The heat is often enough to melt away wire insulation, and soon your unit could produce electrical shorts and sparks that emit the smell. Unfortunately, because this sort of investigation can run quite an expense (I have been site supervisor on commercial/industrial/military sites where even the initial source and gross class identiification ran million of $), it is normally done incrementally - a couple hour initial classification/detection run, then depending on results of that perhaps more detailed sampling with wipes, then if appropriate detailed GC/MS testing of samples in a lab, then site assessment of the extent of copntamination once the nature of it has been determined (so on-site rapid detection chemicals can be used to map out the extent), then a remediation plan done, then the remediation, then the confirmation testing to prove it has been cleaned up, then possibly some additional cleanup for areas not adequately cleaned. Whether it’s a smelly dishwasher, mysterious shower drain smells, pets, kids, or even unwanted moisture, there are many side-effects of every day life that can fill your home with a less-than-pleasant scent. Feel free to show this blog to the attorney for his use - not professional nor legal assessment or advice on my part but might have a thought or two of possible use to him/her, since I have been through this sort of assessment numerous times before. 22) oh - also if there was new flooring (including floor paint or epoxy) put in, smell that - it commonly outgasses a fair amount and is a very common source of this sort of complaint. I see now. I was desperate and replaced the filters with paper ones. Our washing machine is 6 months old and we have never added bleach to it. Interesting. The 3rd floor guest room is the only room in my house I can be in. Some laser printers emit ozone. 7) condensate line - can't see that as a cause, but will need cleaning or replacement from time to time so I would either find out where it leads to or have it replaced/rerouted to a new known drain location - if not now, maybe at next coil cleaning. My husband is not a mold technician. Another alternative he may recommend before a complete environmental assessment of the house is hiring an environmental cleanup firm that specializes in cleaning up after illegal drug labs to do an on-site walk-through just to test for the most common drugs (meth, crack, heroin, cocaine and such) and to assess whether it looks/smells to them like a drug lab situation. Our laundry is on the second floor and I have twice smelled it in the laundry area too. From what pets you have to what laundry detergent you use, every house and family has a signature smell. Here's a crazy thought: have you, by any chance, bought a new laser printer recently? If you smell electrical burning, cut the power to your unit and call a technician for help.”, “ 9) if possibly ozone, rather than chlorine (the biting sharp smell some electric motors and transformers and brush-type motors put out), then check around any electric motors you have - furnace blower, water or sump pumps, "instant on" hot water recirculation pump, A/C, furnace blower, reefer, doorbell or furnace/boiler transformer, etc. Walls also washed several times, several different ways. It's been 7 weeks and the chlorine smell is still there. Since you say can be smelled from outdoors before coming into house, couple of other possibilities: 16) ask neighbors if they have the smell and if so have they had any luck in tracking it down, 17) check around your property line when air is almost calm (evening usually better as many odors tend to hang low when cooler) for possible source one a neighbor's property - pool/spa/hot tub chlorination or ozone treatment unit most likely source, 18) ditto to above, for possible hot insulation or ozone from neighbor's A/C or such. You could contact your realtor and see if he/she will contact the owner's realtor, may possibly require some sort of hold-harmless agreement to get them to fess up, to get them to disclose anything done that could be causing this - cleaning, new foam insulation, sewer drain or line treatment, etc. I happened to have an extra container of "Biocide's Room Shocker". Don't forget basement or garage drain too - flushing with a couple gallons of hot water should clear it out readily. A friend's parent tried the car shocker from nasty mold growing in car from getting rained in ooops those back windows. Not even allergies can take away the pleasure of grammar. The Cause of the “Chlorine Smell” Experts at the Water Quality and Health Council, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®) tell us that properly chlorinated swimming pools do not have a strong chemical smell. 2) ozone - is the major irritant in smog, so causes coughing and respiratory irritation and burning, and burning of eyes and nasal membranes in higher concentrations. Here’s a few things a google search came up with: If you’ve ever stood out in a thunderstorm, you’ve likely smelled the sharp smell of ozone, a scent reminiscent of chlorine. It was not draining much condensation . It certainly had helped reduce my pain, but of course does nothing to take care of the root of the problem. Chemistry Topics & Videos. All have said they believe the smell is chorine /bleach based. Chlorine in drinking water can cause water to smell or taste like chlorine and can cause drying of your skin as well as unmanageable hair. Common causes of this sort of smell - though most would not last months: 0) spillage under kitchen or maybe bathroom cabinet or in laundry area, possible getting in under the bottom board in the cabients - commonly those are loose or lightly nailed down so easy to remove and check underneath. How Much Does Indoor