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Water Stench

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by phitnessfiend, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    The stench seems to really be kicking in to full gear now. I smell it every time I use the MBR sink! Before, it was every so often. Now it's every time!
     
  2. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    So I called LCSA and they asked me to describe the problem. They could tell me over the phone that it was not a water problem, but something wrong with the pipes. The smell seems to be coming from the faucet, not the drain. Anyone have anything new on this?
     
  3. sharse

    sharse TeamDonzi rocks!!

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    The smell in my MBR is definitely coming from the faucet,not the drain. I'm 100% certain of that!
     
  4. lilpea

    lilpea Member

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    The way Van Metre incorrectly installed the "flap" allows for the gas/rancid odor to "updraft" when the faucet in is use.

    When we had our plumber come out (because I insisted the odor was originating from the faucet) he actually blew a smokey chemical so I could visually see the gas cloud as the water went down into the drain.

    From the looks of things we have more than just a "small minority" of Van Metre homeowners (in Southern Walk) that have the same issue - estimation of 61 homeowners in Southern Walk, thus far.

    Anyone want me to take this on (with the same effort as the Openband contract SWHOA issue)?
     
  5. joy

    joy New Member

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    We have the same problem in our master bath in our North Broadlands Washington Home built in 1999. It started in the shower, but has also been in my husband's sink, and for the first time, my sink last night. I have never attempted to fix it as it seems to move on after a while on its own. Here's my hypothesis: gas builds up and the first faucet that gets turned on after that build up gets the gas. But it's somehow intermittent. I never had this in Rockville or Frederick. I'm wondering if this is a Broadlands or Ashburn thing from how our water is delivered. I don't understand how the LCSA can diagnose it on the phone. Also are they responsible for the plumbing done outside the homes?
     
  6. joy

    joy New Member

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    Sorry to reply to my own post. I went on the LCSA site and found this:
    http://www.lcsa.org/water/quality/water_specs1.cfm

    Rotten Egg/Sulfur/Sewage
    There are five main causes for this odor. If the odor is isolated to certain areas within a house, then the issue is likely caused by something inside the house. If the issue persists throughout the house, it may be a larger-scale issue requiring LCSA assistance.
    • The most common cause of the odor is a dirty sink trap. Bacteria can grow in a sink trap (“p” trap) when biodegradable material remains in the drain. The bacteria produce a gas that is released when water goes down it. Put a cup of bleach in the drain and let it sit overnight. If the dirty trap was the cause, the odor should disappear.
    • Another cause of the odor is when traps (from sinks, tubs/showers, or floor drains) dry out and sewer gases travel back up the drain. This is easily cured by placing a cup of water in the drain/trap.
    • A third cause is when a water heater’s temperature may be set too low. Water heaters may be set at a low enough temperature for bacteria to grow inside them. If this is the case, temporarily (e.g., for about two hours) turn the temperature of the water heater up to kill the bacteria and then turn the temperature down to approximately 120°F.
    • If the odor appears in the cold water in all parts of the house, it is likely that the odor is coming from water in LCSA’s distribution system. The most common reason for this is that the house is located in an area where there is not a lot of water use and the water in the system became “stale.” Localized flushing by the Maintenance Department should address the issue.
    • Occasionally, odor originates with the source water and passes through the treatment process. If this happens, it will be a widespread problem and LCSA will need to contact our suppliers to assure that they are working to address the issue. System flushing will only help after fresh water is introduced into the system.
    And this:
    http://www.lcsa.org/water/quality/source_odor.cfm

    Occasionally, odors that customers detect in their water originate with the source water and pass through the treatment process. This infrequent issue is more likely to happen with water originating from the City of Fairfax water treatment plant, which generally serves our customers in Ashburn Farm, the Belmonts, Broadlands, Villages of Waxpool and the Landfill Water Service Area. If this happens, it will be a widespread problem. Several customers will call, indicating their water smells “musty” or “like a pond.” The most frequent cause for this is when the City of Fairfax begins supplementing Goose Creek with water from the Beaver Dam reservoir and chemical dosage has not been properly changed to address the different source characteristics.
    It sounds from this that our house's issue would be the one where you need the bleach, since it's localized to one room in the house as far as we know. We're going to try it in and see. However, it does seem strange that they have known odor issues in our area and many people are having this problem in our area, so I'm also going to call LCSA.
     
