Have you ever smelt an unpleasant, slightly rotten stench in your house? If it smells at all like rotten eggs you’ve forgotten in your lunch box for too long, it’s most likely sulfur you’re smelling.
No matter how faint the odor is, it’s crucial to approach it cautiously and do all the proper steps that will remove this unpleasantness from your home. Here’s what experts recommend you should do if you smell sulfur in your house:
Leave The Premises ASAP
If there’s the slightest possibility of a gas leak, make sure to calmly leave the house and call your local gas utility or the fire department. Any appliances that work on natural gas or propane (water heater, furnace, stove, etc.) might be releasing the gas.
These gases are naturally odorless, but supplying companies inject them with mercaptan, a chemical that smells like sulfur, to alert people of a gas leak.
Even the tiniest of leaks could be giving your home an occasional waft of unpleasant smell, so don’t ignore it—it’s wise to suspect a gas leak first.
Once the utility company or fire department tests your home, you will know whether you have a gas leak or not. If the answer is yes, they will shut off the gas, and you’ll need to get a specialist to repair your gas lines.
If the gas is not your culprit, you can continue investigating other potential causes of rotten egg smell in your home. Some can be removed very quickly and easily, while others might require an investment. Hopefully, it’s the first one!
Test Your Water
People relying on well water instead of municipal water system might notice the smell coming from their water supply—your culprit could be hydrogen sulfide gas.
This gas is present in groundwater due to the natural process of vegetation decay, and it causes a wide variety of sulfur smell levels. The smell might be gross, but this water can still be used for drinking, washing dishes, and other activities.
To ensure your water supply contains hydrogen sulfide, collect a water sample and mail it to your local lab. If the results come back positive, your best bet is to find a professional to perform a hydrogen sulfide treatment and reduce the production of this gas. With the right Suflatreat, you will get efficient and cost-effective removal of H2S from your water-vapor-saturated gas.
Check Your Drains
Often, bathrooms that don’t get a lot of use can release methane from the sewer gas that has been filtering inside for a while. This phenomenon is called “a dry p-trap” in the plumbing business (it refers to the p-trap or a u-shaped pipe you can find under your sink or tub).
A p-trap usually has water sitting in it to create a seal that stops the gases from entering your home, but when not in use, the pipe can dry up and allow the gases to flow freely.
Luckily, this issue is easy to isolate and fix. If you smell a strong sulfur scent from your unused bathroom, simply run the water in the sink or tub for a few minutes to let some water in the pipe. In case the problem persists, consult with your plumber.
Check Your Drywall
Depending on where you live and how old your house is, the smell of rotten eggs might be coming from your drywall. This is often the case in hurricane-prone areas of the US, especially in homes built between 2001 and 2009.
Drywall from that time was imported from China, and it contains high levels of sulfur that might be off-gassing in your home. Check the copper coils in your fridge or air conditioning to be sure your house is “suffering” from lousy drywall. If there’s a presence of black ash, your units might be experiencing corrosion due to off-gassing.
This is not desirable for you because the only way to fix this issue is to replace drywall, which can cost you a lot of money, energy, and time.
You might be tempted to save money and rip the drywall yourself, but it should always be performed by a professional. In some cases, you can offset some of the costs, so make sure to check your homeowner’s policy.
Inspect Your Water Heater
Is the smell appearing only when you run hot water in the house? Then the problem might be hidden in your water heater. This might be an uncommon issue, but there are cases of the anode rod in the water heater going bad and releasing a sulfur smell into the hot water.
Usually, if this is the case, the smell starts very mild but grows over time. If the odor is only present when running hot water, you probably have issues with the anode, but it’s nothing a licensed plumber can’t fix. All you need is a replacement anode made with an aluminum/zinc combination, and the problem will disappear.
Call a Sewer Line Specialist
No success so far? You might be forced to call a professional to check your sewer lines. In some cases, a broken drainpipe can cause sewer gases to escape and penetrate your home.
If you have a broken line, the smell should be more pungent outside the house than inside when the hole in the pipe is located in the pluming section buried in the yard.
You may also have an issue with your septic system if your property is not serviced by a public sewer.
Literally, Check For Rotten Eggs
If all else fails, it’s not a bad idea to look for a more obvious solution—rotten eggs or any other spoiled food in your fridge or pantry. If you manage to fin the long-forgotten food causing you issues, the fix is easy: remove the rotten food, take out the trash and treat the affected area. You can just use a multi-purpose cleaner to wipe the surface, kill the germs and remove the smell.
The sulfur smell might be a tiny problem that’s easy to fix, but it can also be hazardous, so never take it lightly. If you happen to battle sulfur smells, follow these tips above, and you’ll find the culprit in no time.
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The love for architecture and design runs in her family. She knew what she wanted to do from a very young age. You can often find her with a notepad in hand, just looking at the clouds, dreaming about the next skyscraper.