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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! My husband and I bought our first house last year. It's a 20yr old house and needs a little work, but for the most part it's in good shape. Starting last year, in the cooler months, I began noticing random whiffs of rotten egg. It would only last 30-45min then disappear. We thought it was the drains, so we cleaned them, and checked p-traps. We thought we figured it out since summer came and the smell disappeared. Now it's cool again and our master bedroom randomly smells like eggs/sewer around 1am-3am. And early mornings right before sun comes up. The living room also smells sometimes. My hubby and I are very clean (OCD clean). So it's not old trash etc. I've searched online tirelessly but can't seem to find exactly what I'm looking for. We don't have a septic system and have checked p-traps. It's not an ongoing smell, it comes a goes. I sometimes smell the same smell through out the neighborhood when we walk our dog at nights. Is it dangerous? Also, how can we fix it?
 

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JOATMON
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What are you feeding your husband?

Ok....joking aside....it sounds like your smelling sewer gases....

The fact that you smell it around the neighborhood implies that 'maybe', the issue is not your house. When you do smell it in your house, are any windows open?

Can you pinpoint any area in the house where it is stronger?

I'm guessing you do NOT have a crawlspace. Typical post tension foundation? Hence, nothing under the house you can check.

Have you walked around the outside of the house to detect the smell?
 

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Master General ReEngineer
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Ayuh,.... Generally speakin', Rotten egg smell is from Sulfur in the water,...

The Smell factor goes Up, when ya heat it,...

While sulfur in yer water won't hurt ya, it does stink,...
It's also quite common up in this country, with Well water,...

Have yer tap water tested for mineral content,...
 

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Shallow wells for irrigation are the culpret in my parents neighborhood in Florida. Most people have their sprinklers run just before dawn and the sulfer odor is very strong. You are not having this during the summer so I would guess it is not your situation. What sort of heat do you have? Since it occurs in the winter only I would suspect your heating system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nope we don't have the windows open and no crawl space. The areas I smell it the most is in the guest bathroom which is coming form the tub drain (though I run water in it at least once a week the water always comes out brown at first). The other places I smell it is in the master bed room and living room. It does not happen all the time. In south Texas it's not overly cold. So in the cooler months we don't have the ac or heater going, could this be a factor? We have a gas heater. Also sometimes our clothes in the washer smells funky so we have to rewash and the tap water smells a little musty. Again this happens randomly and is not consistent. I'm not sure why that would make a bedroom smell though. I will look into getting a water testing kit at Home Depot or somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, I think so. I have seen the water company drive around and test the water often. I've also seen them rip up people's front yard to fix pipes frequently. I've never seen this in any other place I've lived.
 

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Rotten eggs = sulfer, but you said eggs/sewer... those are different smells which throws a wrench in the diagnosis. Could it be just a rotting smell? Or just a sewer smell? One possibility might just be a neighbor having their septic pumped.. it leaves whafting sewer smells throughout the neighborhood sometimes. Do you have a mouse problem you're fixing with poison? Sometimes a poisoned mouse can die in a wall, or under the house, or in the space between the tub and the floor, and smell like rot every now and then for a while.
 

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though I run water in it at least once a week the water always comes out brown at first
Also sometimes our clothes in the washer smells funky so we have to rewash and the tap water smells a little musty
It really sounds to me like you have something contaminating your water with, among other things, sulfer. I've been places that have the "brown water" problem, and it inevitably reeks of sulfer.

You need to figure out if you're on well water or not -- do you pay a water bill? This is something as a homeowner you should know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yea as a first time homeowners we are learning a lot. Yes, we are on well water. As for the smell I guess I'm not 100% sure what I'm smelling, only that it sometimes come out the guest bathroom tub drain. Other times it's in the living room, and some nights it fills our master bedroom and it's gross. I never smell it in any other room or bathroom. No one in our neighborhood has a septic system


Sorry if this is a stupid question, but is it possible the vents in the guest bathroom are connected with living room and master bed room? For example, whatever my husband does in the kitchen while I'm showing in the master shower (across the house), I will smell from the ceiling vent. If he lights a candle I'll know which one, if he cooks I'll know. It's like that master bath and kitchen are connected, but no other room. Anyway, could the same be happening with the guest bathroom leaking the gross smell to specific rooms? Next time I smell it in our bedroom I’m going to run to the guest bathroom and see if it stinks too.
 

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Generally speaking, no. The smell won't travel through the vents, except maybe through the cold air return (the big one you put filters in) that's usually in the middle of the house somewhere, often in hallways. Have you sniffed around in the attic?
 

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Do you have any food factories near by. In the neighboring town they have a cheese plant and during certain processing steps they overload the sewer system and the town stinks of septic.
 

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A few years ago, I was carving done turkey, and the cats were being pests... they kept jumping on the counter trying to get it. So I put I the meat I'd already finished carving in a ziplock back that was handy, and put it on top of the cabinet, where the cats couldn't reach, and went about carving the rest of the turkey. Unfortunately, I forgot about that one bag of turkey until several weeks later, when my wife and I would occasionally get whiffs of something we could only describe as, "garbage smell." We ended up emptying all the cabinets and clorox wiping every square inch of every cabinet and appliance in the kitchen before I remembered that bag of turkey. My wife was not amused, to say the least. This probably has nothing to do with your problem... I just thought I'd share my story because your post reminded me of it.
 

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Your house is a few years old but is it possible that some drywall was remodeled in the last ten years? Could there be that stinky Chinese drywall in your house? I've heard it was used in FL a lot. I don't know if it was sold in Texas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_drywall

Like others, though, I think it's probably your water. The smell is probably worse at times when the water heater kicks in. You should have your well tested. You should drain your water heater once a year to keep it from collecting minerals at the bottom. There are instructions on how to all over the 'net. Drain it and see if that water stinks. If the water stinks it isn't the drywall.
 

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If your bath tub drain stinks you could just dump some hydrogen peroxide down it....

Thats the stuff you clean cuts with and it foams up.
 

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Is the hot water tank original to the construction date? The sacrificial anode may have disintegrated and the smell is coming from the water out of the hot water tank.
 
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