Improving water taste

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-12-18, 02:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
Improving water taste

I'm renovating the kitchen in our old ranch house. I started a couple of years ago with the bathroom and noticed the water had a gassy/oily odor and taste to it that I attributed to the really inexpensive faucet that I put in the sink. I've got the kitchen sink plumbed in now with an undersink water heater and the faucet is a more expensive, made in U.S.A. variety but the water is still tasting the same way as it does in the bathroom. I'm using galvanized pipe that I bought at Lowe's so, I'm guessing that's where the odor and taste is coming from. I only used oil on the pipe nipples I threaded myself and cleaned them very well before installation using teflon tape to seal the threads with.

How long does it take to flush the odor and taste out of the pipes? We're on well water so it's not treated in any way and tastes great coming from all the old piping else where in and around the house. Is there anything I can do to "shock" the system to help speed this process up? The bathroom plumbing is now about a year and a half old and still tastes this way.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-12-18, 04:43 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 45,074
Ummmm...... why would you use galvanized pipe ?
The faucet should have nothing to do with the taste of the water.
 
  #3  
Old 09-12-18, 04:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
As opposed to PVC or PIX or is that PEX? Everything else around the ranch and in our house in town, built back in the 60s, has galvanized throughout except in the newer areas.
 
  #4  
Old 09-12-18, 05:09 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,183
Any form of steel plumbing is the last thing I would have used!
All of it will leak at some point and rust from the inside out.
I have not seen anyone plumb a house with galvinized pipe in at least the past 30 years.
Best bet get the water tested to find out what's in it and how it would need to be treated, what little oil you used when threading that pipe would have been flushed out long ago.
Both hot and cold causing the issue?
 
  #5  
Old 09-12-18, 06:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
Well, the pipe we have around the house and ranch have been there for some half century in most instances. The piping under our pier and beam house is only insulated in some areas that are close to the outer wall and we regularly get temps in the teens in winter around here.

Apparently, though, there's something they've started running through it in the factory, or possibly not cleaning out of it in the manufacturing process, that is imparting the flavor and odor because all the OLD pipes don't have this flavor/odor problem. I mean, what else is galvanized used for if not water service? Black pipe is usually gas piping as far as I know plus galvanized preserves the old ranch house's rustic look.
 
  #6  
Old 09-13-18, 12:03 AM
steve_gro's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 981
Galvanized piping gets a bad rap because a lot of us have seen failures. But you can't overlook the fact that the failures occur in galvanized piping that's around 100 years old. And it's harder (more expensive) to work with than copper or pex. I doubt that there's much new galvanized water piping being installed these days. I have used it for gas piping.

You might look for a way to flush the new piping. There are flush kits for tankless water heaters that you may be able to adapt.
 
  #7  
Old 09-13-18, 01:41 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 2,529
I have used it for gas piping.
I have only seen black pipe used for gas plumbing but not sure it makes a diff!

Could not imagine the time it would take to do a significant amount of plumbing this way!
 
  #8  
Old 09-13-18, 02:52 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,402
Do you have a means of tasting the water using a source that has not first drawn it through neither the galvanized piping nor the new faucet . . . . like the bathtub or an outside spigot ?
 
  #9  
Old 09-13-18, 03:49 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5,956
[QUOTE] o you have a means of tasting the water using a source that has not first drawn it through neither the galvanized piping nor the new faucet . . . . like the bathtub or an outside spigot ?

We're on well water so it's not treated in any way and tastes great coming from all the old piping else where in and around the house.

Years ago I called the gas company and asked if galvanized piping is OK for gas service. They told me sure, if I want to spend the money for it. Some people claim that the galvanized coating can flake off and clog gas jets.
 
  #10  
Old 09-13-18, 04:22 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
Oh sure, the time it takes to get the nipples cut and threaded so they fit "just so" can be pretty aggravating. It's a skill I have yet to master but I use galvanized mainly for its durability and, as I said, the rustic look as this is an old house our hunters have come to since the late 70s and is in need of significant upgrade. There never has been any hot water in the kitchen if you can believe it.

Aside from parting the line outside the house and pouring a gallon of bleach into the line I'm not sure how I'd do this but that is one possibility. Wish I knew exactly what it is I'm dealing with, though. Pipe from Lowe's is coming from all over the world now days.

I'll see if I can find a flush kit for the tankless water heaters. Is that what they're actually called or can you point me to one of them?

