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Reykjanes

The Hot Water in Iceland

January 22, 2018

Reykjanes

The Hot Water in Iceland

January 22, 2018

The majority of households in Iceland use geothermal water

Those staying in Iceland might have noticed a foul smell when they turned the shower on, a smell that resembles rotten eggs. You can find many stories online from tourists calling maintenance because they thought something was wrong with the plumbing. However, it is just the very natural smell of the hot water in Iceland.

Boreholes in Reykjavík

The majority of households in Iceland use geothermal water. The water we use in our homes, hotels and guesthouses is both water that has been directly pumped from the boreholes and water that has been used in power plants to produce electricity. In fact, you will be able to see boreholes in Reykjavík, near Nordica Hotel, for example.

The nearby Laugardalur outdoor area has geothermal pools that were used by women to wash clothes in the days before washing machines and district heating.The source of the smell is sulphur dioxide, and even though sulphurous gas is considered toxic, the water is not. It is just not recommended for drinking. Sulphur dioxide along with hydrogen fluoride is the reason most domestic animals and a quarter of Icelanders died during the Laki eruption in the late 18th century.

Hot Water is Not Always Geothermal

Not all places in Iceland use geothermal water for heating though. In some areas, like the Reykjanes Peninsula, heated ground water is used. In those places, you can consume the hot water and use it in food and drink, but in Reykjavík, it is not recommended. You might also notice that the water in Iceland is very soft. It can sometimes feel like you cannot dry yourself after a shower for example, but the reason is all the minerals in the water since it has trickled through basalt lava on its way to your faucet. Probably the best thing about having geothermal water is the renewable energy and the abundance of outdoor swimming pools and their accompanying hot tubs around the island. Additionally, there are quite a few natural hot springs people can bathe in such as Landmannalaugar, The Secret Lagoon and Kerlingafjöll. The downside is the smell. For most Icelanders it is just the smell of the water but we'll admit that we still ask if someone farted in the car when driving past very hot areas.

Gunnuhver

The RE blog

ua0HKR9O
JRJ05671_Ketchup_blackdiamondbeach
vaskur
Golden-Circle-and-Fontana-Steam-bath
Fjaðrárgljúfur
Into the Glacier
Eistnaflug_EydisKlaraThorleifsdottir
iStock-1151150610
RE63
JRJ09685-min Dress the Part
Thorsmork Panorama
Nature Pool
BlueLagoon1
Skógafoss waterfall Iceland hero mynd
RE05-Reykjavik Panorama
kirkjufell-12x7
Reykjanes

Christmas Traditions

Where to begin? There’s the Christmas Cat, a lot of great food, a little bit of truly bad food, way too many fireworks, bonfires, a “book flood,” and an endless amount of Santa Clauses (we call them Yule Lads).

Read more
Reykjanes

The Hot Water in Iceland

January 22, 2018

Reykjanes

The Hot Water in Iceland

January 22, 2018

The majority of households in Iceland use geothermal water

Those staying in Iceland might have noticed a foul smell when they turned the shower on, a smell that resembles rotten eggs. You can find many stories online from tourists calling maintenance because they thought something was wrong with the plumbing. However, it is just the very natural smell of the hot water in Iceland.

Boreholes in Reykjavík

The majority of households in Iceland use geothermal water. The water we use in our homes, hotels and guesthouses is both water that has been directly pumped from the boreholes and water that has been used in power plants to produce electricity. In fact, you will be able to see boreholes in Reykjavík, near Nordica Hotel, for example.

The nearby Laugardalur outdoor area has geothermal pools that were used by women to wash clothes in the days before washing machines and district heating.The source of the smell is sulphur dioxide, and even though sulphurous gas is considered toxic, the water is not. It is just not recommended for drinking. Sulphur dioxide along with hydrogen fluoride is the reason most domestic animals and a quarter of Icelanders died during the Laki eruption in the late 18th century.

Hot Water is Not Always Geothermal

Not all places in Iceland use geothermal water for heating though. In some areas, like the Reykjanes Peninsula, heated ground water is used. In those places, you can consume the hot water and use it in food and drink, but in Reykjavík, it is not recommended. You might also notice that the water in Iceland is very soft. It can sometimes feel like you cannot dry yourself after a shower for example, but the reason is all the minerals in the water since it has trickled through basalt lava on its way to your faucet. Probably the best thing about having geothermal water is the renewable energy and the abundance of outdoor swimming pools and their accompanying hot tubs around the island. Additionally, there are quite a few natural hot springs people can bathe in such as Landmannalaugar, The Secret Lagoon and Kerlingafjöll. The downside is the smell. For most Icelanders it is just the smell of the water but we'll admit that we still ask if someone farted in the car when driving past very hot areas.

Gunnuhver

The RE blog

ua0HKR9O
JRJ05671_Ketchup_blackdiamondbeach
vaskur
Golden-Circle-and-Fontana-Steam-bath
Fjaðrárgljúfur
Into the Glacier
Eistnaflug_EydisKlaraThorleifsdottir
iStock-1151150610
RE63
JRJ09685-min Dress the Part
Thorsmork Panorama
Nature Pool
BlueLagoon1
Skógafoss waterfall Iceland hero mynd
RE05-Reykjavik Panorama
kirkjufell-12x7
Reykjanes

Christmas Traditions

Where to begin? There’s the Christmas Cat, a lot of great food, a little bit of truly bad food, way too many fireworks, bonfires, a “book flood,” and an endless amount of Santa Clauses (we call them Yule Lads).

Read more