forms inside the pipe and it chokes the flow of the water. People use filters to clean water but with time filter doesn’t work properly and unfiltered water goes into the faucet. If the pipe is kinked or trapped, sulfur builds up inside it.

To clean the pipe, you need to use a drain cleaner. Take vinegar and hot water and mix them into equal quantities. Now pour this mixture into the drain and leave it for hours. Vinegar will work and build-up will remove. You should do this process 3-4 times so all build-up from the pipe gets vanished.

How To Remove Sulfur Smell From All Faucets?

How To Remove Sulfur Smell From All Faucets?

If the sulfur smell is coming out from all faucets then first, you need to check that problem is due to municipality water or within the home well.

If a problem arises due to the home well then you need to flush the casing of the well with a strong chlorine solution. Flushing is not a permanent solution but it will reduce the smell.

You need to use active carbon filters to remove hydrogen sulfide from the groundwater. Water passes through a carbon filter and the filter absorbs all chemicals. This process works if the hydrogen sulfide quantity is low.

If the hydrogen sulfide quantity exceeds then clean the filter regularly otherwise after a period filter won’t absorb sulfide. The filter won’t work properly and harmful chemicals may be released back into the water.

Tips To Prevent Sulfur Smell In Water

  • You should regularly clean and maintain the water heater. From this bacteria and sediment won’t build up in the water heater. Once a week flush your water heater and replace the anode rod if it is not in a good condition to prevent a sulfur smell.
  • Repair any plumbing leak in the house. The leak will help to grow sulfur-containing bacteria and cause a sulfur smell in the water.
  • If necessary, install a water filter or water softener to clean up all chemicals from the water that are responsible for the sulfur smell.
  • You should avoid using hot water to clean dishes as this can cause more sulfur odors because some cleaning solutions contain sulfur elements.
  • Avoid using household chemicals that can contribute to sulfur odors in the water.

Will Bleach Get Rid of Sulfur Smell in Water?


Bleach is a strong oxidizing agent. It effectively removes certain types of odors from the water including sulfur or rotten eggs odor. But you should keep in mind that how effectively bleach will remove the sulfur smell will depend on the source and quantity of sulfur compound in the water.

To remove the sulfur smell from the water, mix bleach into the water and let it sit for a few hours. Bleach will do its work and remove the sulfur smell. If still sulfur smell is coming, add more bleach and wait for another few hours.

Bleach is not a safe product and it is harmful when it comes to contact with the eyes of the skin. So, before using it you should follow the safety instructions of the product and also wear safety gloves.

Can I Use Smelly Water To Wash Dishes?

Water that smells like sulfur is not harmful to humans. You can use it to clean dishes or take shower. But to be on the safe side, you should avoid smelly water.

Instead of using bad-smelly water, you should find out the reason for the smell. If the bad smell is due to sulfur then we have given solutions in this article to remove the sulfur smell.

Until you get clean and tasty water don’t use it for cooking or washing purpose. You should think about your family’s health before using smelly water.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove The Sulfur Smell From Water?

The cost of removing the sulfur smell from the water depends on which method you are using.

Water treatment chemicals$10-$50 per gallon
Water filtration system$100-$several thousand dollars
Water softener$400-$1,000
Water treatment professionalsSeveral hundred dollars or more
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FAQ About Water Smells Like Sulfur In One Faucet

How Much Quantity Is Safe of Hydrogen Sulfide In The Water?

Less than 0.5 PPM (parts per million) of hydrogen sulfide is safe in the water. People can smell sulfur in the water if the quantity of Hydrogen sulfide exceeds more than 0.5 PPM. It is not harmful but the water smells bad.

Is It Bad If Your Water Smells Like Sulfur?

As we said earlier, the sulfur smell is not bad in the water. You can use this water for cooking, drinking, washing, etc. But no one wants to use water that smells bad.

Will the Sulfur Smell Go Away on Its Own?

Sulfur smells don’t go away on their own, you need to use cleaner to clean water. Drain all water and fill the filtered water into the water tank of the house. You can also use a water softener to remove the hardness of the water so the chances of a sulfur smell remain zero.

Should I Call a Plumber If My Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs?

You don’t know what is the cause of the rotten eggs smell in the water and after trying different solutions, if you are not able to remove the rotten eggs smell, you should call a plumber. A plumber will find out the cause of the issue and will suggest an appropriate solution to you.

Is It Safe To Drink Sulfur Water?

The sulfur smell in the water is present due to hydrogen sulfide. If the quantity of hydrogen sulfide in the water is less than 1 mg/l then it is safe to drink. But water with high levels of hydrogen sulfide will cause a bad smell in the water and also may cause health problems if consumed over an extended period of time.


Now you know what to do when water smells like sulfur in one faucet or all faucets. The sulfur smell is not harmful but you should use water after removing the smell. Try our solutions to remove the sulfur smell from the water.

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