I recently had a plumbing company install a tankless hot water heater in my crawlspace. Everything with the install works and looks great, but we are experiencing a very strong chemical smell (like nail-polish remover or a strong sharpie marker) that comes out of our faucets when we call for hot water. It usually lasts for about 10 seconds then goes away. I notice it whenever we haven't used the hot water for awhile. For example: the smell is very strong first thing in the morning when turning on the shower.

The plumbers used PEX pipes to install a hot water recirculation pipe that is soldered to the original copper pipes. Other PEX pipes were soldered where they needed to connect to some other areas of the copper pipes including a new Pressure Reducing Valve.

Does anyone have any insight or advice on what could be causing this issue?

Thanks, Mike

  • 1
    I suppose this could be from the flux used in soldering. – Jim Stewart Apr 12 '18 at 19:49
  • That is what I originally thought too. it's been a week now, and any water soluble flux should have been washed away and gone by now, right? – Mike Apr 12 '18 at 19:51
  • One would think so. – Jim Stewart Apr 12 '18 at 21:51
  • PEX soldered to copper? Don't you mean crimped to copper that was soldered to other solder? PEX doesn't leech, so I doubt it's the pex, did they use PVC on the supply side somewhere? – virtualxtc Apr 12 '18 at 23:01
  • It sounds like the smell you're describing is acetone (often in nail polish remover and sharpies as a solvent). I have no idea why that would be present though. – Hari Ganti Apr 12 '18 at 23:30

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