Pasco county...Spring Hill, sulpher smelling water

I did a home inspection today in Spring Hill, Pasco County. New 2010 built model home that has been sitting. When I turned on the water to run the plumbing including the washer…the smell of rotten eggs (sulpher) was overwhelming. I was told it’s not well water (no evidence of any pumps) that it is city water and the smell will go away after the water is run for a couple of hours.
My question is should my client be concerned. Should further testing be required.


this is not uncommon with units that have stagnated and may only require a prolonged flushing or draining the tank, some cases may require anode replacement

another cause and cure

Good information. I get that often on newer homes as well and have been told by some that the plastic pipe (CPVC) when water hasn’t been run in them for some time tend to do this?


Usually the water in the hot water tank.

Was it a AO Smith tank?.. Echo the above when they sit… Heating with no flow… Real common with AO Smith tanks

Hi Tom:

very common here in Spring Hill with water that sits for a long period of time in the Hot Water heater. I see it a lot. We have a ton of vacant houses here. First thing I do here with every Inspection is turn on the hot water faucets every bathroom and kitchen and I let them run the duration of the inspection. Flushes the tank and does the trick. On another note, if the home was built from 2004-2007 I would check for Chinese Drywall. See that often here too.


Hey Barry…thanx great info. Helpful as always

AO 40 gal tank

Jim…Thanx…2010 home

Now the question is How should I report this? Should I report this on every AO water heater I come across.
It seems to me that chemical reaction that results in premature anode failure would
be reportable offense

I have been sometimes the how water can get an odor.
Flushing the tank is a good idea .
I have also been told replacing the Anode rod seems to fix it .
Simple and you have not boxed your self .

What happens when you mix sulfur and water?


It turns into sulfuric acid.

Then add salt, and it becomes hydrochloric acid.

The hot water smells of rotten eggs; the most common cause of smelly water is anaerobic bacteria that exist in some water and react with the magnesium and aluminum sacrificial anodes that come with most water heaters to produce hydrogen sulfide gas, making the classic rotten egg odor. The problem is most common in well systems, either private or municipal or for water heaters that sit unused for long periods of time.