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Desperate need of plumbing advice

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Lionne posted 5/11/2014 22:04 PM

I am completely and ridiculously stressed out over a plumbing issue we have been having for at least a year. I have no idea why I am feeling so undone about this. Yes, I do. I saved up for 6 years to redo my master bath to make it pleasant and easy to clean and I love it. The idea that I can't now use it freaks me out. I'm seriously nutso, stressed and on the verge of throwing things.

Here is the problem...

Renovated two bathrooms, new countertops and faucets, one Moen, one PricePfister. They are wide set, having separated handles and faucet. They were installed by a plumber. The cold water smells awful. Sulfury. If you run the hot water for a bit, then turn the cold on, it's fine. No other cold water source in the house does this, and the water from the pipe underneath, the source from the wall, is fine. I replaced the part that mixes the water, the flexible hoses that connect the two spigots to the faucet. It was fine for a bit and then not fine. I called my plumber but he seemed stumped. Moen and PricePfister are clueless but they will refund my money (lot of good that will do me, I'll just have holes in my sink top) At this point, we brush our teeth with hot water or at the bathtub.

Any bright ideas?

I'm telling you, I am really, stupidly upset by this.

LisaP posted 5/11/2014 23:11 PM

I'm sure you already checked this, but I just wanted to throw this out there anyway. I had the same issue. Asked a plumber and he too was stumped. If it was the water, it would be at each faucet.

I redid my bathroom and the kids last year. New everything. New drain lines too. My water started throwing off this smell shortly after. But it was only my bathroom sink.

After pulling p-trap and cleaning with no results, I pulled the plunger thing and holy cow...there was a nasty ball of hair(8" long) and scum and junk stuck in there! I was shocked. I know I loose a ton of hair but, seriously...this was ridiculous in less than a years time!

No more hair, bottle brush and bleach solution, and happy to report, smell free now for 2 months. I clean my shower drain of my hair every 3 months, and I will now add the sink too.

Good luck!

imagoodwitch posted 5/12/2014 07:45 AM

I concur, it's not the faucet, it's the drain.

tushnurse posted 5/12/2014 07:53 AM

My first thought is the drain as well.
The hot water may be enough to prevent the stench....I would try some Liquid plumber if you don't have a home drain snake, If that doesn't work the try straight bleach with some water before it, and let it sit in there for an hour, then run more water through.

Lionne posted 5/12/2014 08:33 AM

Not the drain. I thought that too. I cleaned it, bleached it, etc. It is the cold water. If you pour a glass of cold water and take it to another room, it's awful.

Pentup posted 5/12/2014 08:48 AM

Googled it and found several websites citing the same situation. Appears to be either a sealant used or the line leading to the faucet. Sme switched to a copper line and odor went away. Ip others said it was the sealant used to put the faucet in. You could have the plumber replace the line to the cold water and see if that helps.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/12/2014 09:04 AM

Well or city water? You're not in Ohio are you?

Here's what I would do before anything else:

Are there plastic supply lines from the valve under the sink to the faucet? Replace those before doing anything else with the braided stainless steel type (Home Depot or plumbing supply). See if that helps. Manufacturing problem with the plastic supply lines.

[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 9:12 AM, May 12th (Monday)]

woundedwidow posted 5/12/2014 09:22 AM

Please do not use Liquid Plumber - my grandfather used to call it the plumber's helper, because it caused so many pipe problems that it helped the plumbers get more work!

Lionne posted 5/12/2014 12:01 PM

1) city water
2) not in supply lines. Water from those tastes just fine. It is in the connection ABOVE that, where the faucet connects to the handles
3) can you give me the link to the online solutions you found?

Driving me batty.

Lionne posted 5/12/2014 12:02 PM

Oh, and Moen is sending me yet ANOTHER set of quick connect lines. Which may or may not correct this temporarily. Until it doesn't.

And thanks for all your brainstorming!

twisted posted 5/12/2014 14:22 PM

I'm a commercial building contractor, I've had a similar issue at a strip center with several small restrooms that track back to the small hot water heaters. The anodes ( to keep the things from corroding so fast) had failed and gave the water a sulfur smell.
Do you have a small HWT or instantaneous water heater at this location?

Lionne posted 5/12/2014 14:31 PM

Nope. It's a new hot water heater, and the hot water is fine. And it is only these two faucets. The smell coming from the plastic fitting on the "quick connect" clips is particularly awful where the cold water goes from the handle to the faucet, clears up after a bit of water run. My thinking is that somehow bacteria is growing in that plastic fitting. How, I don't know, and how to keep it out, I don't know.

This is clean, city water, tastes good at seven other locations, only these two faucets arena problem!

twisted posted 5/12/2014 14:45 PM

Nothing should be growing if your are running city water (chlorinated). I'm betting some one ran a nail or screw through a vent line in the wall. Odor is being displaced when the water is running, but it shouldn't be just cold water, so that doesn't exactly fit.
I am assuming the new lines are pex?

Lionne posted 5/12/2014 14:49 PM

Yep. Pex lines, cold water only. Pex lines were replaced by manufacturer, only to have the problem recur within a few weeks. Both companies are sending me sets of lines AGAIN!

The bathrooms were renovated, but the plumbing wasn't moved. The sink and faucets are new in the same place as the old ones.

twisted posted 5/12/2014 15:13 PM

New pex supply lines only (less than 2 feet?)
Upstairs bathroom?

[This message edited by twisted at 3:14 PM, May 12th (Monday)]

Lionne posted 5/12/2014 19:16 PM

And new pex supply lines. Both are second story uuubathrooms.

Cally60 posted 5/12/2014 19:32 PM

Pex lines were replaced by manufacturer, only to have the problem recur within a few weeks.

If the problem went away at first, then it does seem as though you've at least identified the location of the problem. Maybe it is indeed the sealant, in which case would simply using a different type of sealant help? But I think that if they'd fit under your washbasin, I'd try TrulyReconciled's suggestion of replacing the plastic lines with braided stainless steel ones, anyway. One of our bathrooms sometimes has a similar odor in hot weather. I attributed it to the sewers, since I've encountered the same odor in French towns on hot days. But we have plastic pipes under the sink and now I'm wondered whether they're our culprits, too!

You asked about web sites. When I read your first message I did a simple search using the three words bathroom, sulfur and smell and a LOT of links appeared. I think you've checked most of the things mentioned in the one I found to be the most interesting, but here it is, anyway:

[This message edited by Cally60 at 7:44 PM, May 12th (Monday)]

TrulyReconciled posted 5/13/2014 09:15 AM

Like I said, change the supply lines between the shutoff and the faucet to braided stainless. There have been manufacturing defects in the plastic supplies.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/15/2014 08:22 AM


Lionne posted 5/15/2014 08:43 AM

Love you guys. Supply lines only replaced in bathroom #1. No smell yet, but it takes awhile to start again. I'll let you know!

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