Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

water smells like dead mouse

ismellarat
ismellarat Member Posts: 5
Could a mouse have gotten into my hot water heater when the pilot was out for a week during an ice storm? Ever since the pilot was relit, the hot water coming out of the faucet smells like a dead mouse.

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,819
    Doubtful.
    Just because you lost power should have no effect on a standing pilot water heater. Did you have the gas turned off? What do you have for a water heater?
    Now if the water sat in there for a week and was not used you may have had some stagnation issues but prob not enough to get the water to smell.
    Tell us more about your set up...
    Well water or City? What area of the country?
    Type of heater? tank, tankless, of the boiler or stand alone. (a picture would help)

  • ismellarat
    ismellarat Member Posts: 5
    Out in the country/well water/propane heat & hot water tank/electric thermostat to run the propane heat.
  • ismellarat
    ismellarat Member Posts: 5
    (outdoor propane tank)
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,284
    Hello: Did you ever lose water pressure? If not, that mouse would have had a hard time getting in! If the system remained closed and under pressure, now I'd try adding some drug store hydrogen peroxide to your tank at two pints per 40 gallons and see if that helps de-mousify things. :p

    Yours, Larry
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,555
    It's very unlikely, but not impossible that a mouse could be in a faucet spout if it has no aerator or screen. If he ate rat poison, he'll seek water.

    Does the odor come from all your faucets or just one? If just one, then that's the source of the odor.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,059
    Do I presume you are on a well? Is it possible that the cover on the well is missing or loose and something got in there? A test for that would be to take cold water and warm it to the temperature from the hot water, and see if you get the same smell.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,023
    Could it be a small LP leak, it has a strong, unusual odor.

    Sometimes when the LP tanks get low you get a smell from atmospheric burners also.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ismellarat
    ismellarat Member Posts: 5
    Well is sealed tight. Smell is coming through now hot and cold. Propane tank is not low. I think we've now ruled out mouse in hot water heater option. This is grosse.
  • ismellarat
    ismellarat Member Posts: 5
    (odor coming out of all faucets)
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Is it a sulfur smell (rotten eggs)? Still could be naturally occurring chemicals leaching into the well water.
  • hvacfreak2
    hvacfreak2 Member Posts: 500
    From someone that has lived with well water all of my life I can say that there have been times where I bleached the well. Let Google guide you on that one and use caution if you decide to do that.
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

  • aslammalik
    aslammalik Member Posts: 1
    sir with due respect.
    at my water bore there is smell of dead mouse or any other reptile ,plz advise me the solution bore dept is 150 feet
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Could it be a sulfur smell? A 150 feet is a deep well. Is there or has there ever been a landfill anywhere in the area? Could it be methane leaching into the well water? Sometimes it takes years for chemicals/gases to leach out far enough to affect a well. Have you had an unusual amount of rain this year?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,943
    Around here well heads are not only well above grade but the casing pipe has to have an air vent. This might be 2 90 elbows with a screen on the open inlet. The screen is to keep out critters.
    A mouse or a snake could fit thru a 3/4" double 90 ell if the screen was missing.

    IIWM I would call the local well driller/service company. They deal with problems like this. Perhaps others have the same problem.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    If you hold a match next to the stream of water, anything happen?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,059
    There are several different algae that can cause a dead mouse like smell to the water. They are not common in well water. but not unheard of -- particularly if there is a storage tank somewhere on the line which does not get much circulation. Chlorination will get rid of the problem, if that is what it is.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,023
    I would get a sample of the water to a reputable lab for testing. In some cases the state or county may analyze the water if a problem has been reported in an area. There are all sorts of EPA superfund sites out there that folks are unaware of.

    Adding chemicals or treatments without knowing exactly what you are treating can be expensive, counterproductive, and may even mask a more serious problem. Most any undesirable condition with water can be fixed once you identify the problem and cause.

    A simple carbon block filter removes most odors for example, but the cause of the odor could be more serious, petrochemicals for instance. A spill or illegal discharge hundreds of miles away can contaminate an entire aquifer.

    If this is drinking or bathing water get it analyzed ASAP.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ZmanJUGHNE
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,981
    edited September 2017
    hot rod said:

    I would get a sample of the water to a reputable lab for testing. In some cases the state or county may analyze the water if a problem has been reported in an area. There are all sorts of EPA superfund sites out there that folks are unaware of.

    Adding chemicals or treatments without knowing exactly what you are treating can be expensive, counterproductive, and may even mask a more serious problem. Most any undesirable condition with water can be fixed once you identify the problem and cause.

    A simple carbon block filter removes most odors for example, but the cause of the odor could be more serious, petrochemicals for instance. A spill or illegal discharge hundreds of miles away can contaminate an entire aquifer.

    If this is drinking or bathing water get it analyzed ASAP.

    Absolutely right! Also keep in mind that some issues, especially naturally occurring sulfur needs to be tested immediately or the concentrations will dissipate.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,943
    edited September 2017
    Just to be sure do you have the smell at every single water faucet in the house??

    Here is a long shot but certainly a possibility:
    You most likely have a submergible water pump hanging perhaps 120' into your casing. When you lose power you lose water pressure. Most of that 120' of vertical water column wants to drain back into the well. The pump has a check valve on it to prevent that from happening. The check valve may become weak and allow a syphon action on your water piping. During normal operation the pressure would drop somewhat and your pump would come on to maintain pressure. Sometime the check valve fails almost completely and if you have no way to hear the pump short cycle it may not be noticed.
    All this is leading up to a cross connection or a hose or such stuck into some type of dirty water.
    The suction of the falling water column would suck that contaminated water into your piping, perhaps into the well itself.
    This happens more often than people realize sometimes with very bad outcomes. I assume you are not using this water for drinking, cooking or to even brush your teeth.

    Anytime water systems lose pressure there is a risk of some contamination.
    City municipal water system are supposed to be temporarily chlorinated after such an event.