Rotten Egg Smell Coming From Sink?

Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 5,887 Posts
September 23, 2006

Woman Holding Glass of Smelly WaterEvery time I turn on my bathroom sink, it stinks like rotten eggs! (strong sewer smell). This does not happen anywhere else in the house. The kitchen sink, tub/shower, and washing machine do not stink at all, but the bathroom sink is just horrible when you turn on the water. Does anyone have any ideas why this would be and what to do about it? Thanks!


Robin from Washington, IA


September 24, 20060 found this helpful
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First I'd check the drain trap... the 'J' shaped curve in the drain pipe under the sink. Make sure it isn't leaking. Then sniff around to be sure the odor is coming from the sink itself and not perhaps from the bathtub drain, behind a wall, etc. If it is certain that it's coming from the sink itself you could have something unpleasant growing in the overflow drain in the sink. If that seems likely I would try the following, but only if I was certain no ammonia could be lurking in there: I'd pour some clorine bleach through the overflow system from the highest point accessable. For instance my sink has an indentation to hold a bar of soap and there is a small drain hole there. If you can get the bleach to it this should kill anything that might be making a home in there.


Be sure there is no ammonia present though, before you add bleach. If the two are mixed together the fumes are highly toxic. Good luck!

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By Wazza (Guest Post)
May 3, 20070 found this helpful
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All the above answers could be correct.

If it is a build up of gunk in the trap ("S" bend) then there is a products in Australia that I have used and found very useful (but you must follow the directions very carefully). The product I have used is called "Draino" which is very strongly alkaline. It should kill any germs as well as clearing and obstruction.

Another possible consideration is if the plumbing has been modified or not installed correctly, you may not have a trap ( S Bend), if this is the case the smells from the main sewer pipes will be coming directly up into your sink.


This is unlikely but I have seen this in a Do It Yourself (DIY) installation once. If you are not sure if you have the correct trap get some one in to check; no drain should be connected with straight pipe directly to the sewer pipes there must be a loop of pipe which holds some water to prevent the smells from passing up the pipe.

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By Peggy (Guest Post)
July 7, 20080 found this helpful
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Check the vent pipes coming out of your roof. I started getting this very unpleasant smell in my back bathroom and could not get rid of it, same odor, smelled like rotten eggs. I took barbed wire and twisted it at the end to form a small 'ball' and went on the roof and worked it down the vent pipe. I thought maybe something, a small bird or small squirrel might have gotten down that pipe somehow. I know, this was a long shot, I really couldn't see how anything could have fell in and gotten stuck, but I tried this anyway. I just kept working the wire down the vent. At one point, it balked, like it was blocked.


So, I had to just make jabbing motions with it and all of a sudden, it started going again. When I felt that I had used enough wire to remove any object that might be blocking the vent I stopped, climbed back off the roof and went inside to check the bathroom. The odor was gone! I was one happy camper! I then went back on the roof and pulled the wire out. I was going to get some fine mesh wire and make 'covers' for all my vents, but never got around to it. I haven't had this problem since however. I'm sure there are better objects to use instead of barbed wire. I would have used a snake (plumber's snake) if I had had one, but I didn't, so I used what I had at hand. I still don't know what was blocking that vent, but it got it pushed on down to where it went out into the septic tank and I was rid of the odor and very happy about it.

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June 10, 20090 found this helpful
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Thanks to this site i fixed the problem myself.

Here were my symptoms:
1. Newer house
2. Smell of sulphur was in 1 room (bathroom)
3. Isolated the smell to the bathroom sink


4. Toilet / shower were fine

Removed trap under the sink (no tools required because of the PVC) and got rid of all the build up (mostly my wife's hair). Smell has dissappeared.


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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 14, 2017

I just rented a home in the country in Florida. The water smells so bad and if you get it in your mouth you just gag it tastes so bad. My landlord says the water is what it is. I've never been around sulfur water that was this bad.

And when I look in my water softener the top has brown bubbles kinda foamy laying on top of the water, is this normal? Should something be done? Is this healthy?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 14, 20170 found this helpful
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It could be the reaction of the water with aluminum in the water heater. The article I read said as a temporary fix you can drain the water heater partially and put some peroxide in. For a permanent solution, it is recommended to replace the anodes in the heater.


Here is the

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
August 15, 20170 found this helpful
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You probably signed a lease for your rental so it appears you will have to find a quick, inexpensive way to live with this problem (unless you can prove it is unsafe as is) so, for an immediate solution, at least for drinking water, I would suggest buying a filtering system that can easily be installed under your sink (no paid installation required).
There are so many of these systems available in stores and on-line that it may take some research to find the best one for your problem. I would suggest for you to check some out at stores like Sears, Lowe's, Walmart, Home Depot, Target, and many others so you can really look at the item and also read what it will do (or not do). Since sulfur and iron seem to be your biggest problem, choosing a system that filters these will narrow your search considerably. Pick out a system you like (prices will range from $50 -6,000) that fits your budget and need and then you can research to see if it is available at a better price. I will tell you this, from experience in Florida, you will see a big change in drinking water but your bath and clothes will still need help.
Here is one example of the type of filter I am talking about. (Affiliate Link)

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