New Hot Water Heater Smells Like Rotten Eggs: Possible Causes and Solutions

What should you do when your new hot water heater smells like rotten eggs? The foul smell can happen to anyone, not only to old heater owners but also to new ones. It’s not about whether you have good hygiene, but it can be embarrassing and lead to the talk of everyone you know, especially if you have guests who often come and visit.

Many homeowners notice a distinct hot water smell resembling rotten eggs, particularly when using hot water for the first time.

Knowing the real reasons for the smell can prevent the issue from happening again. And don’t worry. This issue has its own solutions, so there are always ways to deal with it.

The Main Cause

Don’t be overly confused or even panic-y when your new water heater smells. One of the most popular causes is hydrogen sulfide. It comes from fixtures or faucets, leading to rotten and terrible smells like rotten eggs. It causes discoloration too, sometimes leaving an unpleasant yellowish stain or even a greasy black stain on your appliances and faucets.

Hydrogen sulphide is likely the main culprit why your water heater smells weird. It may come from various sources, like the heater tank, the water plant, or even your building’s infrastructure.

Remember that the gas is usually not dangerous because the amount within the pipes is very small and limited. But it doesn’t mean that you should underestimate it. It can lead to issues like digestive issues, dizziness, or eye irritation.

new hot water heater smells like rotten eggs

It’s good that your nose should be able to detect the gas, even at its lowest level. The smell would be so pungent and unbearable if too much. The thought of bathing or drinking the water would be so disgusting.

Other Possible Causes

There are also other possible causes why the new hot water heater smells like rotten eggs:

  • You have (leftover) warm water in the tank. The stale and hot water would be a perfect breeding spot for bacteria. If this is the case, you can apply chlorine but can’t use the water for at least 24 hours. You can also flush the heater, but the pro should do it.
  • Your water source has been contaminated. This is possible when you live in an area with a warm environment and low oxygen levels. You can try using cleansing solutions or tablets.
  • The unpleasant odor often originates from hydrogen sulfide gas, which is produced when water bacteria react with the heater’s anode rod.

New Hot Water Heater Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Well, the new heater shouldn’t smell anything, especially rotten eggs. If your heater somewhat has this funny and unpleasant smell, it means something is wrong with it. You may want to reach out to a professional and have it checked. If you have learned the explanations within the previous sections, you should know the issue can be resolved.

Can I Shower if My Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs?

The water doesn’t smell like rotten eggs. It’s more a sulfur smell, which is pungent and distinct. The unpleasant smell makes you wonder whether using the water to shower is safe. In reality, sulfur is a natural element often found within the water.

Read also: 7 Symptoms of Gas Leak from Water Heaters

It’s safe for humans too. Sulfur bacteria are responsible for causing the bad smell because they release hydrogen sulfide gas.

Using the water to shower is generally safe. It’s even safe if you want to drink the water. The smell won’t damage or affect your hair or skin. But then again, the smell can be a put-off. Usually, people would avoid taking a shower with water.

But if you don’t have any problem with the new hot water heater that smells like rotten eggs, you should be fine, and you won’t have to worry about it affecting your health.

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Heater Technician is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.