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Discuss Smelly hot water . Why? in the Plumbing Forum area at

  1. Chris Pickering

    Chris Pickering New Member

    Just recently when I run the hot water it has started to smell why is this and how do I go about sorting it.
    We have an old baxi boiler with a water tank in the airing cupboard.
  2. Riley

    Riley S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    What did it smell of? Has the property been vacant for some time? Has anything changed? Have you had any work done?
  3. Darren Jackson

    Darren Jackson Plumber GSR

    Check for dead birds or vermin in the header tank. Clean your header tank & flush out the pipework,make sure it has a tight fitting lid, good insulation around it to keep it cool in warmer months to help stop bacterial growth and also to stop it freezing up in the colder months. and make sure it has a filter on the overflow outlet with a dip tube to stop insects from getting into the tank via the overflow pipe. Also keep the stored water at 60*C and make sure the cylinder insulation jacket is properly fitted.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Stigster

    Stigster Plumber

    Very good advice from Darren here. Just for OP's information, if your tank doesn't have the components as suggested by Darren, you need to buy a "Byelaw 30 Kit" which contains all these things.
  5. Svenedin

    Svenedin Member

    Definitely check what temperature the hot water is set to. Should be 60 C. It seems to be popular to reduce the hot water temperature for eco/economy reasons but if you store water in a cylinder it can provide a lovely warm environment for bacteria to grow. Some of those bacteria are just a nuisance (sludgy biofilms to block pipes) but some can be highly dangerous to health especially when sprayed through a shower head to make a nice aerosol to breathe in. 60 C is too hot for the germs. If you have elderly/infirm in the house and are worried they might scald themselves with 60 C water you can install mixers with anti-scald functions (e.g modern shower mixers, thermostatic bath fillers).
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. EvilDrPorkChop

    EvilDrPorkChop GSR

    Could be a pin prick in the coil and HW mixing with CH water. Had that before.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. gary goon

    gary goon New Member

    I would check tank in loft had a customer last year all their water smelt apart from mains.when I went in loft there was a dead squirrel float in tank.nice they'd been washing and brushing teeth in that water
    • Like Like x 1
  8. CBW1982

    CBW1982 GSR Top Contributor!!

  9. Chris Pickering

    Chris Pickering New Member

    Just a quick and final update.
    I went in loft to check and the lid on the tank had somehow slipped and there was a dead bird in there. How a bird had got in my loft I have no idea but at least I've got to to bottom of the smell.
    Thanks guys.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. CBW1982

    CBW1982 GSR Top Contributor!!

    You might want to clean the tank out and replenish the water. ;)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. richard978

    richard978 Active Member

    Horrible, might be worth sterilising the entire system. Never done it myself but I believe there are people who specialise in it
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Svenedin

    Svenedin Member

    Had this happen with a pigeon when I was a kid. I never needed to be told again that we only drink water from the kitchen tap directly from the mains.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. Mrb

    Mrb New Member

    I’ve found much worse in a yet to be installed tank.
    Thank you Mr Roofer.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. Svenedin

    Svenedin Member

    Number 2?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. offgridman

    offgridman New Member

    Recently attended a newly renovated and replumbed property on private water supply (spring, not borehole). Low pressure to house, so 2x storage tanks in loft.
    So-called plumber hadn't bothered with lids, hence a nice soup of dead flies and bats feeding both cold and DHW outlets. And the only filter and UV was on just the kitchen tap. So folks had been merrily brushing their teeth with this.
    His star turn was to fit a whole house booster pump, but kindly left it to be plastered in within the space between the bathroom and bedroom next door with no visible electrical isolation or access without hacking a hole in a newly plastered wall.
    Perversly, there was a bylaw 30 kit filter on the tank overflows.
    What a star.
    • Like Like x 1
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