Re: Smelly Water
Posted by Quality Water Associates on September 19, 2002 at 15:39:39:
In response to Re: Smelly Water
: I've read various messages on your board, but not sure which applies to us. We have a private well which we share with the landlord in an adjacent house. We also have a water softener system. Our cold water only smells; the hot water smells only if we let the cold water smell go for months; the landlord's water doesn't smell! We can lessen the smell for a couple of weeks by changing the carbon filter on the water heater and adding some bleach when replacing, but lately not even that is helping. We can't afford to dig a new well. Any suggestions or ideas why our water smells so badly and the landlord's doesn't?
: Thanks.

The problem may be in the softener. Sanitize it by pouring a 1/2 cup of non-scented regular (5.25%) or 6% concentrated household bleach into the brine well in the salt tank or just down thru the salt next to the tube going to the bottom of the tank. Caution, do NOT mix Iron Out type resin cleaners and chlorine. Then use about a 1/2 gallon of clean water to rinse the bleach off any metal parts if you used the brine well. Then do a manual regneration of the unit. Or first, put the unit into by-pass and see if the odor goes away. Just makes ure you get the by pass full throw and not left half way between Service and By-Pass. If the odor is not in the raw when in by-pass you know it's the softener. Also, you should not be using carbon on water of unkown microbiological content. In other words, when was your last Coliform bacteria test done?

If the odor is from the softener. That happens when the resin bed becomes fouled with various bacteria, most are not harmful like reducing types. Another possibly is a cross connection between potable and sewer waters. Check that the end of the drain line enables an air gap of at least 1.5" above the highest level the water can obtain so the two don't contact each other in the drain line. If you have no air gap you might want to have that connection changed to provide one along with a trap.

Another possibility is backflow from the landlord's house if there is no (double) backflow prevention (check) valve to prevent it. Especially overnight when your softener regenerates and they haven't used water for some time.

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