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Old 01-18-2013, 03:44 PM   #31
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Musty water from water softener


Yes you remove that cap. Add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid measure of non scented regular household bleach in a gallon of water and pour it down that tube.

No the water in the salt tank doesn't have to be over the salt.

I don't understand what you mean about the valves, or what valves but... if they are kinda squarish black plastic and there is one on the inlet and one on the outlet and they are pointing sideways/across the water flow direction, that is the by pass position. They both should be inline with the water flow direction and 'pointed' toward/away form the control valve for Service. Meaning water goes through the softener.

When you say ownership didn't transfer, I hope you mean the seller didn't change their name t yours instead of that the seller didn't own the softener.... and now you're being charged rent. If they are charging you rent, talk with the previous owner and make sure they actually owned it or were paying to rent it.

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Old 01-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #32
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Musty water from water softener


sorry, using wrong terms - I said valve for "inlet" - I will try the bleach.

I am still trying to understand what you are explaining. I think my water softener is online - working now. the inlet is in the same direction as the water pipes coming into it. Does that mean they are turned on and the water softener should be online and functioning? I apologize if I am not using terms properly. I am a newbie and still learning

and I said "ownership" when I meant "warranty" - to clarify the company said the warranty doesn't transfer from owner to owner - so when we bought the house even though the water softener came to us with the house the warranty did not transfer to us so we have to pay for any service every time they come out to look at the water softener. Which is neither here nor there.

Either way I want to be familiar with my equipment and more knowledgeable about my house and able to fix small things.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:45 AM   #33
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Musty water from water softener


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Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
If the odor is in the hot water only, it's the water heater allowing IRB or SRB (iron or sulfate reducing bacteria - they are harmless) to thrive in the water heater. They use material off certain types of anode rods to create H2S gas.

Raising the temp on the heater to 140f for an hour kills all bacteria in the heater. Just don't let anyone use the water and get burned. You could shut the outlet valve on the heater if there is one.

If the odor is in both hot and cold water, do the bleach in the salt tank water thing and then do a manual regeneration by pushing that button etc..
I turned the hot water heater up to 140 for an hour and then ran the faucets and the smell was still there but only when running the hot water, not cold. I certainly didn't run it enough to drain the hot water tank. Since I was leaving the house for the evening, I then turned up the hot water heater (new) - old replaced due to many issues - to 150, the upper limit - and left it that way for the evening - even this morning the smell - only in hot water seems to be worse.

What would you suggest my next step be?

As I said this was an issue when we first moved it and we drained the tank of the old hot water heater. Then with two of us (my husband and me in the house we were using a lot more water) so it went away for a couple years until he left and resurfaced about 4 months after his absence. Now I use very little water with him deployed.

Should I run the bleach through the water softener or will that do anything?

Thanks for any suggestions anyone can offer.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:12 PM   #34
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Musty water from water softener


Is the smell as strong in the bath tub as it is at any sink?

The cup of bleach could go into a tube that is within the salt tank, that tube is about 3 or 4" across and often has a cap on the top. Some of them have a 3/8 tube coming out of the top , others have that line out the side.

It could also be that the softener will need to go more often because of your low usage, nothing wrong with your low usage , it is your usage.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #35
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Musty water from water softener


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right now I think the tank is "online" both valves (?) not sure what you call them are horizontal (not perpendicular) to tank.
From your description it sounds to me as if the bypass valves are set up for water to bypass the softener. (NOT "online")

If you look carefully at the top if the bypass valves there should be an arrow showing the direction of flow of the water through the valve. On the inlet valve the arrow should be pointing toward the softener and on the outlet the arrow should be pointing away from the softener.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:37 PM   #36
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Musty water from water softener


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Is the smell as strong in the bath tub as it is at any sink?

The cup of bleach could go into a tube that is within the salt tank, that tube is about 3 or 4" across and often has a cap on the top. Some of them have a 3/8 tube coming out of the top , others have that line out the side.

It could also be that the softener will need to go more often because of your low usage, nothing wrong with your low usage , it is your usage.
The smell are equally strong in the kitchen tap and next closest bathroom (stronger in bath tub tap than sink tap). I can barely notice the smell in the master bath which is at the far end of the house (I do not use that shower at all and only use the sink to wash hands and brush teeth at night using cold water.

The sink and bathroom I use that smell the worst are the ones nearest the hot water heater and softener which are in the garage)


I did put diluted bleach into the tube within the salt tank the bleach and hit the regenerate on the system but still trying to figure out if my system is online. The level of the salt within the tank did lower.

I apologize that I am having so much trouble understanding the concept of whether or not the system is offline or online. I do not see any markings on my water softener. I wish I could post pictures. I would think if I used the metal tool to change the inline valve so that it looked like this "+" that would mean it was offline and shut off - is that correct? and if it looked like this "l" - ie. in the same direction as the pipes coming into and out of the system that it was online and the water was going through the softener. It that correct or do I have it backwards
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:51 PM   #37
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Musty water from water softener


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From your description it sounds to me as if the bypass valves are set up for water to bypass the softener. (NOT "online")

If you look carefully at the top if the bypass valves there should be an arrow showing the direction of flow of the water through the valve. On the inlet valve the arrow should be pointing toward the softener and on the outlet the arrow should be pointing away from the softener.
I went back out with a flashlight and it looks like the piping was covered with black insulation - I took it off and now see arrows and the words bypass. It was actually online - I just was doing a horrible job of describing. I turned it clockwise with the metal key so the little bypass valve looks like a "+" which I am assuming means it is offline. I have been running the hot water through the kitchen tap which is the closest to the hot water heater and water softener for at least five minutes and still smell the rotten egg smell.

