Why Does Hot Water Smell Like Oil?

If your hot water smells like oil, it is possible that the water supply or plumbing has been contaminated with gasoline, oil or bacteria. This can be a health risk. In rarer cases, you may notice an oil smell in a new water heater caused by a chemical reaction between the water and the tank components. This should disappear in a few weeks.


  1. Avatar Erica on August 23, 2021 at 12:56 am

    Is there a way to test the water to see what the smell actually is? It’s definitely coming only from the hot water. A new build home that is going on month 3 (still happening). 2 people smell 2 different things. I smell an oil/gasoline smell. The other person smells a sulphur and sewage smell. Wide range. The builder won’t look at it calling us crazy- both women. City water/electric water heater. It happens only when water is heating.

    • Avatar Corro-Protec on August 23, 2021 at 3:14 pm

      Erica, if the smell is happening only when the water heater is working and you have a gas water heater you should call your plumber right away. There might be a gas leak somewhere and this can be dangerous.

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