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I am in the process of purchasing a new home- new construction. The inspector noted that there is Sulfur in water as indicated throught foul smell from kitchen faucet. I'm not sure if smell came from bathroom faucet. He said this is not a major issue but I'm nit sure. I requested that this issue be fix prior to closing. How do I make sure that this issue is fix other than not smelling the ordor when I tuen on the faucet?
 

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Your inspector was way past his level of professional expertise. Unless he has some highly specialized instruments like a gas spectrograph rammed up his nostril, he has no way in knowing that this smell was caused by sulphur.

There very well may be some sulphur in your domestic water, but that would be the responsibility of the local water district. If you are on a well, you could contact an environmental chemistry laboratory or University.

I would guess that your inspector was professionally negligent in this case. If your inspector was wrong, the builder could have a legal case against him
 

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I would bet dollars to donuts that it is not "sulfer in the water," but Hydrogen Sulfide gas resulting from sulfide bacteria. There are dozens of different causes of this, including


  • If the smell is only from the hot water faucet the problem is likely to be in the water heater.
  • If the smell is in both the hot and cold faucets, but only from the water treated by a water softener and not in the untreated water the problem is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the water softener.
  • If the smell is strong when the water in both the hot and cold faucets is first turned on, and it diminishes or goes away after the water has run, or if the smell varies through time the problems is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the well or distribution system.
  • If the smell is strong when the water in both the hot and cold faucets is first turned on and is more or less constant and persists with use the problem is likely to be hydrogen sulfide gas in the groundwater.

There is not always a "fix it and it's gone" treatment for this, so it may not be something you can force to have fixed before closing. It may be something you continuously treat while living there, like you would hard water.


I'm not sure where you live, but here's a good overview from the State of Minnesota. http://www.mrwa.com/watersmellrotteneggs.htm
 

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Hyunelan2 is probably spot on, and his linking of possible remedies looks like it addresses most if not all the causes. This is something that your inspector should have had at his disposal

Home Inspectors are a sham. Yours should have done more than say " I smell sulpur, no big deal", count GFCI's and ask for $500
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, I am a single female purchasing this home with the so called sulfur smell indicated by the inspector. I am from Baton Rouge, LA. We are known for soft non smelling water. So this smell and the inspector has raised my blood pressure up and has put a lot of doubt in my mind as to wheather I want to follow through with this home purchase. So I'm hearing so far to explore if the problem is in my domestic water-At the risk of sounding stupid, what is domestic water. Am I hearing to contact my water company? Is this a common issue? Do I have to need to worry about future health problem. At the time the inspection was going on the hot water was not on so from what I am reading, the problem should not be with the hot water heater. I guess what I am trying to pull out of somebody is "all you need to do is contact the water company?" No big deal? HELP
 

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Domestic water=city ( or otherwise supplied by a district) water. Since it is a new house, you are probably correct in assuming that the water heater and your piping system is not at fault. I would guess that since you are in the Baton Rouge area, your water is ground water, and natural H2S is the culpret. Your district should have some understanding of al of this
 

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As for danger, you would have to consume an inhuman amount of water for the Hydrogen Sulfide in it to have any affect on you. Your body naturally produces H2S, as do many other things. In high concentrations, as a gas, it can be toxic (think Sewer Gas), but at the concentrations found in the water - this is not dangerous.

Also, if it's in your water, it's in ALL your water. If the inspector only found it in the bathroom faucet - he's full of crap. He was probably smelling the sink drain - ha.
 

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Your entire post was very informative, as was you previous link.

But I like this part the best, and it is also a very real possibility

Also, if it's in your water, it's in ALL your water. If the inspector only found it in the bathroom faucet - he's full of crap. He was probably smelling the sink drain - ha.
 

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Dealing with and even identifying 'sulfur' can be tricky. Of course, understanding your source water is very important.

Sulfur needs to be tested on site; it won't help to transport it to a lab as the gases will go away. Also, sulfr can come and go due to water conditon changes and even climatic or seasonal changes.

There are some telltale signs of sulfur (or psuedo-sulfur) beyond the odor as well. Just make sure you are addressing the actual cause and not just trying to manage the symptoms.
 

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Not true. Most of the sulphur will remain in an aqueous solution. Very little will disipate to atmosphere
Thank you for your reply. I would agree for sulfates (SO4) found in water samples but 'sulfur' or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas and is quickly released into the atmosphere (thus the detected odor). I have tested samples on site and then after a short period of time and found the results very different to a much lesser degree or completely gone.
 

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Jdurio,

If you haven't already, maybe talk to several neighbors and ask them if they also experience problems similar to yours. This can tell you whether the problem is coming from the city water (if that's where you get it) or is isolated to the home you are looking to buy. Also, it's surprising at how much neighbors can know about problems in and the history of a house. So maybe also ask them if they know about "any" problems in the home you're looking at while you're at it.

HRG
 

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Hello Jdurio,
It’s a good question you had asked here because safety is important for everybody, in fact Water treatment is important for the better health. For confirming your water safe or not, you need to consult to the water treatment services, because they are providing a correct result as well as solution for removing sulfur from the water.
 
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