Air Quality Testing Cost? What could this smell be from? It's also common for moisture to collect in the basement or stone foundation as it is the lowest point in your home and also the coolest. If you’re exposed to unhealthy levels of ozone from your air cleaner, you’ll notice a … Swimming pools. This is an archived question from the Answers forum. Besides, the strong chemical smell fills our home which is not quite pleasant. Anyway it's probably chlorite. I usually have a very strong reaction to bleach products which is why we don't use them in our house. So frustrating! Towels would smell of it after a shower and you could definitely smell it in the bathroom when the towels were hanging to dry. Though talking to your neighbors - WHICH I THINK SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST STEP NOW IF NOT ALREADY DONE - should tell you if there is a neighborhood source of that odor which could be doing this. How to get rid of bleach odor? I remember one new house where at final inspection the buyers noticed new jagged staggered cracks across the drive that were not there at initial viewing/inspection. Also ---- it is possible/plausible that the chemical smell would have contaminated our air ducts and continues to contaminate the house? Like ajax or comet powder. I don't know what to do. What can be causing this smell bleach / chlorine smell? It is also possible, if prior drug lab use is a viable likelihood, that the attorney will recommend asking the police if they will do a meth test on surfaces in your house - but that brings in the possibility of case 6 b) below with police condemnation of the house, at least till it is investigated and has been cleaned up to whatever local or state standards your area might have. It sucks. Water is just going to seep in from the ground up. As your furnace ages, worn bearings may cause the blower motor to seize up or bind. Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you. Perhaps bleach had been sprayed in the attic before and the Sporicidin reacted when it was sprayed down. Gee thanks ancient not so wise one! Is it possible that somehow he is the source (accidentally, of course)? 14) and as I said before, talk to neighbors about whether they have had their hot tub or pool treated or disinfected (though for it to persist 3 months would have to be a persistent dosing), septic leach field pipes cleaned/disinfected 3 months ago, or if they have noticed the smell also with wind blowing from any direction but your house, so might be a nearby laundry or institutional laundry room or hospital or chemical compnay plant venting or such. If possibly so, you might invite a couple who seem safe (i.e. Obviously, with slight drift air across property, if stronger at property line that at house or same then almost certainly coming from outside your property. We've had them professionallly cleaned but could the smell be ducts themselves. The Angie’s List Answers forum ran from 2010 to 2020 and provided a trusted space for homeowners to ask home improvement questions and receive answers directly from Pros and other users. It's used to sterilize instruments in dentists office etc ---- we've spoken to several people at the company and feel pretty comfortable this is not the smell we are experiencing. Should be injected downflow of the furnace/air handler fan, and be exhausted at the end of the return duct - the furnace/air handler itself should be pulling fresh air from outside only through temporary fresh air duct feed so the ozone does not pass through it. This shows the advantage of multiple responsders to questions. Way to go! Room smelled afterwards. Have you had an upper respiratory infection this winter or other allergies? Your furnace may then draw additional electricity to push through the resistance, and that additionally voltage may result in excessive heat buildup in the motor. This assessment, which I expect will total in the thousand or two range assuming no gross contamination, will likely (at least way I would do it) involve possible on-site wipe samples tested onsite with a "shake and bake" chemical family identification kit to determine what class of strong contaminants are present on surfaces in the attic (done with wipes which are then put in test tube with different chemicals to identify class of contaminant) and maybe in ducts and on walls as well, and possibly by using a "Drager Air Pump" or similar sampling tester which pulls air into a handheld test machine to react with specific identifier tubes of chemical to determine the class of the contaminant - this is wha tis generally used by fire departments and major chemical spill first responders to determine what contaminants are coming out of fires or transportation spills. bright red lustrous specs, especially days after cleaning the area with amine based cleaner (and turns golden with acids). To our knowledge (and from what the homeowner is telling us this is the ONLY thing that was done to the house while under contract). Thanks for your recommendations Tai. 10) failing photocell or starter circuit on outdoor lights getting hot and causing burnt plastic smell - woudl smell outside plus possibly coming in through wall to inside. I would also suspect city water; perhaps they have upped the ratio of chlorine. My only thought was a Freon leak or something else wrong with my central a/c unit, but having never smelled Freon, I'm not sure. 3) If doing the investigation, i would also be looking at title data for historic ownership and uses of the land and adjacent areas - against the chance this is a leak from either a previous industrial site, a FUD (formerly used defense site), or could be getting contamination from adjacent plant or facility. Glad you are too. An electrostatic filter does produce ozone - which is an acrid smell, and especially for people who have not been around high voltage equipment or opne-housing larger electric motors might be identified as a bleach or chlorine smell. 