Why Does My Water Smell Bad?

Why Does My Water Smell Bad?
Nasty odors in your water aren’t natural or healthy. Whether you’re drinking from city tap water or your own private well, there are several common reasons your water might smell funky, and simple solutions available to get rid of the problem.

No matter if you’re dealing with the noxious smell of bleach or rotten eggs, or the reek of sewage, must, or metal, the key to effective treatment is finding the right solution for your specific water issue.

We recommend that you purchase a water test kit for confirmation of the type of contaminant in your water.

Where does the water smell come from?

The first step to getting rid of any unpleasant water smell is to identify the source. Is the odor coming from the water itself, or your plumbing?

To identify the source, try to answer the following:

1. Do you smell the odor in ALL of your faucets, or just some?
An odor in some faucets, but not all, indicates the plumbing drain contains the issue.

2. Does the odor go away after running the water for a few minutes?
If the odor goes away after you let the water run, the issue is likely in your plumbing.

3. Fill a glass of water and take it into another room. After a few minutes, check your glass. Does the water still smell?
If no odor is detectable out of range of the faucet, the problem is in the plumbing.

4. Is the odor in both the hot and cold water?
If the smell is in the hot water only, the problem likely resides in your water heater. If in both, your water supply is more likely to be the source of your issue.

Common water smells and odor reduction solutions

While it’s important to distinguish between issues with your water supply and the plumbing system, when it comes to solving your odor problem, the most crucial factor to identifying and eliminating the culprit may be your description of the smell itself. Check out the following list of common complaints for your issue and the recommended solutions.

My water smells like chlorine/bleach

If your tap water smells like a swimming pool, it’s almost certain you’re on a municipal water supply. While you’ve no doubt figured out the odor is likely a byproduct of the treatment process meant to make your water safe from disease, the bleach smell shouldn’t be overpowering by the time it reaches your faucet. If excess chlorine is your issue, a carbon filtration system may be your best solution. Depending on the severity of the issue, you might consider either a drinking water system installed at the tap, or a whole home solution that treats your entire water supply at the point it enters your home.

Learn more about why your water might smell like chlorine


My water smells like eggs/sulfur

When you’re assaulted by a rotten egg smell at the tap, you’re dealing with sulfur bacteria or hydrogen sulfide. This is a case where it’s crucial to identify whether the source is the water supply or your plumbing, so you’re sure to treat the actual cause of the issue. Depending on the sulfur’s origin, your solution may involve adjustments to the water heater, your plumbing system, or the installation of a sulfur reduction filtration solution for the water supply itself.

Learn more about why your water might smell like eggs/sulfur


My water smells like sewage

Similar to the smell of rotten eggs, the odor of sewage may be the product of bacteria or other organic contaminants in your plumbing. The solution may be as simple as flushing out your drains and water heater, or it may necessitate treatment of the water supply. Pinpointing the smell’s source will be your key to fresher water, to fix the problem right the first time.

Learn more about why your water might smell like sewage


My water smells earthy or like fish

Does it smell like you dunked your water glass in a pond? Organic compounds of natural minerals or industry runoff may be the source of your problem. A reverse osmosis system installed under your sink may be your best bet to trap the contaminants and enjoy better smelling water.

However, if you’re on city water, that fishy smell may be a water treatment byproduct, signaling an overabundance or chloramines, best treated by a catalytic carbon water filtration system.

We recommend you purchase a water test kit to verify exactly what contaminants you are dealing with so that the treatment resolves your issue.

Learn more about why your water might smell earthy or like fish


My water smells like metal

As you might have guessed, the most likely reason for a metallic smell in your water is the presence of trace metals. Often the result of plumbing rust or corrosion, your first step should be to test your water to identify whether you’re dealing with lead, copper, iron, or some other metal. It’s also possible your water has a low pH, meaning it’s acidic, which can corrode copper or bronze plumbing over time.

The filtration system needed to treat this problem will be based on the source and the severity of the issue, whether it’s a whole home filtration system, or a filter for taste and smell at the tap. We recommend that you purchase a water test kit for confirmation of this type of contaminant in your water.

Learn more about why your water might smell like metal

Investigation is the key to solving your smelly water issues

If you’ve been searching for the answer of how to rid your home of bad water smells, the solution is as simple as identifying the cause, and investing in the right treatment.

Whether you can solve the problem with a filter at the tap, or should think about installing a treatment system to filter water for your entire home, Tier1 offers the products you need to fix your problems.

If you’d like a personalized recommendation for your home, the Technical Support Team at Tier1water.com is available to chat or answer your call.