I've got a well, pressure tank, water softener and a single whole house
the water from time to time has a sulfur smell to it, especially noticeable
after we have been gone for the weekend
( maybe it gets worse when the water sits, or maybe we are no longer
acclimatized to it?)
I've taken to putting about 1 litre of H2O2 in my whole house filter
canister every few weeks, or as needed.
it kills the smell for a while really well, but.
every time I do it I notice tiny black particles in the water for a day or
What are the black particles?
Am I harming anything by putting in the h202 - (the 3% stuff you get at the
any better suggestions?
Thanks for all your help
On Wed, 17 Oct 2007 11:24:28 -0400, "Zephyr" <an address @ some place
I assume the H2O2 is oxidizing minerals in the water, or in the
filter. H2O2 kills bacteria, I'd be looking for the cause of sulfur
in your system.
How old is the water heater? It may need the scale cleaned out, if
I would say a better filter would be needed, what is the size of
filtering used? 10 micron, or less?
Find the problem by getting a water quality test at your municipality
or even some water stores. Test before treatment and after treatment.
He obviously has hydrogen sulfide in his well water --- which is not
uncommon in many parts of the country. If he's located in one of the
regions experiencing severe drought, like the southeast, he may well be
experiencing a higher level of the stinky stuff due to the reduce water
level. It's not cheap to get rid of based on my daughters experience in
Probably he has H2S in the well water and if so I don't know how to
fix that. But there is another possibility and he should check that
too, because it's such an easy fix.
Sometimes iron fixing bacteria get established in the drain. When you
run the water the smell from the sink is really coming from the trap
and not the water. If you pour a half cup of bleach down you kill all
the bugs and the smell goes away. I've seen people actually change
out a hot water heater only to find this was the real problem. It's
worth trying, anyway.
Having had a well from 1973 through 2006 and having worked in facilities
management for 38 years, I've had MUCH experience with "iron bacteria" :
( In my experience iron bacteria does not create the smell he describes.
Anyhow, the easiest way to determine whether one's water system is infected
is to look in the toilet tank. If it's infected it will be obvious. As you
say a dose of bleach will kill it. But that's not a cure; it spreads
throughout the system and will come back quickly.
The proper way to purge the system for iron bacteria is to thoroughly
chlorinate the water system using liquid bleach or bleach tablets commonly
used in swimming pools.
The normal way is to remove the well cap and pour in 2 or three gallons of
bleach -- it's cheap. Next run a hose from an outside bib to the open well
column and recirculate the chlorinated water back down the well to make sure
the bacteria is killed at the water source. I run it for about 30 minutes
although it probably kills the bacteria much faster.
Next, go to the furthest faucet in the house and run it until you smell the
bleach --- then turn it off. Do this at every faucet to make sure the entire
system is chlorinated --- including the hot water side. Make sure you
include your bibs, washing machine, water softener, dishwasher and any other
water outlet or path. Next flush every toilet until you can smell the
bleach. Slosh it around in the tank and bowl to ensure complete coverage.
When you're sure you've got the chlorinated water everywhere in the system,
let it sit long enough to do the job. I wait an hour just to be safe.
Finally, you need to run the water until the bleach is rinsed completely out
of the system including the well.
I did this in 1973 and 1984 when we moved to a new houses (new to us) and
never had the problem again.
Again, I doubt this is his problem. My daughter had what I think is his
problem and decided it was too expensive to cure. She ended up buying
bottled tap water.
Not disagreeing with Don, but just for clarity I want to point out we
are talking about two different things.
He is talking about bacteria in the drinking water system.
I am talking about bacteria living in the sewer system.
Surprisingly, I've seen a number of cases in my 16 years of facility
management where the two got confused, and an expensive fix was tried
instead of an easy one.
If you have bacteria in the water pipes you'd have to try something
like Don suggests. But that's overkill if you have bacteria in the
drain. When you run water it stirs up the air and crud in the drain
and you can smell it, and think it's the water. (I have this
happening right now in a large gymnasium shower room, and it is hard
to convince them the problem is in the drain because they don't smell
it until they run the water.) And yes, the smell is the same.
Like I said, low probability, but worth trying.
I agree that we're talking about two different conditions. I assumed that
since the OP was adding the hydrogen peroxide to his whole-house filter, his
problem was on the supply side.
In my daughter's case you could fill a glass from the tap and smell the
odor. Her's was definetly not a sewer problem.
If the OP's problem is a sewer problem my procedure would solve it during
the final system flushing -- but I don't recommend going to all that bother.
It's MUCH easier to simply pour bleach down the drain : )
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