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Why Does My House Smell Like Rotten Eggs: 4 Possible Reasons


The smell of rotten eggs is easily distinguishable but understandably not a scent you want stuck in your house. Until the problem is solved, it’s important you don’t light any matches for smoking, or otherwise, as there is a chance there is a flammable gas leak.

This article covers four possible reasons why your home smells this way. Read about each culprit of the scent is before acting. The list below begins with the most likely causes so your problems can hopefully be solved as soon as possible. So, if you’re sure you don’t have a carton of eggs hiding in your living room, let’s get started.

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Why Does My House Smell Like Rotten Eggs (4 Reasons)

1. Natural Gas Leak

Gas Leak
Image Credit: Pixabay

The first most common cause of this smell is a natural gas leak. If the smell is strong and you suspect a gas leak, the most important step should be to exit your house and call 911 from a safe and distanced location. The smell of rotten eggs is, in actual fact, not a scent of natural gas but of mercaptan, a substance utility companies inject into the gas lines. This acts as a warning so people can recognize when the gas line is leaking as natural gas holds no odor.

It’s important to note that mercaptan can also smell like sulfur as well as rotten eggs. If you are not certain it is a natural gas leak, you should still vacate the house and call your utility company so they can send someone out to deal with whatever is causing the smell professionally. As natural gas can be harmful, it is vital this problem be solved as soon and as safely as possible.

2. Sewer Gas Leak

Man headache
Image Credit: Pixabay

The next most likely cause is a leak of sewer gas. This is a more likely culprit if you are experiencing any health issues, such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, or loss of appetite. If you suspect it to be sewer gas, there can be a simple fix that should be done as soon as possible as sewer gas contains toxic elements, including hydrogen sulphide and methane.

It is often found that the cause of sewer gas leaking is from a bathroom that isn’t used very often. The pipes under a sink or possibly a shower form a “U” shaped trap; this trap holds water that prevents harmful sewer gases from reaching your home. If it is sewer gas that is causing the smell of rotten eggs, then to recreate this barrier, you simply need to pour a cup of water into the bathroom drain. Just like that, it’s fixed.

If you can’t find the source of the sewer gas leak, then this could mean the smell is being caused by an issue with a vent pipe. If you believe this to be the case, then it’s out of your hands. Call a plumber so they can professionally investigate.

3. Toxic Drywall

Drywall Mud
Image Credit: Virrage Images, Shutterstock

If your plumber has assured you it is not a natural gas leak or sewer gas leak and you are still getting the unwanted smell of rotten eggs, this means there could be an issue with your drywall. Humidity in the air can cause sulphur in the drywall to give off gas that can cause health problems and can also corrode any exposed copper pipes or wiring in your home. If you do have toxic drywall in your house, this is not a DIY job; even just a few sheets could be very damaging. You should call a professional and have the sheets ripped out and replaced at the earliest convenience.

4. Mold

Image credit: Mold by TheDigitalArtist, Pixabay

People have described mold to smell like rotten eggs in their house, so if there is just a faint scent of rotten eggs, it could be because of a mold problem and not a gas leak of any kind. People have also described the smell of mold as dirty socks, or a musky odor, so keep that in mind when identifying the scent.

Mold could just be a minor inconvenience, but it could also be severe and dangerous, so it is important to address it immediately. If you find mold, you should disinfect it with bleach and water. If you can’t find mold, this means it could be in your drywall or possibly ceiling. In this case, you should call a home inspector or your local health department to locate and solve the problem.

It is a possibility that the mold and thus the smell is coming from your garbage disposal. Odor-causing bacteria has been known to reside in sinks and garbage disposals; they often grow from disposed garbage scraps. To fix this, put a few ice cubes, a tablespoon of baking soda, three or four lemon slices, and a teaspoon of bleach into the disposal, and then turn it on. When the grinding stops, run the cold water tap for 30 seconds. This should clear the bacteria as well as solve the smell.

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Overall, this should help you identify why your house is smelling like rotten eggs and hopefully give you a quick and effective fix. However, if you have attempted all the solutions listed above and you are still unsure of what the smell could be, don’t concern yourself but make sure to call a professional to assess the situation and find the problem for you.

If you need more information, you can access the department of health website about the issue by clicking here. We hope this helped solve the smell of rotten eggs in your house and remember to be safe and cautious when tackling an issue like this as it could be relatively severe.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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