My Tap Water Smells Bad, What’s Up?

It’s jarring to say the least when you turn on your shower and smell something funny. Same idea for when you turn on a tap. Clean water is a basic necessity we’ve all come to expect. Clean water is essential for daily life; it goes into our bodies, our food, and on our skin. When we turn on a tap, we expect clean water, but what if we don’t get it? There are many reasons why your tap water could smell bad. Today we’re sharing the most common tap water smells and the reasons why the water has these odors.

Why Your Water Smells Like Sulfur

If your water has a faint, or strong, smell of sulfur; chances are it’s from your water heater. It doesn’t matter if you’re running hot or cold water, both cold and warm lines are filtered through the water heater. The sulfur smell can come from an excess amount of hard water—something we commonly see in our Santa Rosa community. Hard water is water that’s naturally absorbed calcium and magnesium minerals. These minerals are then deposited into your water heater’s tank. After a few years of mineral deposit, a natural buildup occurs. Sometimes, this buildup can cause an odor to be pushed through and into your tap water. The best way to remedy this—and elongate the life of your water heater—is to have a plumber come out and preform and yearly flush.

Why Your Water Smells Like Chlorine

Though it may seem weird that your water smells like a public pool, it’s actually completely normal. If you smell a bleach or chlorine smell, that’s because it’s supposed to be there. Chlorine is used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to treat public water. This is an important part of keeping your family, and your community, safe. If the smell is stronger than normal, public water may need to travel a longer distance to your home, and an extra bit of chorine protection needs to be added.

Why Your Water Smells Like Sewage

If you suddenly smell sewage coming from your tap, it could actually be from your drain. Over time, biological material—think hair, soap, food scraps, and other organic matter—can collect in your drain and emit an organic gas. This gas is pushed up through your drain and can sometimes smell like sewage. Pour a glass of water from the tap that smells like sewage, take the water into another room and then smell it. If the water smells fine in a different room, your sink is causing the nasty odor. To remedy this, just pour some baking soda and boiling water down the drain to clear it of any noxious smells.

Why Your Water Smells like Fish

There’s something fishy going on when your water smells like sea creatures. Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why your water may be taking on a fish smell. Sometimes water can naturally have ammonia in it, if your water has too much ammonia it will react with the chlorine we mentioned above. Another reason is a deposit called Barium. Barium is a metal found in “naturally occurring mineral deposits.” It does not dissolve in water, but doctors also say it’s not harmful. The final reason why your water may take on a fishy odor is potentially from algae blooms. When water collects in lakes and reservoirs it has the potential to grow algae. If you suspect your water is smelling from algae, it’s important you contact your water company and alert them.

Smelling Something Funny? Schedule an Appointment with Moore Home Services

Did you turn on your tap and smell something strange? The plumbers at Moore Home Services are here to help. Our plumbers are expertly trained and ready to offer the best solution for your home and your plumbing system. We are a Diamond Certified company proudly serving Santa Rosa, and most surrounding communities. Please reach out to our friendly call center representatives or click here to request an appointment online.