Leave the house immediately and call 911. It's the H 2 S (a "rotten egg" smell) that people mostly notice if gases from a sewage system are not properly vented at a building. Hydrogen sulfide gas is a natural product of decay, and in a residential setting, is most commonly a result of decomposition in septic or sewer systems. If the trap on the drain goes dry, sewer gas escapes. :) Don’t take this lightly. I get it occasionally as well. Under normal conditions, hydrogen sulfide is colorless, flammable gas. Wash your hands and wear a mask! Investigate the sewer line. If the sulfur smell is caused by bacteria in your pipes, that may get rid of it. For a simple fix, you can try this and see if it works. Almost every public patch of grass was watered with it, and it smelled a lot like eggs. Satan. Under normal conditions, these gases are kept safely contained underground, but occasionally, the gases can escape to above ground parts of your home. If you can smell this odor in your home, it is likely that you have a gas leak. I am definitely suspicious of the well. But something similar happened to me last week. Still, I would have the gas company check it out as others have suggested if you are unsure. This is LA, and Black Lives Matter! Not a harsh sulphur smell but a sulfur smell just the same. It was definitely a thing in Florida. If none of the ideas above solve the problem, you might want to look around and see if anyone has spread mulch recently. In its natural state, natural gas is actually odorless. A rotten-egg smell might be a potentially dangerous natural gas leak. Responses must be helpful and on-topic. If you’ve exhausted the previous steps in trying to determine the source … 1) Your septic tank smells when it rains because the air is heavy and does not allow the methane gases to take off through the vent. The smell of sulfur is different than what is added to gas. Open the windows to your home, get out of the house immediately, then call the gas company. The official subreddit of Los Angeles, California! Because I am paranoid, I’d use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth until the problem was solved. This question is in the General Section. Although on its own, natural gas is odorless, most utility providers add the aroma to alert people of a leak. Hm, artesian well water smells like that, but I've never heard of that being used (or existing) here. Rotten-Egg Smell Could Be Two Things. Just wanna know if I've been slowly poisoning myself due to complacency! edited to add: If you have a septic tank, check to see when it was last emptied. What could it be? Residents of Echo Park may remember last summer's big stink, when the Echo Park Lake was drained. This smells like rotten eggs. of Water & Power deals with water quality issues. n Names and addresses of other people affected, if you know. It is possible that there’s a lot of gunk in the fixtures that make up your … Run a house between the houses and get some water in there. At first, the only inconveniences you would experience would be its offensive smell. I always hear that it is comparable, but I have never thought they smelled the same. Stop the Smell. I've tried to look up what this could be and who I would call to find out what it is/how to fix it, but the internet is inconclusive. @MissAusten we have city water and no septic tank… however we do have a well with a pump that is never used. @JLeslie I was actually thinking that “natural gas” doesn’t smell this way to me. I wasn’t even certain that I smelled it in my bathwater, which makes me think that I may not have. something familiar such as rotten eggs, sweet or sour chemicals, petroleum, garlic, or chlorine. They do this at work in the spring and fall, and it smells like rotten eggs. If you smell rotten eggs in your home, you don't need to evacuate the building. About this Experts Contributor: The Scottish Plumber is the trusted drain and sewer professional for Chicago and its suburbs with fast, reliable service from its … The Smell’s Harm to Humans’ Health. Let’s break this sulfury, nasal punishment down in more detail. If you have natural gas, run, don’t walk to your phone and call them ASAP! If you have a neighbor with a septic tank, that could be the source of the smell but it shouldn’t affect your water unless you have a well that is too close to the septic tank. terms and conditions. The first thing you should check is if the smell is coming from your drains or when you turn on the water. @JilltheTooth I have heard that, also… but could it have been leaking for nearly a week now with no ill consequences? Please try again. It stays low to the ground due to the atmospheric pressure and it may smell like rotten eggs.. 2) After a septic pumping, it will smell like rotten eggs, also known as methane gas, which will dissipate after a half hour. I've been living in my house, an old craftsman-style on the south side of Echo Park for almost two years. Can’t hurt, right? I think there was sulfur in the water table or something. There could be a drain. To locate the smell run both the hot and cold water in all the faucets in your house. the rotten egg smell is a chemical addative in natural gas pipelines, and transports (trucks). Run a house between the houses and get some water in there. Before you solve anything, determine where the smell is coming from first. We have city water in our home, but we also have a private well on our property. Beside the offensive odor, sewer gas can be hazardous, especially over an extended period. Because a central air conditioner actively pumps air, any smell that originates inside it is bound to be broadcast throughout the house. Source(s): I had a sulfur level recorder put on my house when there was a sewage fume leak from a manhole on the road next to my house. The presence of hydrogen sulphide in a sewer is often discovered as a result of complaints from local residents who suffer from an odour problem. If it’s a minor leak in the outside line, it’s obviously not the same danger as an inside leak, because it would dissipate in the air, but I would still get it checked out. If your water smells like rotten eggs, the odor is usually caused by the levels of sulfur bacteria a… In LA, the Dept. We called a water quality company and they told us the sulfur wasn’t harmful, just yucky. Whether house smells like rotten eggs is harmful or not, it depends on the situation you are in. But, it is always the best not to have your house smell like sewer or rotten eggs at any time. n I would either call a water quality company to test your water and find the source of the smell or, if you are on city water, call the water company. Sewage gas is heavier than atmospheric gas and it “sinks” to the lowest level in the house or in a room. Call your utilities company and they will tell you if there is a leak if they dont know tell them and they will send out a truck that has a monitor on it. I’m not doubting you answer, because that was one of my concerns.. I’m just poorly educated about situations like this. http://www.askthebuilder.com/sewer-gas-smell/. