Common Causes and Solutions to Smelly Water

Smelly Water

Smelly Water is no fun… Terminox™ may be the solution.

We often hear complaints of smelly water from potential water filtration customers. It’s usually described as a “rotten egg smell” or “sulfur smell”. While this is usually the case, there are times when the culprit is not actually sulfur itself. Water with high manganese levels can smell very similar to sulfur.

One of the easiest ways to differentiate between the two is to determine whether the hot water, cold water, or all water has a sulfur smell. Manganese typically presents a smell similar to a sulfur smell only on the hot water side, whereas sulfur typically affects the cold water. The presence of significant amounts of manganese can also cause discoloration ranging from grayish water to black slime in the water.

terminox iron filterWhile certain levels of sulfur in your water can be treated with chlorine injection, the presence of manganese or sulfur and manganese is best treated with a water filter such as the Terminox™ ISM, which can treat water for iron, sulfur and manganese simultaneously in addition to dirt and turbidity. Terminox™ iron filters are self-backwashing units that require little to no maintenance to provide clean water free of odor or discoloration for years. Feel free to read more about our Terminox™ iron filter in our blog post  Terminox™ on August, 1.

-Water Filtration Wizard


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13 comments on “Common Causes and Solutions to Smelly Water
  1. google ads plus advertising says:

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  2. Almeda says:

    It’s hard to find educated people about this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!


  3. dan tierina says:

    i have that rotten egg smell, can i just put the clorox is the water softnor tank where the salt goes, how much on a standard tank?

    • wfwblog says:

      You can put clorox in the brine/salt tank. Only use and ounce or so. However, you should only do this once a year normally.

      If you’re looking to get a tank, check out our website for prices. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-701-9914. Thank you!

    • NO. If you truly have sulfur, and you are on a private well, you need to remove it before it hits the softener. The sulfur will kill the softener over time. Sometimes it is just a contaminated water line. Just give a friendly tech a call and he will explain how to tell if it is a contaminated water line or not. If it is a contaminated water line that is stinking, it is simple to correct normally and does not require you to buy any filters.
      However, if you are on city water and it did not smell before and them begins at some point to smell, disinfecting the softener, and possible the water lines a swell, might correct the problem without a need to buy any filters at all. Call 800-701-9914 for a discussion with a friendly tech.

  4. Dane Mechling says:

    I have well water and a Culligan water softener system attached. Bad smells from iron, sulfur or manganese may be the issue. Need assistance with a solution. Lived in house for over 30 years. Farm behind property was mined many years ago and looks like that water runoff is in my water system. Thanks. Dane

    • wfwblog says:

      Hi Dave,
      Sounds like a terminox would solve your problem. However, we first need some information about your water before we can make a recommendation. If you go to and look at items 7, 16, and 17, that’ll be all the info we need on your water to recommend the proper equipment. Should you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-701-9914. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

    • Hopefully the Culligan salesperson explained to you that you should NOT drink the water from that softener. You should also never use a water softener to remove iron. The iron makes it use more salt and eventually degrades the water softening ability of the minerals inside. Eventually the softener will need expensive servicing. Always use an iron filter to remove iron, sulfur, manganese, dirt etc., and only use a water softener to remove hardness. A properly sized water softener should only require salt about once per year on average. At least that is the case with our water softeners. Once you install a water softener, you must either drink bottled water or use a reverse osmosis filter in the kitchen you remove the large amounts of sodium that ANY salt using appliance leaves behind. If a water softener salesperson says it is ok to drink the water from their softener, simply test it at a lab for sodium content after it runs through the softener. This lab test usually only costs around $25 for the test. It will prove to you what we are saying. The test won’t lie. For further questions on this topic please feel free to call a friendly water tech at 800-701-9914. The call and the advice are free.

  5. Ernestine Hartley says:

    I have smelly water but I do not know but I think the city owns the water pipe I do have Clorox drops in my toilet tanks I have a one floor house. I don’t think we have a well.

    • You can always call and speak with a friendly tech for advice on how to know what those smells are. Most smells on city water can be fixed quite simply and very inexpensively. Just call 800-701-9914. The call and the expert advice are free.

  6. abogado divorcio malaga says:

    Hay alguna cosa que no entiendo, voy a volver a mirarlo y si nó te pregunto por aquí.

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