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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
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    201

    Default Sour smell from bath faucet

    We get a sour smell when the cold water faucet is first turned on in our below-grade bathroom sink. Cleaning the drain eliminates the odor for only a day. What could cause this?

    It is a conventional drain flowing to a Liberty sewage ejector pump embedded in the concrete floor. The sink is used daily; as are the shower and toilet which do not have this problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    is the sink properly vented? if it isn't, when the toilet or shower are used and the water runs through the drain pipe it can pull the water out of the trap on the sink causing you to smell the sewer gases.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    The plumber installed a Studor vent to support this bathroom. I checked that the vent is still unobstructed.

    The odor occurs the first moment the sink water is turned on and dissipates quickly. It occurs without the shower or toilet being in use.

    I just now removed the aerator and cleaned it; maybe that will help. Time will tell, I guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    those vents are not legal here....don't know what the code is where you are.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    They are permitted here (King County WA). If the vent were failing I'd think the whole basement would smell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,220

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    The smell could be coming from the overflow on the sink. Try pouring some bleach into the overflow.
    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    When I have a smelly sink, I do what John recommended:

    1. Plug the sink and fill with water with bleach-water mix, let it overflow into the overflow.
    2. Keep adding bleach. repeat 2-3 times.
    3. Do it weekly for a month and then see if the situation improves.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    Studor vents are legal here but maybe not below-grade; all I've even done were above grade- I don't know if that matters. I'd think the uplift pump tank has to be vented to the outside anyway, so I'm wondering about why the Studor vent was installed. Most important is that Studor vents are not allowed out of convenience to the plumber; they are to be used ONLY where it's impossible or highly impractical to run a proper vent. Even if it isn't related to your problem I'd eliminate the Studor vent if it were practical to do so.

    Doing a job correctly usually involves extra work. There's no room in the building trades for laziness that ends up with failure.

    Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Sour smell from bath faucet

    It turned out the problem was a harmless bacteria in the well water that happens to thrive in the braided stainless steel water hose. Hot water kills this bacteria so the problem was only on the cold side. Flushing the line helped only temporarily. The braided hose was replaced with Pex and the problem went away.

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