08:41AM | 09/01/04
Member Since: 08/31/04
3 lifetime posts
I recently purchased a 1945 house on a private well. It has some updates, including a water softener. The problem I am having is that when I turn on the cold water in the bathroom sink, the water initially has a foul sulfer smell which is so bad that I have to stand back for the first couple of minutes until the aroma subsides. I have not noticed this smell out of the shower or kitchen sink. The hot water, which is of course routed through a water heater, does not have this offensive scent. Any ideas on how to eliminate this problem? Thanks.


08:25PM | 09/03/04
It is strange to get sulfur smell out of cold water. It's usually from the anode tube in the water heater and bacteria. It's additionally strange that it is not from all faucets. Since you are on a well is there some kind of piping to only this fixture that may be allowing a bateria to grow inside?

Perhaps you should take a water sample to your environmental health department of a water treatment company for an analysis.


08:31PM | 09/03/04
In rereading your post I see you have a softener. Check your piping arrangement. Does the treated water also supply this sulfur faucet? Softeners go bad and have to be maintained and they often do not supply all fixtures. They have a gallon per minute limitation and if you call for more than it can treat then the water doesn't get soft. So you don't hook up everything or you buy a bigger unit.


08:40AM | 09/04/04
Member Since: 08/31/04
3 lifetime posts
Lonny, thanks for responding. I did take a water sample before I bought the house in July. The analysis company found nothing wrong with the water, but the sample was from the kitchen sink. I know that both the kitchen and bathroom sinks receive water from the softener, as I can feel it when I rinse my hands. I will check into the plumbing this weekend, regardless. Could the piping material have any effect on odor? I hear PVC is not to be used for delivery piping, but that is about all I know on the subject. The previous owner was also a DIYer, but I have found some questionable attempts in other areas of the house.


08:54AM | 09/05/04
Certainly some pipe can allow odors. There is a fairly strict standard on what piping can be used and most don't realize contamination factors. That is not the case with PVC however. You can't use it on inside hot water but people do run some PVC water services. CPVC is required for hot inside so we usually just run cold in that also. Neither would allow odors. A hose that is working as a pipe is the usual culprit.


04:58PM | 09/09/04
Member Since: 08/31/04
3 lifetime posts
Hi Lonny,

Ok, I checked the piping, and all of the pipes originate from the water softener. All pipes are copper. There does not seem to be any effect on the bathroom sink odor concerning the use of other faucets, but the longer the bathroom sink sits, the worse the cold water smells. I have checked the overflow and there is no odor coming from there. I guess my next step is to have the softener checked out?

Thanks again


06:01PM | 09/09/04
If it was the softener I would think that the effect would be at all faucets supplied by the softener. I would get a sample of the bad water and see what that analysis says.
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