Cold water odor


Hi - Wondering if anyone has a solution or ideas about our cold water problem. We get a strong bad smell (sewer-y) in both bathrooms. This affects the cold water only. It does not affect the cold water in the kitchen or showers.
Possibly pertinent: we did some remodeling about 3 yrs ago which involved plumbing. In upstairs bathroom, we replaced the toilet, changed the vanity and sink, and re-did the shower. At the same time we changed the sink in the downstairs bathroom.
Thanks in advance for any insights.
Kate
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Kate wrote:

If you draw a glass of cold water from that bathroom sink and walk out of the room with it, still smells foul wherever you take it?
Does the same thing happen if you let the cold water run for 30 seconds prior to filling the glass?
And, hot water drawn from the same sink has no discernable smell?
If the answers to all above are "yes" I'd try changing the washer in the cold sink stop valve, and if that doesn't do it then change the washer or cartridge in the cold water faucet in that sink.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Hi Jeff - We tried your tests and were amazed to find that the smell which is so noticeable and awful at the faucet is not there at all in the glass! We quit drinking the water at the bathroom faucet due to what we thought was the foul taste; I guess we've learned it is just smell. So, we "flunked" them all. Here are our results: cold smells at the faucet as soon as it is turned on and persists for as long as it is on. Hot has no discernable odor. Thoughts on where to go from here? Thanks, Kate

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Kate wrote:

I would look for a venting or undersink "drain trap" problem. Maybe the folks who installed the new sink had to cheat a bit on the drain plumbing and you haven't got as deep a drain trap under the sink as you used to. If that's the case, then if a ventpipe common to that sink and a toilet had gotten somewhat restricted then flushing the toilet could pull enough water out of the trap to leave it open and let sewer gas come out of the sink drain and overlow hole(s).
Try closing the sink drain and putting a piece of tape over the sink's overflow hole(s) and see if you still "get that smell" when drawing a glass of water. If you don't then the smell is likely coming up from the sink drain.
Before calling in an expert to diagnose why that's happening, I'd try putting some strong drain cleaner down the sink drain in case all it is is the smell from some rotting hair in the drain trap. (Like giving a dead man an enema to revive him, that might not help, but it sure can't hurt to try it.)
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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And when did the smell show up, in relationship to these changes?

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Sounds like the remodel caused the stinky water. Did you put a trap in the sink drain line? It looks like a sideways P and causes water to pool in the bottom of the "p", thereby blocking the sewer gases.
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I would venture to guess it is in your pipe leading from the sink to the P-trap, and/or in the overflow part of the sink. the only way to clean this out is to take theP-trap off, and plug the end with something....towel, rubber plug, etc. fill the sink with a mixture of water and Clorox. fill it all the way up to the rim, so it will flow into the little overflow hole. bacteria will grow in this overflow area, and smell whenever you flow water through the drain, and back pressure forces the smell up and out the overflow drain hole. after the water/Cloroxmixture sits for 30 minutes, have a bucket under the sink to catch the water, or scoop most of it out and dispose of it in the tub. this should get rid of your smell.....yw

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