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Thread: Smelly Water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Wenatchee Wa
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    Default Smelly Water

    Hello,

    I am new to the this forum. I had an inspection for a new built home in northern Washington St. that has been sitting for little over a year. When I arrive at the home my client asked me to smell the water. It had a strong chemical smell. I suggest we let it run as I perform the inspection to see if it dissipates. It did a little but there was still some smell.

    The home is plumbed in PEX and the main supply line was PVC as far as I could see. This home is in a new development area on a new municipal supply line from the city. And it it is the only home in the development.

    I recommend a system flush and water test. I want to get your thoughts on why the smell and how you would handle this.

    Thanks Don

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Wenatchee Wa
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    Default Re: Smelly Water

    No sulfur smell. It was a chemical smell more in the range of glues and plastics but not exactly that. It was different. My initial thought is the systems have not been used much (when the water was first coming on it had air in it) and it was just from sitting in pipes, both the home and the cities pipes. This home sits by itself on a new road and up a hill.


  3. #3
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    If the home has a boiler check for backflo protection.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Memphis TN.
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    4,311

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    Hello,

    I am new to the this forum. I had an inspection for a new built home in northern Washington St. that has been sitting for little over a year. When I arrive at the home my client asked me to smell the water. It had a strong chemical smell. I suggest we let it run as I perform the inspection to see if it dissipates. It did a little but there was still some smell.

    The home is plumbed in PEX and the main supply line was PVC as far as I could see. This home is in a new development area on a new municipal supply line from the city. And it it is the only home in the development.

    I recommend a system flush and water test. I want to get your thoughts on why the smell and how you would handle this.

    Thanks Don
    .
    Welcome Dan,

    There has been Reports of Newly Installed Pex left idle for long periods of time
    having a " Gasoline or Chemical" smell. Polyethylene Tubing and Water Contamination chemical investigation

    What little I've seen on The Subject ( other than The Ambulance Chasers) is that the condition clears it's self after the idle lines are flushed and put into Service.
    .
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
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    301

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    I thought about solder,pipe dope and pvc glues. Sitting water can absorb a lot of stuff.

    Question why do you not like PEX. I'm not a plumber but I have done my fair share of it. I Like the stuff. It's easy to work with and seem to be pretty tough stuff. I know some plumbers here that swear by it now. Very good in areas where freezing pipes are an issue.


    Thnx,

    Don


  6. #6
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
    mike huntzinger Guest

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    was it both hot and cold sides, maybe something inside the water heater


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    Thanks for all the comments. I found this great way to have a discussion. Billy thank you for the link on PEX. I know many people/homes that have PEX and never smelled this but these are all home that people are living in so the system is being used.

    It's hard to put all the particulars to each home on a discussion board so many questions lead down paths that I may have already eliminated. But I want to thank everyone for chipping in their thoughts.

    I will be back with more fun questions since this was a very responsive site.

    Good luck to all and thank you,

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC


  8. #8
    Dave Taurinskas's Avatar
    Dave Taurinskas Guest

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    On this same subject of "smelly water" ...I was in a house yesterday that has been vacant for about 45 days. It has been on the market and people have been coming through and using the bathroom and flushing toilets and running faucets. So the water has not been totally stagnant. Anyway there is a very strong sulfur smell when the water is running (both hot and cold). The city says its from the pipes not their water. I have usually associated this smell with well water. Any thoughts on the cause?


  9. #9

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    DH: Most plumbers I have seen in action are not familiar with the proper installation procedures.
    I'd be interested to hear your other reasons to dislike PEX, 'cause I don't really think that just because you have to learn a little to use a product makes it a bad.

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

  10. #10
    Dave Taurinskas's Avatar
    Dave Taurinskas Guest

    Default Re: Smelly Water

    PEX??? There are many class action lawsuits against many of the manufacturers for defective connectors. Google "PEX class action lawsuits" There is a ton of information on PEX. Also, other problems other than the connectors are being researched. Some plumbing suppliers are not selling PEX anymore until the dust settles. The attorney for our professional liability insurance advised us what to put in our reports so he could defend us better if we got involved in a lawsuit. I personally have been in a home where the tees and elbows failed and flooded the home.Since then I have been doing a lot of research on it so I can answer questions if my clients ask.


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