25) and don't forget, especially if strong outdoors, to check out plantings for odiferous plants - some people plant odiferous plants because they repel insects, plus some trees and shrubs are quite strong during seeding and blossoming time, if this is a new area for you or there are possibly exotic/rarer plants in the garden or flower beds. Ditto on any other combustion device - ozone can corrode it in quantity and especially in hot areas, so they should be shut off (but left open to be decontaminated) during the treatment. It was on an exterior wall creating a vapor barrier. Below, we will give the ultimate guide about how to neutralize bleach on the skin and destroy its smell. Answered by Member Services: Hello, This is Robin in Member Care. No visible mold but slimy smelly. Homeowner Horror Story: A Close Call with Carbon Monoxide, Video: Test for Meth Before Buying a House, Indiana Meth Law Creates New Tool to Avoid Drug, Contact Us | California Privacy. That is one source of another opinion at to the source of the smell - an Animal Removal specialist. I've read some pretty scary scenarios on the web and it does create a very strong chemical smell which is absorbed into clothing, furniture, etc. Os is also oxidized by humid air in a strong and weak basic environment While weak acids will slowly pump any oxidized Os into the air and strong acids will do so instantly. Lingering odors can affect how much you enjoy your home. 4) Pool - if chlorine disinfected, check storage of powder/pellets or gas tank as applicable, and check all lines running from chlorinator to system for leaks. The former should be quite noticeable right at the motor, and is normally only generated by brush type motors (like many older motors and handheld rotating power tools like electric drills). I'm going to call my HVAC plumbing people to see if they added any chlorinated products when they installed a new evaporator coil this summer. Manufacturer label on outdoor unit would say what gas it uses - commonly R-22 (Freon), R-32, R-410a. It might just be a humidity issue that's causing the smell. Need professional help with your project? I do not know if other non geothermal units have a drain hose like this but it is worth checking on any units that might have a drain tube such as mine! Your furnace might create a similar electrical or metallic smell when it overheats. Is it possible a neighbor has installed a hot tub in a place where the scent could be entering your home? Could check by smelling at sewer vent pipe on roof - usually 2 or 3 inch plastic pipe standing up a foot or two without any cap on it, which vents sewer gases out of your household system. Now 4 hours later no more chlorine smell just a light sent of Pinesol. You can join by visiting or by giving us a call. Install an activated carbon filter at your tap to eliminate residual chlorine in water safely delivered to your home. We contacted the pest control guy and asked "if he had sprayed anything in the attic" during the process and his answer was he only sealed and trapped. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List! If the smell persists after the firebox has dried following this cleaning, call in a chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney. We've investigated our HVAC units, pool filter system, cleaned the entire house with a light vinegar water solution, aired the house out with commercial fans and the smell will not subside. Like people who cook a lot describe irritating household smells by different spice names, ones I have never heard of. Alas - SOOOO many people notice something odd or different in the final inspection but fail to follow up at that time - the reason for the pre-closing final inspection is to be sure there is nothing changed (in a negative way) from the initial viewing and home inspection - if there is, you delay closing until it is resolved to your satisfaction. No need to panic, but don't let it go, either. Called Phantosmia (phantom smell) and associated with several medical conditions as well as the famous "deja vu" where just kicking up a memory brings back a smell or sound or taste - but obviously if multiple people smell it not that. Generally, a sewage-like or rotten egg odor in your tap water results when sulfur-reducing bacteria grow in your drain, water heater, or well. Answered by LCD: Sounds dangerous for long exposure or sleeping in, especially if you have children in the house - and almost certain your insurance company will not cover diagnosis, treatment, or temporary living expenses because most specifically exclude chemical exposure losses. (One point of interest --- we cannot find where the one condensation line terminates.....think it may be under the house but even HVAC guys could not locate). History! I poured a steady stream of 4 cups of water into the trap. In hotels, I could always tell as soon as the elevator door started to open if the pool was on that level of the hotel. I'm coming around to the idea that there had to be a combination of inappropriate chemicals which continues to give off a chemical gas. Researches have found that good smells, in fact, make you happy, boost your energy and increase your focus. Privacy Policy | Sources of chlorine smells include swimming pools, unbalanced or hard water, cleaning solutions and bleach. It is clearly running because the heat in our house is on and working. And of course because it involved land movement their homeowner's insurance provided zero coverage. We have had three mold companies out to our house, all have used moisture meters on the walls and have not found evidence of a leak anywhere in our home nor have they found any mold to remediate. posted by peep at 11:41 AM on May 6, 2009 . The first, the “clean” smell, in particular after a heavy thunderstorm, is caused by ozone. How to Get a Lingering Smell Out of Your House. 