The Tank › Earthy/Moldy Initial Smell in Shower Water, Pink Slime in Same BthR Faucet Aerators › Reply To: Earthy/Moldy Initial Smell in Shower Water, Pink Slime in Same BthR Faucet Aerators
Hello: Plumbers use a fun trick when looking for leaks in sewer lines. Basically, it’s pouring some mint smelling stuff down a vent pipe and checking to see if that aroma appears where it shouldn’t, suggesting a crack or break in a drain or vent line. It’s not uncommon for steel pipe to rust through at the water line in the drain system. This is that point that water doesn’t go higher than in the system. That water line is where the most aggressive rusting takes place due to partial wetting and oxygen. If your drain lines are ABS or PVC, this is the wrong answer.
The mint test apparently is only for olde-time plumbers 😕 I did find this http://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Sewer_Gas_Tests.htm at a home inspector’s site.
I wouldn’t expect this odor to come from a water supply line. I can imagine though that the shower unused for a year might have had the trap seal evaporate and let sewer gas in. This might have stunk things up a bit. If you have a fitting like this in your system, you can use the rubber goodie they show to block off the line and then fill the system with water and hopefully find a leak (or not) that way. Things to consider!