According to the GE Pro Elite Team, there are many culprits that give drinking water a bad taste or smelly odors. It could be chemicals, environmental contaminants or even concentrations of metal that have been left in old plumbing pipes. Here, the GE Pro Elite Team discusses some of the culprits and what homeowners can do about it.
Q: GE Pro Elite Team, thank you for joining us today.
GE Pro Elite Team: Thank you for having us.
Q: What causes my water to smell or taste bad?
GE Pro Elite Team: Some of the main reasons our water smells or tastes bad are hydrogen sulfide, dissolved solids, and chlorine.
Q: What if the water smells like rotten eggs?
GE Pro Elite Team: You probably have sulfur in your water. Water absorbs hydrogen sulfide as it passes through the ground. When you turn on your faucet, you actually vent the gas from your tap water, emitting the rotten egg smell.
Q: Is sulfur harmful to my family?
GE Pro Elite Team: Sulfur is not considered harmful, per se – but let’s face it, who wants to have guests over when the water smells like rotten eggs?
Q: How do I get rid of the rotten eggs smell?
GE Pro Elite Team: Hydrogen sulfide can be treated with oxidation and filtration.
Q: I smell and taste chlorine in my drinking water. Should I be concerned?
GE Pro Elite Team: Since the 1800s, chlorine has been used as a disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in water or in the pipes that transport it. It is essential at the treatment plant, but it is no longer necessary once the water reaches your home.
Q: Chlorine tastes and smells bad. Any other reasons why I don’t want it in my water?
GE Pro Elite Team: Chlorine dries skin and hair, fades clothes, and can dry out the rubber seals in appliances, shortening their lives.
Q: Are there invisible water toxins in the water?
GE Pro Elite Team: Many wells can be contaminated by pesticides, industrial waste and VOCs. These toxins can be inhaled while in the shower or entered through the bloodstream, causing health issues.
Q: Sometimes my water gets rusty brown. Is this harmful?
GE Pro Elite Team: Rusty brown water is a result of high amounts of iron. Iron will stain and destroy your items; however, it is more of a taste concern than health concern.
Q: From your experience on the GE Pro Elite Team, what is a common cause of a musty, earthy water smell?
GE Pro Elite Team: The most common type of problem is the decaying organic matter deposited over time in the drain.
Q: How can I get rid of this smell?
GE Pro Elite Team: Disinfecting, cleaning and flushing the drain should eliminate the odor.
Q: What options are available for treating water odors and bad taste?
GE Pro Elite Team: There is no singular treatment for bad taste and odor problems, but you can often find solutions by first targeting the cause of the problem. Bottled water is an option that might be considered, especially when the primary concern is water for food preparation and drinking. The typical recommendation is the installation of a whole-house treatment system.
Q: This was very informative. Thank you, GE Pro Elite Team.
GE Pro Elite Team: You’re welcome.