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Tap Water Smelling Funny? Here’s How to Get Rid of the Stench


Nothing makes tap water more unappealing than foul odors. Suddenly, the home stinks, and the water tastes awful. Furthermore, is it even safe to drink? If you prefer to DIY your plumbing problems rather than wait for an emergency plumber in Somerset County to show up to your house, here’s a handy guide to help you work through your plumbing conundrum.

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Determine the Smell

Rotten Eggs/Sulfur:
The infamous rotten egg smell comes from bacterial growth in the drains. When organic matter like hair and food gets stuck in the drain, it will begin to break down. The decomposition sight is bacteria’s favorite place to thrive. As the amount of bacteria multiplies, the rotten egg smell (actually caused by hydrogen sulfide gas) will get stronger and stronger, climbing back up your drains.

If your water smells metallic, it’s likely carrying bits of metal in the stream as well. Your main water supply line is made of strong metal pipes (either brass, copper, or galvanized steel) that are under constant pressure, causing them to break down faster than your drain lines. When this line deteriorates, specs of metal will break off and end up in your water supply, causing your water to smell and taste funny.

You might enjoy the smell of chlorine for about a minute after you’ve finished cleaning your house from top to bottom, but it’s never an inviting odor when it comes from your plumbing. If your water smells (and tastes) like swimming pool water, there’s probably too much chlorine in your water supply. It’s not dangerous to consume, but it’s not fresh water either.

The fishy odor in your water is commonly caused by barium, cadmium, and chlorine, all naturally-occurring minerals, interacting with the water. Just like chlorine, barium, cadmium, and a host of other chemicals are used to disinfect water at the treatment plant. If this smell persists for too long, give your local water authority a call.

Locate the Smell

Once you’ve identified the smell, it’s time to find out exactly where it’s coming from. Watch our short video below to guide you in locating the origin of the smell.

Eliminate the Smell

What’s the verdict? To the best of your knowledge, is the smell coming from your water supply, your water heater, or your sewer pipes? If the water treatment plant is to blame, you can either contact your local water authority or install a water softening system. If the smell is coming from your water heater, flushing the system may be all you need to get rid of that debris. If your clogged drains are causing the foul smell, it’s time to schedule a service with the drain cleaning pros of Somerset County.
Don’t hesitate any longer to reach out to a Hutchinson expert! We make your plumbing system our priority. Contact us today to schedule for emergency plumbing repairs throughout NJ and PA.