Water Smells Like Sulfur/Cat Urine Throughout the House

Question:

Why does it smell like cat urine/sulfur when I turn the water on in our house, it doesn’t matter from where I’m at in the house.

Answer:

In case any of our visitors are wondering, your water should not smell like cat urine when you turn it on. Most likely that smell is being caused by chlorine or ammonia. Luckily, it is not very likely that your tap water is contaminated and it shouldn’t be very harmful.

However, if you are really worried about it you should call your local plumber and have them take a look at it. You can also contact your water provider and file a complaint.

Just to expand a little bit are you sure that the smell you were smelling was like cat urine? It could be that you are mistaking it for a sulfur smell. If it is indeed a sulfur smell then this can be caused by iron in the water.

In the end our recommendation is to not drink the tap water until you get it tasted. It’s better safe than sorry.

If this smell continues then it may very well be something that is related to your city water source.  Before calling the plumber in to evaluate the chlorine smell, speak with your neighbors to ascertain if they have a similar problem.  Sometimes what can happen is that the chlorine added at the city water level is not at the right mix and the smell of sulfur seems to permeate the water.  There are ways in which you can get the water tested, either by your local water authorities or if your trust has eroded with these folks then you can bring in an independent lab to analyze the make up and safety of your water.  As you problem know, some degree of chlorine is added to our water as a hedge against foreign bodies and all of the nasty stuff that can get into our water.  Too much can give off a very sour taste and too little results in lessened protection.

One Response to Water Smells Like Sulfur/Cat Urine Throughout the House
  1. tim
    March 20, 2012 | 4:06 am

    that’s the answer? “just call a plumber”?

    =/

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