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Why Does My House Smell Like Sulfur? (Explained)

You might have come across the foul smell of rotten eggs in your house. Sometimes it is easy to detect the origin of the smell, other times, it seems to be prevalent throughout the house.

This smell, like rotten egg, is what sulfur smells like. Whether it’s a faint odor, or a strong one, you should never ignore the possibilities when your house smells like sulfur.

Why does my house smell like sulfur?

There are several reasons why your house smells like sulfur, and the primary one could be related to a gas leak. However, sewer gases in drain pipes and contamination in water sources can also be a cause of the sulfur smell.  Moreover, a bad anode rod in a water heater can produce sulfur like smell.

There are a few good explanations as to why your house might be smelling like sulfur. Detecting the source is important to stop the smell and the possible leak.

Gas leaks:

One of the most common reasons why your house might be smelling like sulfur is a possible gas leak.

Although natural or propane gas does not have any smell of its own, they are injected with a distinctive smell on purpose from the gas companies. This makes it easier for residents and dwellers to detect a gas leak if there is any.

The odor is usually nonlocalized and might be an occasional hit to your nose. In any case, you may want to turn off any central heating or cooling system immediately.

It is most wise to contact the utility company who would ensure whether there is a leak after all.

Sewer gases from drainpipe or toilet:

If you notice that the sulfur like smell is coming from one of the drain pipes or toilets, the smell is associated with sewer gasses.

Whether it’s the tub or shower area, the plumbing system has a “p” trap that is installed in the drainage system. These traps are meant to stop the sewer gases from entering your home.

The sewer gases are stopped by the traps with the help of retained water. If in any case, this water evaporates, the p trap does not work to stop the sewer gases, which enter your home to smell like sulfur.

The water in the p trap may evaporate if the particular tub or toilet has not been used for some time.

Problems in the water source:

If there is contamination in your water source, you may be smelling sulfur in your house.

This is most common if your house receives water from a well, which can get contaminated by natural organisms.

In other eater sources, the buildup or breakdown of microorganisms along with other natural wastes causes this foul odor to initiate. The odor is due to the build up of hydrogen sulfide.

Why does my house smell like sulfur when it rains?

Everyone loves rainy, relaxing weather but when it is followed by foul odors of sulfur all over the house, the experience is never so pleasant.

When your house smells like sulfur or rotten eggs when it rains, it is mostly caused by sewer gases or methane gases entering the house.

When it rains, the air in the atmosphere becomes much heavier, causing the atmospheric pressure to change drastically. This causes the sewer gases to stay on the ground instead of flowing out through the vent.

Moreover, since the temperature becomes colder when there is rain, downdrafts are most likely to cause the same sulfur smell in the house. In such a case, you may notice how the smell goes away once the temperature is hotter.

If the venting system is blocked in your septic tank, or if the pump is broken, you may face the same issues since the old wastewater cannot be replaced by the new.

Why do these rooms in my house smell like sulfur?

Sulfur like the smell in your room would not have the same source as the smell coming from your kitchen. Hence, you may want to know what it means when each of there rooms in your house smells like sulfur:


If your room has a sulfur like the smell, you may want to check the central heating or cooling system first.

Any leaks on these systems may cause a smell. Although rare, drywall in your room can also cause off-gassing that produces similar sulfur like smell.

Laundry room:

If your laundry room smells like sulfur, you may want to check your washing machine first.

Some commonly, a buildup of mold and mildew in our washing machines is natural. If the washing machine is not vented properly, the same problem is likely.

This is because of the presence of moisture and heat. The buildup of scum in your washer area is another reason why your laundry room has that funny smell.

Other than that, if there is contamination in the septic tank or blockage in the draining system, your laundry would smell like sulfate.


If you can detect a slight sulfur smell and doubt that it is coming from the kitchen, you should immediately suspect a gas leak.

Although natural or propane gas is odorless, Gas leaks have a distinctive smell created by the gas utility companies. In that case, it is vital to immediately contact experts or the fire department.

However, kitchen sink drainpipes are also a major reason why your kitchen might be smelling strange. If the p trap in the sink basin is short of water, the sewer gases would travel up to your kitchen.

What does it mean if your house smells like sulfur?

Coming home to a sulfur like smell can be annoying to your peace of mind and to know how to get rid of the smell, you would need to know what it means when your house gives off the sulfur like smell.

While there are a couple of meanings to the sulfur smell in your house, a probable gas leak is one of the most likely ones.

Since natural gas does not have any smell of its own, gas companies add sulfur like smell to the gas. This helps people in homes and offices to distinguish a gas leak smell and consequent take action for it.

If your house smell like sulfur, it could also mean that your house is infiltrated with hydrogen sulfide. This gas is a by product of contamination or decay in the sewer drain system.

If the drainage is blocked or the p trap is not working right, the sewer gases can make their way to your homes.

What should I do if I smell sulfur in my house?

If you smell sulfur in your house, the first thing to do is think about safety, especially if you have an appliance that runs on propane or natural gas. This could be a stove or a water heater that has the possibility of a gas leak.

You may want to turn off any of these appliances and leave the space. It is vital to call for emergency fire or utility aid, to check if the gas leak is coming from your furnace, heater, or stove.

However, if you notice that the smell might be coming from someplace else, check the drainpipe p trap. Contact the plumber or use your plumbing skills to fix the p trap.

You may also have to test the water to see if there is the contamination of hydrogen sulfide. You may do so by using water testing kits available in most stores.

How do get rid of sulfur in the house?

Depending on the source of the sulfur smell, you may follow the steps to get rid of the smell in the house:

Call a professional:

If you suspect a gas leak in one of your natural gas or propane appliances, you may want to leave your house and call a professional.

Check drainpipe:

Check the drainpipe and see if the p trap is dry. If it is, turn the faucet on and keep the water running for a few minutes. This would help accumulate tap water in the p trap for it to work again.

Install filter in waterline:

If you have well water in your faucet, you may want to install a proper filtration system. Activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis filtration works best in that case.

Check water heater anode:

Have a professional plumber check on the water heater anode. If it is corroded, you may want to have it replaced immediately.

Final Thoughts

The primary reason why your house might be smelling like sulfur is the infiltration of hydrogen sulfide gas. There could also be a natural gas or propane leak from the furnace or gas stove. Blockage in the drain pipe and contaminants in well water can also cause the house to smell like sulfur.