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, http://www.askthebuilder.com/sewer-gas-smell/. I swear (though it may be my imagination) that I can just barely smell it in my bathwater, as well. I think the odor is just stuck in my nose! When you smell the dreaded rotten-egg-sulfur-odor wafting around your house, caution is king. Thanks. I guess the smell can also be caused by a certain part on a hot water heater (which wouldn’t explain why you smell it outside) or even by a sewage problem. Description of any illness symptoms (for example, nausea, teary eyes, difficulty breathing). 13 years old and agree to the If your basement reeks of rotten eggs smell, then you are experiencing a sewer gas leakage somewhere. The gas company here uses mercaptan as an odorant for natural gas and the smell is very distinctive, at least to me. You should open the windows immediately, leave the house, and call your gas company to identify the exact location and to repair. The smell of rotten eggs is a tell-tale sign that you have a gas leak or a problem with your plumbing. The familiar rotten egg smell associated with sulfur gas compounds is often the clearest indication of the presence of these gases. Some other useful descriptions are oily, metallic, sharp, burning, light or heavy. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sulfur , either spelling is acceptable. First, the rotten egg smell that you are experiencing is most likely hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. The international epicenter of entertainment and home of the World Champion Dodgers and Lakers, as well as the Kings, Rams, Angels, Chargers, LAFC, Clippers, and Galaxy..... we also have wildfires, earthquakes, movie stars, television studios, music, world-class food, beaches, mountains, traffic jams, museums, theme parks, and the most beautiful Redditors of all time. The usual ways to handle this problem are to disinfect the pressure tank or install a filtration system. Known as mecaptan or methanethiol, this substance is harmless but pungent-smelling; it is often described as having an odor like rotten eggs or rotting cabbage. Every time I have noticed the odor it has been in the general area of the pump to the well. Anyone have any ideas? The smell is hydrogen sulfide, which comes from sewage and can be a sign that there’s a problem with your plumbing. of Sanitation handles sewer issues, and the Dept. Rotten Eggs. Even with windows closed, sometimes the smell is so strong I can smell it in my room, which is adjacent to the offending smelly alley. Could be a vent that leads from the roof of your bathroom (or your neighbor's). To join, you must be at least Gas companies will often add an odor like that to alert users of a leak. I was doing a load of laundry and it smelled kind of like an egg salad sandwich. @TheOnlyNeffie do you live in FL by any chance? If you only experience the smell when using your hot tap, it may be a chemical reaction occurring inside your hot water heater, and not a problem with your water supply. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sulfur. 3. If your water smells like rotten eggs, the odor is usually caused by the levels of sulfur bacteria and hydrogen sulfide gas that can be found in a buildings water supply. The solution is to put some water on there occasionally. There's like maybe 6 feet between our homes. We had trouble talking to the server. Rotten Egg Smell The smell of sulfur and rotten eggs is so infamously unpleasant that it's practically synonymous with bad odor. Ours was caused by minerals in the well water. It smelt like rotton eggs when the fumes came out. Examples of sources of sulfur smells in or around buildings include Chinese drywall outgassing, dangerous sewer gas leaks, plumbing vent … The two most common sources of a rotten egg smell are a natural gas leak, and escaping sewer gas. That’s why utility companies inject a substance called mercaptan, which emits an odor that smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. Do you have a storm drain near your curb. Sewage. I guess the smell can also be caused by a certain part on a hot water heater (which wouldn’t explain why you smell it outside) or even by a sewage problem. We had a well once, and the water had a sulfur smell to it, especially when hot. They were able to set up a water filter system that got rid of the smell. Who knows. I would think anyone with a gas stove knows that smell anyway. I understand the gas company puts that smell in gas, otherwise odorless, to alert people to a possible leak. Hydrogen sulfide was also the culprit in that case. I never did figure out what was but we had just had a tremendous amount of rain the day or so before and I thought it might have been related to that. I agree that the well might be a likely source of the problem. I live in Ohio. This smell is easily noticeable since it stinks badly. Fishy smell that’s not fish. So, I would agree with the suggestions above and call the gas company and insist that they come and check it out. However, the bacteria produce a strong rotten egg smell in the house, which reduces your ability to enjoy your water. However, you should call a plumber as soon as possible. @JLeslie I have an electric stove, but I grew up with a gas stove most of my life. That sounds like something worth looking into. Off and on for the last several