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.
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.
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
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
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.)
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.
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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