  7. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    I myself have tried bleach and had no success.
     
  8. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    I think it's a good idea. There seems to be a number of us with the same issue. Who knows how many more that haven't even replied to my original post. Do you need help with anything?
     
  9. lilpea

    lilpea Member

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    I will send you a PM - I am getting ready to put together a MS Project Plan outlining objectives and collecting more data from other homeowners in Southern Walk.

    We may want to arrange a meeting with a representative from both LCSA & Van Metre and get as many homeowners there who have the issue? Any thoughts?

    Once we have these items lined up - I will then draft an extensive brief to present to multiple law firms...at which point I really think ALL of the homeowners invovled must collectively make the decision of which firm to represent us.

    FYI - as I stated our plumber estimated the cost in the 10's of thousands...
     
  10. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    I had a plumber out today to check on the problem. He told me that the lines needed to be cleaned. He cleaned out the overflow valve which is where he said the smell was coming from. He used a snake type of contraption and sprayed some Tilex in there. I'll keep you posted to see if the smell comes back.
     
  11. d_kodali

    d_kodali New Member

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    We have the same problem with our master bed room sink faucet.
    It occured many times this past month. I will post if I notice that again.
     
  12. gunzour

    gunzour "Living on the Edge"

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    I don't see any mention of asking VM to look into this -- has anyone done that? What was their response?
     
  13. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    VM is actually the one that sent the plumber out. I e-mailed them to set up a meeting and they sent someone out. I'm going to see if the smell comes back. I'm sure that's the "real" problem. I'll keep everyone posted. Ha...get it...posted......sorry!
     
  14. smheese

    smheese New Member

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    here's another home for the list. we also have a VM home and the smell is with the master bedroom sink.
     
  15. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    VM did look into it for me. That's who actually send the plumber out. As I mentioned before, he cleaned out the overflow hole and said that was the issue. I've been waiting to see if it comes back and it seems to already be happening. If that's the case, I'll touch base with VM again to try and set up a meeting regarding the issue.
     
  16. luftinarr

    luftinarr Member

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    To update phitnessfiend, VM sent the plumber out and the plumber said we need to clean out the overflow drain more. Uh huh...sure.

    So after 1 week...1 WEEK...the stench is back. Called VM again and this time Johnathon called us. Johnathon said that that's the way it is because the foul smell is natural (not his exact words, but a paraphrase). We asked why we did not smell it with our showers and he said it's because our noses aren't as close to the water stream in a shower like they are with a sink. I'm still scratching my head over that one. :confused:

    At any rate, we're having another plumber come out to have a smell and see what they say. We'll post on that when they come!
     
  17. lilpea

    lilpea Member

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    What's very strange about this - is NONE of our other homes (in Ashburn) had this issue. It seems to be "mostly" isolated to SW & VM.
     
  18. JJB

    JJB New Member

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    You can add me to list also. Highview Trail Place. Master Bedroom only and the stench comes and goes. It has been gone for the past couple of months.
     
  19. phitnessfiend

    phitnessfiend New Member

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    Anyone else's stench disappear for about a week or so, then come back? Strangest thing!
     
  20. Brassy

    Brassy Hiyah

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    we get it on and off. Sometimes worse if you use hair gels and such, then wash it down the drain. We finished our basement with VM and it has a full bath. VM's rep told us when we did the post closing walk through that a build up of sewer gas would happen if we didn't occasionally run the sink faucet and tub faucet down there. So we go around every once and awhile and run the sinks and tubs that haven't been used and that makes it go away for a long time.

    Usually now, my sink only smells when I use products to shine the hair up, so I don't use them anymore.
     

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