3 Top Reasons You Have Smelly Water and What To Do About It

Does your tap water stink like rotten eggs or give off a metal smell? If so, you need to get it fixed immediately.

Smelly water isn’t just disgusting and annoying. It could be toxic. Alternatively, it might indicate a plumbing problem that’s about to get a lot worse.

But don’t worry. We’re going to help you solve this problem with the following troubleshooting guide.

We’ll start by explaining the common reasons for smelly water and how to determine which problem you’re dealing with. Next, we tell you the steps you need to take to fix it. This includes instructions on whether or not you should call a plumber.

Read on to learn all you need to know.


1. Where Is the Smell Coming From?

First, is it the drain or water that’s giving off the smell? To find out, go smell the drain right now, before running the water. You can also pour bottled water down the drain to see if it stirs up the smell so you can sense it.

Next, follow these instructions.


3 Top Reasons You Have Smelly Water and What To Do About It


Smelly Drain

If you do sense the smell coming from the drain, the most common cause is rotting organic matter in the drainpipe. Use common unclogging methods to see if this helps. First, use a sink plunger and a plastic drain snake.

It’s inadvisable to use harsh chemicals. But you can try boiling water, salt, baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. Here’s a guide on some natural options you can try.

If this doesn’t work, it could be that your sewer or septic system is about to back up. In this case, call a reputable plumber in your area.

Smelly Water

If you smell nothing from the drain, try running the water. Do you smell the odor only when the water’s running? In this case, follow the directions in the next section.

Also, does the smell only occur when you run the hot water? If so, it’s probably a water heater problem. Have your water heater checked by professionals?

2. Types of Tap Water Odors

Next, there are several types of tap water odors, each with its own causes and solutions. Find yours below and follow the instructions.

Rotten Eggs

A rotten egg smell (that’s not from your drain or water heater) is from a bacterial infection in your well. Get your well checked by a professional. You may need to replace the filtration system and have them well cleaned.


Water with a low (acidic) pH level can dissolve your pipes, causing a metallic smell. A water softener/filtration system will most likely fix this.


A chlorine/bleach smell can also be solved with a whole-house water filter. This smell occurs when the water company adds extra chemicals to “shock” the water supply.


A dirty/fishy smell is also the result of a contaminated well. Follow the same instructions described in the Rotten Eggs section.

3. Smell Plus Discoloration of Water

If your smelly water is also discolored, shut it off, contact your water company, and stock up on bottled water. Your water supply is contaminated. If this happens to be the case, consider the Waterdrop RO water filter system to get your water healthy and sparkly again.

Solve Your Smelly Water Problem With These Tips

We hope this guide has helped you with your smelly water issue. Also, if you know anyone else who’s experiencing this same problem, please share these tips with them as well.

Next, are you ready to start your bathroom remodel? For tips on remodeling, cleaning, decor, and more, browse our Bathroom blog under the Interiors tab in the menu bar. Learn more on the 6 Best Waterdrop Tankless RO Water Filters here.

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