Sulfurous Water Smell

BeeoneDecember 20, 2013

We are on well water, which is quite hard but has always worked. Lately, when we get water from a high pitcher faucet in the kitchen, it comes with a very noticeable sulfurous smell. Interestingly, the standard faucet right next to it doesn't have this problem.

To do a little more detail, the water comes into the house to the pump, passes the pressure tank which is about 3 years old, then the line rises towards the ceiling in the basement and splits. The lines run parallel and the one to the regular faucet comes off one line, the one to the pitcher faucet comes off the other line (allows us to shut down water to part of the house if needed without shutting off the whole house). Poly pipe all the way. The pitcher faucet always accumulates some air which spits out when you turn it on and i believe this is due to a leak somewhere in the suction line between the well and the pump. About a year ago, the line to the pitcher faucet sprang a leak (it was copper then) and we replaced it with PVC but used stainless steel flexible hoses for the last connection to the faucet.

The well is over 60 years old and the casing has a lot of rust. I'm wondering if the sulfur is coming from iron bacteria in the well, but why does it only smell at the one faucet? Other faucets in the house off that line do not have this problem--they all have a certain amount of rust, but don't smell. Or do I have an issue with the flexible hoses leading to the pitcher faucet?

Thanks for any ideas!

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If only the one faucet it spitting air and has an objectionable odor, the problem resides in that faucet and not in the suction line between the well and pump.

The faucet itself has become contaminated.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Thanks. I've been going on that idea, but having trouble seeing how since everything is black poly or PVC until we get to the faucet there would be anything for iron bacteria. I guess I was wondering if this particular faucet is lucky enough to collect small amounts of air being sucked into the pump from the well, if that air might contain sufficient sulfur to cause the problem and leave some aftertaste in the water.

I'll probably have to take the faucet connections apart and look for any corrosion/residues.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 2:34AM
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I'd bet the spitting from the faucet is agitating the water and producing the odor. Iron bacteria can produce a sulfur like odor but can also make a muddy odor and an oil like odor.

You may have a high content of sulfur in you water also. When was the most recent water analysis made?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 11:27AM
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