I did do the diluted bleach and regeneration when it was online (if I had it correctly online and it did not make a difference)

so I am not sure where to go from here.

Not sure if it means it is the hot water heater or the water softener. If I have the water softener offline (which I am not entirely sure I do) and it is only the hot water that smells that way, is it the hot water heater (anode?) I have a brand new hot water heater?

Is it worth having the water softener technician come out - charge is $215 just for a check up. My problem is that he could tell me I need a new system and I wouldn't know the difference.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:29 PM   #38
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Musty water from water softener


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Originally Posted by rmsully View Post
The smell are equally strong in the kitchen tap and next closest bathroom (stronger in bath tub tap than sink tap). I can barely notice the smell in the master bath which is at the far end of the house (I do not use that shower at all and only use the sink to wash hands and brush teeth at night using cold water.

The sink and bathroom I use that smell the worst are the ones nearest the hot water heater and softener which are in the garage)


I did put diluted bleach into the tube within the salt tank the bleach and hit the regenerate on the system but still trying to figure out if my system is online. The level of the salt within the tank did lower.

I apologize that I am having so much trouble understanding the concept of whether or not the system is offline or online. I do not see any markings on my water softener. I wish I could post pictures. I would think if I used the metal tool to change the inline valve so that it looked like this "+" that would mean it was offline and shut off - is that correct? and if it looked like this "l" - ie. in the same direction as the pipes coming into and out of the system that it was online and the water was going through the softener. It that correct or do I have it backwards
It does sound like the softener is on line if the salt level is moving down, there is only one way that the salt is going to move down and that is by some of it getting removed from the tank and that happens when the softener uses some in a cleaning cycle.

After the softener used the salt and the bleach was there any change in the cold water smell?
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:35 PM   #39
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Musty water from water softener


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It does sound like the softener is on line if the salt level is moving down, there is only one way that the salt is going to move down and that is by some of it getting removed from the tank and that happens when the softener uses some in a cleaning cycle.

After the softener used the salt and the bleach was there any change in the cold water smell?
I did think that I smelled a faint smell of bleach in the water - hard to tell - I did dilute it quite a bit - one poster said to dilute it with one quart and one said one gallon so I did one gallon and I was running all taps at once. From the hot only the rotten egg smell so don't think I would have smelled any bleach.

And definitely still the rotten egg smell either way both offline and online whichever it was - I tend to agree with you that what I think is online is correct and what I think is offline is correct. Either way I still smell the smell with the hot tap and really only the hot tap running.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:38 PM   #40
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Musty water from water softener


Interestingly enough my water softener is running some type of cycle right now and I have no idea why. I am wondering if my handy men reset it somehow. I think the clock is reading incorrectly. It usually runs around midnight when it regenerates.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:34 PM   #41
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Musty water from water softener


It is possible that with power outages that the clock can be off , and depending on the type of control as to did it reset to 12:01 am or just stop the clock and then start up again when the power comes back on.

You keep talking about the smell in the hot, but what about the cold water side? is there a smell in JUST the cold water side?

Is there a pre filter before the softener?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #42
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Musty water from water softener


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It is possible that with power outages that the clock can be off , and depending on the type of control as to did it reset to 12:01 am or just stop the clock and then start up again when the power comes back on.

You keep talking about the smell in the hot, but what about the cold water side? is there a smell in JUST the cold water side?

Is there a pre filter before the softener?
I have not noticed any smell in the cold water side.

The water softener never stopped what I thought was the automatic regeneration cycle even after a couple of hours and it sounded kind of odd, maybe like a grinding sound (so I finally turned it offline because I wasn't sure what to do). I have since turned it back on after a couple of hours being offline and am not sure how to proceed.

Not sure about how to tell if there is a prefilter
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:53 PM   #43
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Musty water from water softener


If the smell is in the hot water but not the cold then the most likely reason is the rod that is in the water heater, it called the "Anode Rod".

A pre filter is most likely between the pressure tank if on a well and the softener or on city water it is between where the water comes in and the water softener.

Some times part of the filter outer is clear and some times they are blue or white or even tan if they are old enough.

Some of the filter refills are about 2"x9" and then there are others that are 4"x9"

But with you saying that the hot smells and the cold does not , my money is the rod in the water heater needing to either getting replaced or just removed and capped and I have been told that just removing it and capping the hole is wrong and then I have seen water heaters many years old often getting the same life with or with out the rod.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:12 PM   #44
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If the smell is in the hot water but not the cold then the most likely reason is the rod that is in the water heater, it called the "Anode Rod".

A pre filter is most likely between the pressure tank if on a well and the softener or on city water it is between where the water comes in and the water softener.

Some times part of the filter outer is clear and some times they are blue or white or even tan if they are old enough.

Some of the filter refills are about 2"x9" and then there are others that are 4"x9"

But with you saying that the hot smells and the cold does not , my money is the rod in the water heater needing to either getting replaced or just removed and capped and I have been told that just removing it and capping the hole is wrong and then I have seen water heaters many years old often getting the same life with or with out the rod.
I actually have a new hot water heater as of about four days ago - it needed to be replaced for many reasons. I was expecting the smell to go away with the new hot water heater. It did not. That is why I am mystified.

I will look for the water filter in the morning. It is past midnight here and going to go to bed tonight and start again with this in the morning.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:45 PM   #45
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Musty water from water softener


Was the smell in the hot water before the changing of the water heater?

If the smell was in the water and the water heater was changed to a new one and the smell is still in the hot, then I would say that the hot lines with in the house have a bacteria that has set up house and will need to be flushed out to get the smell out.

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