Mildewy water from faucets for a few seconds?
March 20, 2013 5:01 PM   Subscribe

The water from all the faucets in my apartment (bathroom and kitchen) smells and tastes mildewy for about a few seconds after they're turned on. It's then fine unless the faucets are left off for more than an hour or two and then they must be run for a few seconds again. Any fixes? This has been going on for several months now.
posted by shivohum to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Does it smell kind of like weed? An ex's fancy pants high rise and my office at work suffered from the same thing.

I have no idea what it is, but in both instances the buildings did a chemical flush of all the water lines in the building (required cutting the water for several hours) and it fixed the problem.

Talk to your landlord.
posted by phunniemee at 5:08 PM on March 20, 2013

If you were on a private well I would suggest shock chlorination, but, given that you are in an apartment, that's not going to work for you. I would suspect that it is a problem in your water system, bacteria of some sort. As mentioned, the system probably needs to be flushed and chlorinated.. talk to the owner/landlord.

(If it's just hot water that smells, it could be a water heater issue, easier to isolate and treat).
posted by HuronBob at 5:10 PM on March 20, 2013

Do you have an aerator on your tap or one of those small screen thingys that make the water flow mor evenly? If so it might need a clean and a soak in bleach.
posted by wwax at 5:30 PM on March 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

Do you know how old the fixtures in your apartment are and from what era they date?

I have that issue with some of the fixtures in my condo, which used to be my grandparents. Basically, everything is getting old and things are failing, leading to leaky fixtures and bad seals, and so small amounts of water accumulating in faucets or valves they're shut off, probably stuff growing on o-rings, etc.....
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:27 PM on March 20, 2013

I had this problem once and, similar to what wwax suggested, I just went out and bought a new aerator and the mildewy smell went away. However, that was just one sink, not multiple--I'm not sure if that indicates a more complex issue.
posted by tyrantkitty at 9:45 AM on March 21, 2013

If your apartment building is one of those with a wooden cistern on the roof, see if you can get up there and give it a sniff. They all go bad eventually.
posted by jamjam at 8:53 PM on March 22, 2013

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