Thanks to everyone.
 
  #11  
Old 09-13-18, 06:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,617
I wonder if it isn’t actually the well water. As others have said galvanized pipe builds up rust on the inside. Depending on the particular chemical composition of that well water, maybe the well water interacting with the older pipes with rust on the inside would taste different (maybe better?) than that well water running through new pipes. Doesn’t seem like new steel should impart any taste on the well water. But I’m no expert.

But I’ve seen firsthand some real bad rust build-up in older galvanized pipe. My well-to-house galvanized pipe (45 yrs. old) fell apart in my hand when I tried to pick it up after I cut the pipe to remove it. Full of rust inside.

If you could possibly get a sample of the well water before it ran through the pipes maybe you could do a taste test. Don’t know whether that would be possible to get that sample however.

Or it would cost a few bucks (or more) but maybe you could get water analysis: new pipe and old pipe. Just a few thoughts.
 
  #12  
Old 09-13-18, 06:43 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
I can safely say that it's not the well water. Anywhere else you drink the water in and outside of the house where the water does not go through the new galvanized pipe tastes good and sweet. Even the old, rusted- on-the-inside pipe. You can drink the water from the hose at the barn and in the yard, no problem. It's definitely the new piping.
 
  #13  
Old 09-13-18, 10:28 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,617
I never used this but it looks like the kind of stuff you are talking about. I notice that it says:
Removes carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, rust, oxides and other mineral deposits.
It seems to me, by necessity you will also be treating the old pipes at the same time. If there are any spots close to rusted through would the treatment push them over the edge? Maybe not, unless they are in real bad shape. But seems to me itís something to think about.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hercules...FYJGNwodX9ECeQ
 
  #14  
Old 09-13-18, 12:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
That looks like a good possibility. I'd just have to be running the water in the specific locations to draw it to them and leave it sitting for a while. Just have to figure out how to get it in the line first.

Thanks.
 
  #15  
Old 09-13-18, 01:35 PM
steve_gro's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 981
If you look at the HD link, there's a kit at the top of the page that might work. I would hope that it would clean off any oil or other lubricants that may have been used in the mfg process. The Simple Green product mentioned in the other forum is worth considering.

To do a flush you would need to find a union, perhaps near the house valve, or else cut in a union. You could also use a left-right nipple with a left-right coupling -- only available in 4" lengths). LR nipples can be a little tricky.

And the smell/odors may flush out by themselves over time. How long has it been?
 
  #16  
Old 09-13-18, 02:13 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5,956
If it is fact the new piping that is causing the problem then I think the only sure solution is to replace the piping with Pex or copper. Flushing the pipe with above mentions product may help but I suspect the problem will return.
 
  #17  
Old 09-13-18, 02:45 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
That's what I'm afraid of, really. Hardly any water runs through these pipes until hunting season then things will pick up. I'm trying to get the drain line under the sink installed. When that's complete I can start running water through the lines in this area. Need to be careful of what goes through the water heater, though. Not sure what effects that will have with different chemicals.
 
  #18  
Old 09-13-18, 10:14 PM
steve_gro's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 981
If you're still working on a drain, I wonder how much flushing (through normal use) the piping has had. I respectfully disagree with Norm that once gone the smell will come back. I would not have used galvanized water piping, but since it's in, give it some time to clear.

I would get the drain installed, use it for a while, and see what happens. If it still needs to be flushed, there may be easier ways than to cut in unions. It's hard to say w/o seeing the job.
 
  #19  
Old 09-14-18, 03:49 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 24
I did finally get all the components together to make a workable drain yesterday evening so I ran the water for a good while making sure everything was good and tight, not leaking or anything. At first the odor was very evident but as things progressed the odor and flavor improved quite a bit.

The difference between the kitchen and bathroom, as far as my theory goes, is that the bathroom piping has much more pipe involved than what's in the kitchen plus the sink there doesn't really run as much. I've never noticed the tub and shower water smelling this way, though, but I haven't taken a bath there either. The kitchen's piping is only about 25% or less of what the bath's piping amounts to. But even with at least two seasons of hunters using it plus the occasional times when we're there in between the odor is still very strong in the bathroom sink. I'd be willing to bet when I go out tomorrow, I need to make a trip out of town today, there'll be a slight odor to the kitchen water again but much more easily flushed out. Even so I was really worried that this would be a permanent thing as it is in the bathroom and this just can be tolerated in the kitchen.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes