Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Bad water smell, but only in cold water.
6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Jeremiah
Bad water smell, but only in cold water.
Jeremiah

Hi there.  I've searched these forums (and much of the internet) for an answer to this question, but I have not been able to find one so far.  I'm hoping that someone here can assist!  Here is what is going on (I have also attached a little diagram that I drew which shows my problem):

  1. I purchased a house and found that there was a strong "rotten egg" odor coming from the hot and cold water.
  2. I discovered that the water did not smell at the exterior spigot (so, the smell was not coming from the well).
  3. I consulted a local water treatment professional and they told me that it was almost certainly caused by my hot water heater (and the hot water was simply seeping over into the cold at the faucet, causing the smell in both hot and cold water). 
  4. I eventually replaced the hot water heater because the anode rod was siezed and could not be replaced.  At this point, the hot water stopped smelling bad.
  5. My cold water (again, not at the spigot, but at the interior faucets) still smells bad, but my hot water does not have any odor at all.
  6. I thoroughly cleaned the sediment filter and removed a significant amount of "gunk" from the inside, replaced the filter, etc., but this had no effect.
  7. I cleaned my water softener's brine tank with bleach, but this only helped briefly (and even then, there was a small odor that lingered for 1-2 seconds after the water came out of a faucet).  After a short period of time, the smell returned.

Can someone please offer some suggestions?  I have no idea what steps to take next.

Attachment: 
TOHFan
Re: Bad water smell, but only in cold water.
TOHFan

How about the water softener resin?

Jeremiah
Re: Bad water smell, but only in cold water.
Jeremiah
TOHFan wrote:

How about the water softener resin?

Since the softened water ends up in my hot water heater, wouldn't my hot water smell bad as well if the water softener was the culprit?  I don't know much about the resin in a water softener, so I'm genuinely curious.

Jack
Re: Bad water smell, but only in cold water.
Jack

Are you sure it is from the faucet and not from the drain?

 

Jack

Jeremiah
Re: Bad water smell, but only in cold water.
Jeremiah
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Are you sure it is from the faucet and not from the drain?

 

Jack

 

Unfortunately, yes.  The hot water does not cause the smell (even when the water in the lines is cold, so it can't be related to the warmth of the water).

Jack
Re: Bad water smell, but only in cold water.
Jack

I wonder if it is possible that some of your plumbing is old gavenized pipes.

Jack

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.