days I notice that I catch a quick whiff of what smells like rotten egg when I am outside of my house. Rotten egg smell could have many sources.Whatever the source, it isn't a pleasant smell, and it it''s not one you should take lightly. Oops. Perhaps you have similar agencies in your area. @TheOnlyNeffie I have no idea if Ohio has a lot of sulfur in the groundwater and soil. It is very faint for the most part, but once or twice it has been relatively strong. The solution is to put some water on there occasionally. Those always smell like that. If I have a gas leak or have left one of the burners on I know that’s what it is. Rotten Egg Smell Mercaptan is an additive in natural gas that produces an odor similar to rotten eggs or cabbage. I can't smell it all the time, but definitely daily. Yeah, H2S is nothing to be messed with. Once you feel and smell the sewer gas inside your house … I wouldn’t have connected them, because it is outside of my back door and on the way to the driveway, so it is my usual route to the car/let the dogs out/etc. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. This could … Chances are if you smell sewage gas, you will usually smell it in the basement. If it has the characteristic rotten egg odor, it could mean that the well is contaminated, either by sewage from a leach field or by natural organic deposits. Is your stove gas? If you smell raw sewage coming from your vents, there is one usual cause: sewage. Septic gas has a strong, naturally occurring odour that smells like rotten eggs. Run the hot water taps to flush out the pipes of any remaining bacteria. Because I am paranoid, I’d use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth until the problem was solved. The hydrogen sulfide in sewer gas is what gives it its signature rotten egg smell. If your house is on a well, it's important to test a sample directly from the well. http://patch.com/california/echopark/mystery-stench-solved-salton-sea-is-smelly-source-19f7c84a. Septic Tank Gas Leak Points Outside YaraNutriox offers a range of products and services that will help you deal with this problem of rotten egg smell in the best way possible, and thus reduce odour problems caused to the local community. If you smell this odor in the home, you could have a natural gas leak. Press J to jump to the feed. The hydrogen sulfide gas results from decomposing organic material and can be produced by human and animal wastes. Get everyone out of the house—leaving the door and windows open so that some gas can escape—and call your gas company immediately to report the problem and request further instructions. If a faint, similar smell is coming from the bathroom, you could have a different problem. Just don’t light any matches at the same time, and don’t put on your stove without giving it a minute to air out. Some communities that have high concentrations of sulfur in their soil also tend to have detectable hydrogen sulfide in their water. This article and its companions discusse the common sources of rotten egg odors, sulphur odors or sewer gas smells in buildings and traces them to their possible cause. At low levels, it has a strong odor similar to rotten eggs. This does not smell the same. Some people refer to this as a urine or burning rubber smell. For that entire time, I've been ignoring the sulfur/rotten egg smell that seems to come from an indiscernible place between my house and my neighbor's house. Now that you mention it, that is the area that I found it to smell the strongest, near the old fashioned pump. Anyhow, sewer gas is hydrogen sulfide which comes from decaying organic matter from the sewage. If the trap on the drain goes dry, sewer gas escapes. And we’ll just say this now: If there’s even the slightest chance that you could have a gas leak, leave your home and call your utility company or the fire department right away. What do you think about politically correct signs for ... Do you think this experiment will succeed? Let’s play another game of hide and find the rotten eggs smell. I just assumed that I was wrong. The smell of sulfur is everywhere, especially the water. How to fix the problem: If bacteria are thriving in your water heater, you can try increasing the temperature of your heater for up to 24 hours. The smell of sewage is often compared with the smell of rotten eggs. Might wanna call your gas company, might be natural gas. Im not sure if 911 is proper to call if it is a gas leak, maybe. It can be because there is not that much activity of drainage at such time compared to during the day. It gives bacteria time to grow and actually create this disgusting, rotten egg or poop-like smell. If you find: The smell coming from only your hot water, then you should only be concerned with your hot water system. Just turn on the gas for 10 seconds without igniting the flame, and see if it smells the same. The sewage gas smells are caused because somewhere within or outside of the house, the rotten egg smell is not being vented and so it starts to accumulate. List of places to look when diagnosing the cause of sulphur smells or sewer gas smells in buildings. Clean the sink drain fixtures. 3. Gas stove smells like… gas. The most likely is bacteria growing in your washer because of built-up dirt, mildew and mold, lint, and/or soap. Provided there aren’t any rotten eggs in your home, then the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur most likely indicates a natural gas leak. Other gases produced by the decaying organic matter in the tank are also mixed into this brew as well. Rotten Eggs Smell from a Washing Machine. For a rotten egg smell, it could be one of two things. For lack of better terminology. How to dry out a damp carpet without a heater? I agree with @JilltheTooth what you are describing is a marker scent they put in natural gas….call the gas Co. stat! But, I guess if someone is unfamiliar with the smell added to gas, they might not know what they are smelling. Also, there may be a septic back up? There could be a drain. Although, my girlfriend’s parent’s house is on well water in southern MI and I hate taking a shower in their house because the water smells so much like sulfur. 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