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Thread: Pungent Odor from Bathroom Faucet

  1. #1

    Default Pungent Odor from Bathroom Faucet

    Hello,

    I checked the archives but could not find much information and was hoping somebody may be able to help. I live in a 1 BR condo built in 1904 in Boston. We have owned the unit for 1.5 years, the plumbing in the unit looks like it was renovated in the past 10 years but the building's plumbing age is unknown.

    We have 4 fixtures that use water: Kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower, and toilet. About 2 weeks ago I was at home durring the dayand noticed the water was off a couple times for a short period of time (may be coincidental). Right after the water was off my wife randomly started complaining about the smell of the bathroom sink. Nothing else was smelling at the time, it is a metallic odor (iron maybe??) and the water does not taste right from the bathroom faucet. I cannot tell if the color is abnormal but it does have an awful smell and taste. When we first noticed this, the problem was only from the bathroom sink. The odor improves slightly if you run the water in the sink for 10 minutes, but is still not normal. I took the aerator off the faucet and cleaned quite a bit of debris off of it. I let the water run without the aerator for a while and the odor and taste were still present in the water. I sprinkled baking soda in the sink and dribbled a little water on it, the baking soda turned blue (alkaline present?), also the brass colored pipes have a green residue at the joints. None of the other fixtures in the condo smell abnormal, the kitchen sink water may smell a little, but it is not overpowering. We do drink our water through a Brita water filter so I cannot comment on the taste. Also, the bathroom sink is located between the shower and the toilet so I assume the main piping is just fine. Do I need to replace the faucet (age unknown, probably < 5 years)? Could the supply pipes from the shutoff for the sink on the wall be contaminated? The odor is present from the hot and cold water.

    I am sorry for being so long winded and for rambling. Any insight or advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    Kind Regards,
    Rory

  2. #2

    Question

    1st lets start with some basic questions that can help eliminate a lot of unnesscesary variables.What was remodeled? How old is the facet? How old is the supply lines going to the facet? what are the supply lines made of? The method behind the madness in this is were is the galvinized pipes or is the facet to old? How much of the plumbing had been replaced and were? Any of it in my unit or going to my unit? If so was there any thing left undone or forgotten? I hope this was not to many questions I just beleive the right questions help make us better plumbers. armond love

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The water being off in the main somewhere and coming back on may have been cleaning, or whatever. ANyway, old pipes often get a lot of debris jarred loose if the water is shut off, then restored. An old house like this may have galvanized pipes which the jarring caused the buildup on the inside to break a little (thus the gunk in your aereator). Just a thought, don't know any more!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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