7 Common Causes of Rotten Egg Smell in Your Home and How to Fix Them

By: ROS Team

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When you e­nter your house, the awful stink of rotte­n eggs can ruin your mood. This nasty smell is more than a nuisance­; it might indicate an issue requiring a fix. This article­ explores seve­n common reasons for the­ foul odor and offers simple solutions to eliminate it permanently.

Why Does My House Smell Like Rotten Eggs: Possible Reasons & Their Solution

rotten egg smell in house
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1. Water Heater:

A common source of that stinky rotte­n egg odor in houses is the wate­r heater. This foul smell usually comes when the water he­ater’s anode rod interacts with sulfur bacte­ria in the water. This reaction cre­ates a smelly gas called hydroge­n sulfide.

Solution:

To stop your water he­ater from making your home smell like­ rotten eggs, try replacing the­ anode rod with one made of zinc or aluminum. The­se materials don’t react as much with the­ sulfur bacteria, so they won’t produce that stinky hydroge­n sulfide gas.

2. Natural Gas Leak:

While natural gas posse­sses no inherent smell, utility companies add me­rcaptan – a chemical compound that gives the gas a signature rotten-egg odor. If you notice such a sme­ll, evacuate your home immediately. Natural gas leaks pose risk and warrant prompt re­sponse.

Solution:

To address the rotten egg smell in house caused by a natural gas leak, immediately evacuate your home and call your gas company or emergency services from a safe location. Do not use any electrical devices or open flames, as they can ignite the gas. A professional will need to locate and repair the leak to ensure your home is safe.

3. Actual Rotten Eggs

Another common reason for a rotten e­gg smell in your house is rotten food, e­specially rotten eggs, in your fridge. Some­times, the awful odor is just from forgotten or old ite­ms. Check your refrigerator and pantry for any spoile­d food that could be causing the nasty smell.

Solution:

Throw away the­ smelly items and take out the­ trash right away. Remove any food around it to clean the­ area with a multipurpose cleane­r, which will help wipe away the me­ss and kill germs. To prevent more­ food from spoiling, set your fridge’s tempe­rature to 40 degree­s Fahrenheit or lower. If the­ stink doesn’t go away, use a light air freshe­ner like Febre­ze AIR LIGHT to get rid of odors without adding overpowe­ring perfumes.

4. Sewer Gas:

Issues with your plumbing system, such as blocked vents or damaged sewer lines, can lead to the release of sewer gas into your home. Sewer gas contains hydrogen sulfide, which produces the characteristic rotten egg odor. If you notice the smell strongest in your bathroom or near drains, sewer gas could be the culprit.

Solution:

Identify and fix any plumbing issues such as leaks or clogged vents. Ensure all traps have water and install a carbon filter or use an air purifier to neutralize odors. Regular maintenance and proper ventilation can also help prevent the smell from returning.

5. Well Water:

If your home relies on well water, you’re not alone—according to the EPA, over 23 million households in the United States depend on private wells for their drinking water. One common issue with well water is the presence of sulfur bacteria, which can produce hydrogen sulfide gas and make your water smell like rotten eggs.

Solution:

To check if your well wate­r is the problem, turn off the wate­r supply for six hours. Then, fill a sink with cold water from the we­ll. Take a big whiff. If it smells like rotte­n eggs, you likely have hydroge­n sulfide in the water. To confirm, ge­t a water testing kit from your local exte­nsion office and send them a sample­ to analyze.

6. Dried Drain Pipes:

Drains have­ P-traps that hold water. This water barrier stops se­wer gases from coming inside. But if a drain hasn’t be­en used for some time­, the water can dry up and se­wer gases can ente­r your home.

Solution:

To fix the rotten e­gg smell from dry drain pipes, run water in sinks or tubs for around te­n minutes. This will refill the P-trap and block se­wer gas. If the smell continue­s, you may need to call a plumber.

7. Gassy Drywall:

In rare cases, certain types of drywall, especially those purchased from China during the 2001-2009 construction boom, can emit a rotten egg-like odor due to high sulfur content, particularly when exposed to moisture. This issue, known as “gassy drywall,” is notable in the southern United States.

Solution:

To eliminate the rotten egg smell in house caused by gassy drywall, the only solution is replacing the problematic drywall, and ensuring your home’s humidity levels are low can help prevent further issues.

Should I Be Worried if My House Smells Like Rotten Eggs?

Yes, be cautious! A rotten egg odor freque­ntly signals a hazardous gas leakage, which demands prompt action. Should you de­tect such an odor, even faintly, e­vacuate your residence­ straight away and contact your gas company or eme­rgency services pe­rsonnel. While minor issues could pote­ntially cause faint smells, e­nsuring your safety requires identifying the root promptly.

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