Smelly Water

Our home water is from our municipality. There are three bathrooms. The plumbing in the house is about 10 years old, and it is all copper.
In the upstairs bathroom, two or three times per week, when the bathroom faucet is turned on, the water smells. It's hard to describe the smell, but it's there. It goes away pretty quickly. The problem only started in the last six months or so.
I have not observed the problem at any other sink, including ones that are closer to the incoming supply line under the house. The bathroom is used multiple times per day.
What could the problem be? Should the water be tested? While we rarely drink from that faucet, we do use the water to wash hands and brush teeth.
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On 4/7/2013 8:28 AM, mcp6453 wrote:

I always suspect decaying hair for the odor. It comes from the drain and not the water and turning on water just causes the odor to rise. If you are bothered by it, bleach or drain cleaner could lessen it.
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On 4/7/2013 9:10 AM, Frank wrote:

That's interesting. It never occurred to me that the problem could be the drain. Since the problem only exists in one bathroom, that explanation makes a lot of sense. All I have to do is close the stopper before I turn on the water to see if the problem is the drain. Plus, I'll definitely put some drain cleaner in it. Thanks!
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Please let us know what you find. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
That's interesting. It never occurred to me that the problem could be the drain. Since the problem only exists in one bathroom, that explanation makes a lot of sense. All I have to do is close the stopper before I turn on the water to see if the problem is the drain. Plus, I'll definitely put some drain cleaner in it. Thanks!
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A logical diagnostic is to pour some water into a container, carry it into another room. See if that stinks. Come back, pour the water into the drain, see if that causes the stink to start.
Is the stink in the sink, I think? Is it pink, the stink, you fink? Would it stink at a rink, a skate, your fate, you blink? I would prefer that the pink sink would stink at a rink full of mink. And was the sink that stinks pink, at the rink made in PRC by a chink who blink? . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
I always suspect decaying hair for the odor. It comes from the drain and not the water and turning on water just causes the odor to rise. If you are bothered by it, bleach or drain cleaner could lessen it.
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On 4/7/2013 3:08 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

When my brother attended a seminary, one of the students in chemistry class took a mason jar filled with very cold water and dissolved as much hydrogen sulfide gas into the cold water as it would take. The prankster took the sealed jar of water into the cafeteria, unscrewed the lid and set it on a radiator. Needless to say a lot of guys were looking a each other with accusing looks of disgust as the cafeteria quickly emptied out when the stench became unbearable. It was like Superman farted in the place. ^_^
TDD
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On 4/8/2013 1:25 AM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Neighbor that owned and operated a small chemical plant nearly died from hydrogen sulfide. He opened up a reactor and got a whiff of H2S and ran outside where he passed out and later came to. He said if he had stayed inside he probably would have died.
When I was in grade school every now and then somebody would piss on the radiator in the boy's room emptying the school.
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And, H2S is heavier than air. If he'd passed out on the floor, he'd have been in the thick of it. Glad he was able to bail out, and live to tell about it. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
Neighbor that owned and operated a small chemical plant nearly died from hydrogen sulfide. He opened up a reactor and got a whiff of H2S and ran outside where he passed out and later came to. He said if he had stayed inside he probably would have died.
When I was in grade school every now and then somebody would piss on the radiator in the boy's room emptying the school.
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I've run into smelly drains several times at work.
You may think it's the hot water heater putting out that sulfur smell but often it's iron fixing bacteria growing in the drain. Hot water makes the smell worse than cold.
Pour in a cup of bleach, let it sit half an hour, flush it out with lots of water. If bleach won't get it sometimes you need bowl cleaner, which is an acid. Do not mix bleach and acid.
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Hot water or cold? Only that bathroom? I see someone suggested in could be the drain. Yes, that is possible as water hits the drain it will send back a burst of air.
The other factor is the water heater. If the anode is corroding, you get a nasty sulfur type of odor for a few minutes. If that is the case, replace the anode with a different material. http://www.watertechonline.com/articles/replacing-anodes-getting-rid-of-odor
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On 4/7/2013 9:57 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I'm not sure, Ed. Normally when I turn on the water, I turn on hot and cold equally. The water heater is a 40 gallon low boy electric. Since it's over 10 years old, I've been considering replacing it anyway.
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Tomorrow only turn on the hot or the cold. NOT both at the same time. That's how you trouble shoot things. Process of elimination...... Assuming that bathroom has a toilet, could the fill valve be siphoning water back into the system? One way to check for that is to shut off the supply valve under the toilet as soon as you flush the toilet. Leave it shut off all the time except when you flush. Then see if you still got stinky water. Again, process of elimination .....
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That would only happen if water temp was set too low, in the bacteria thrive zone.
Greg
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e plumbing

om faucet

t's there.

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drink

But the problem is that those odor producing bacteria live at normal water heater temps. You'd have to keep the water heater dangerously hot to prevent it. That's why they sell replacement anodes made of a different metal to stop it.
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On Monday, April 8, 2013 9:07:53 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Desulfovibrio vulgaris (the sulfate reducing bacteria usually implicated) i s fairly heat tolerant. Basically it breathes sulfur (so there must be sul fates in the water, or no H2S will be produced), eats carbon (no organics i n the water, no growth), and needs hydrogen for a vitamin (which it can get from iron if there's even a trace in the water, so the anode isn't as impo rtant as people think).
Shock it with some bleach, that'll take care of it. Wherever it is - and i t's not always the water heater. It can live fine in pipes, though it corr odes them badly, and also does okay in the drain, especially if there are i ron fixing bacteria like Thiobacillus ferrooxidans or Leptospirillum ferroo xidans in the drain to form a protective slime.
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