Bleach/chlorine smell in new shower/tub only (not in the rest of the house)

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Joy Greenwald, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Joy Greenwald

    Joy Greenwald New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    We recently remodeled our main bath. (Plumbing was completed about a month and a half ago.) We've never had any issues with our water. We are on municipal water, and the water from from the other shower in the house and all the taps are all fine. But the water in the new shower and bath has a mild chlorine smell. It's not bad at first, but if you full the tub, it starts to smell like you are in a public hot tub. And I find my eyes red and irritated after every shower. I find myself wanting to shower in my tiny and lousy unrenoed shower stall instead of my beautiful new bathroom, and I'm not taking advantage of my Brain Ultra tub. This is not good! I thought maybe it would pass with time and use, but it's not getting any better. What could be the cause? It's true with either the tub or shower, so it can't be the shower nozzle. Thanks! P.S. I'm following up with the GC, but I'll go to the plumber directly. I was just hoping for some ideas to go in with, since I'm sure he's going to say I'm nuts based on past interactions.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I am presuming that you are on city water, since you did not say. You can filter out the chlorine and some other stuff as a bonus with a backwashing filter with the media made of activated carbon (made from coconut shells is best). The filter will probably cost over $500 and less than $1000. The granular media should be replaced every 3 to 5 years from what I have read.

    Some people sell activated carbon filters that use a replacable cartridge, and sometimes just for the shower. I expect those cartridges don't last long. So if you went that route, you would want a big cartridge. But the inconvenience and expense of the cartridges is significant.

    I would get some low range chlorine test strips. A pool store is one place. Chlorine levels from the city should be 0.5 ppm at least, and I hope under 2 ppm. I am thinking 4 ppm is the max, but seldom does that happen at the house. The higher the level, the more significant a filter effect would be.
     
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  4. Joy Greenwald

    Joy Greenwald New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Yes, as I said, we are on minicipal water. It's fantastic. The water that comes in has alwayss and smelled great and continues to do so in the rest of the house. Why would I suddenly need to filter after 10 years of no problems? I don't have this issue in my other shower or in any of my other taps, just in the newly installed shower/tub. Even the sink in that bathroom is fine.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I was presuming that the shower misted the water into the air for long a distance than for the sinks, so that there was a lot of water surface in the little drops to put chlorine in the air. Does the new shower make a finer mist? Maybe there is some other possibility that I have not thought of.

    Why not before? Maybe you became more sensitive, but that is the opposite of what normally happens with age. Maybe the city is putting more chlorine into the water than they used to for some reason. This could be a temporary increase to deal with a temporary situation in the system.
     
  6. Joy Greenwald

    Joy Greenwald New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    That would make sense of we only had one shower. But since it's just on the one shower and not the other, I don't see how. They both use the same high power, massaging shower head, nothing misty. (Hate mist.). True the other one is a steal, so I can't test filling the tub, but I can take a shower in there with irritation. It has to be something the plumber did. But what?!?!

    Thanks so much for buying your head against this!!
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I would get the low range test strips capable of reading 1 ppm. LAMOTTE 2964-G looks good. I am sure there are others. Test the water. If there is more chlorine in the water of the problem shower, I would be amazed. The strips would also tell you if the chlorine from the city was elevated. When using strips, you can often tear strips in half to get more tests.

    Another thing that comes to mind is that the smell could be sewer gas. I would not think you would mistake the two. If you don't use that shower for a day, has the smell gone away? With chlorine it would have.

    Or could it be that the shower enclosure seals tighter on the problem shower.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  8. ben in il

    ben in il New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Location:
    Illinois
    It wouldn't possibly be from the Bain with a little off-gassing fiberglass resin? (as a Bain owner, it's a great tub, but sometimes there is a bit of 'curing' chemical smell for a bit)
     
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    If only one shower in the house does it, it's almost certainly something in that shower. I'd try this...take a bucket, fill it from that shower, but don't let any of the water touch the tub. See if when you take the bucket outside the room if you can smell anything from the bucket. Verify whether you can still smell it in the bathroom. If the bucket is 'clean', and you can still smell it in the shower...I'd side with it being the tub OR possibly something else in the bathroom, and not the water.

    What's on the walls of the new shower? How were the walls built? What kind of pipe did you use (CPVC)? Is the shower arm metal or a plated plastic? If you just run the water into the tub and not out the showerhead, do you still get the smell?
     
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