Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

A neighbor was complaining that their bathroom smelled awful like rotten eggs or sulfur. I watched the comments go by and there were lots of ideas.

The septic tank needs cleaning. Hard rains flooding the septic. The smell will go away on its own. Clogged drain vent.

The sulfur smell is produced by bacteria in sewage that make a hydrogen sulfide gas. It can sometimes make it’s way in to the bathroom.

So how do we get rid of it? We first need to find the source.

Determine the Source of the Smell

Who wants to put their nose to a toilet or a drain to find the smell? A quick test can take care of identifying where the source is. It’s coming from either the drain or the water source.

Fill a cup of water from the sink in the problem bathroom and take it to another room, and smell it. Do the same from another bathroom and compare the two.

If both smell, the source is coming from the water. If one smells and the other doesn’t, the drain is the source.

If the Water Heater is Contaminated

It’s possible the water heater may have been contaminated by the bacteria. Every water heater has an anode rod which serves to extend the life of your heater. It is the sacrificial component to corrosion. But if bacteria enters your water source, it can contaminate the anode.

Replace the magnesium rod with an aluminum and try to disinfect the water by adding hydrogen peroxide after you’ve drained some water out. There are also water heater odor kits that work well.

If the Drain is the Source

It’s possible the drain may need to be cleaned. You can try bleach by it may be too corrosive on the drain. A better way is to add a few teaspoons of baking soda in the drain and then pour in some vinegar.

Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain behind it to flush. The baking soda and vinegar will foam up and dissolve any bacteria that may have made its home in your drains. The boiling water will also help to kill and sanitize.

Still Having Issues?

If these tricks don’t work it’s possible the vent pipe may be clogged. If you have access to the roof, you can try running a hose down the drain pipe to clear anything that may have become stuck.

If all else fails you may need to call a professional to do the hard work!