15) one other thing I spaced on - do you have a water treatment system (water conditioner) which uses a disinfectant in its cycle - like hypochlorate for example, which may be leaking or venting into the house. I'd have the water tested and see how much chlorine is actually in it. Might you be using one more often than you did previously? 1) assuming you rule out the other likely causes from my suggestions, go ahead with the environmental health assessment but I would suggest only after talking to lawyer per 5) below. I almost passed out on the basement floor. Answered by msm35: Personal experience! 4) pouring bleach into crack around basement slab or into sump pump pit to kill odor coming up from stagnant under-slab water or moisture. Our house is old and the basement unfinished with a pargged stone foundation so we can see everything - a drywall. A couple of months ago a weird smell started occurring on my 1st floor where kitchen, dining room, family room and living room are located (open floor plan between these rooms). Should be far stronger right by the running motor than in rest of house - and would dissipate within an hour or few when off so to last 3 months would have to be a motor that runs quite frequently. We followed directions and it worked. 6) pool chlorination system leak or overdosing the pool - which considering you can smell it outside might be a good place to check - even shut and turn the chlorination system totally off for a day or two to see if the smell goes away. If always stronger at house or immediately on downwind side of house, then sourcing at or around house. Our call center is available 8:00 am-9:00 pm weekdays and 8:00-5:00 pm ET on Saturdays. HAHAHA! We've had multiple people under the house investigating the crawl space with no odor. If left untended, these sparks and melting wires create enough heat to start a fire in your home. If that’s not the problem, vacuum and then scrub the “firebox”—the area that contains the fire at the base of the chimney. I was using metal electrostatic filter on central air system. so much so that you can smell it in your clothes after spending some time in the house. My I guess final, last-thought suggestions: 0) one suggestion I did not make before, which might be done along with checking for the odor in the sewer lines at cleanouts if the odor is detected in them, is to follow up with a smoke or odorant (commonly vanilla or banana oil is used) test by a plumber of the plumbing system - to determine if you have leakage from the DWV (drain waste vent) system into the house. Almost all compounds formed are volatile and great effort is required to stabilize them. My eyes were getting red and swollen everytime I opened the cabinet. Make sure you ask our Member Care Team about our new membership options! We have no hot tub or swimming pool. If your home is near your treatment plant, it will have a much stronger smell of chlorine than water from the same source that’s delivered to a home that’s farther away. Sure enough it was blocked. Perhaps someone is washing with chlorine bleach and the dryer vent is blowing toward your home? Could potentially be an odor from a previous duct mold killing treatment with a bleach product (which is not the right thing to use for that) - you could remove a register and do a damp-wipe inside the duct as far as you can reach and see if stronger smell - though might be hard to tell between a residual smell in the duct and smell deposited in the ducts during circulation of the air. I searched for answers and found conflicting opinions on the filters, ozone, and odor. If not crystallized at high temperatures (3000C) without oxygen, this element will slowly oxidize into a chlorine-like smell, instantly react and bind to organic matter and all types of metal, only to be re-oxidized by humid air and repeat the process. They thought oh well, it is a newly paved drive so it will probably crack a few places as it ages, and the Builder agreed in writing to seal cracks for up to 6 months as they occurred - a few days later (soon after closing) the house was several hundred feet down the hillside in the bottom of a ravine, a total loss PLUS had to pay for cleanup and environmental damage because the ravine was part of a wildlife preserve. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List! So I don't think I have phantosmia. Can range from an acidic smell to near-urine to wet wool type smell - though certainly should be able to identify that as the source if you air the house out thoroughly (including the area of the furnace or air handler blower) with the HVAC off, then smell at registers when you first turn it back on - should smell within a minute or less of when you turn it on if that is the cause, and smell stronger than the rest of the room did before it was turned on. It has a sharp and not very pleasant odor that might remind you of chlorine. Drinking water is considered safe as long as the chlorine/chloramine levels do not exceed 4 milligrams per liter. They might recognize the smell right off the bat from prior professional or personal experience. 15) rotting wood can smell like this - some fungal growth can be quite acidic smelling or astringent - usually due to a leaking pipe or shower pan or toilet wax seal, commonly in subfloor under tub or shower or toilet. Ran water and flushed in a bathroom we haven't used lately, even checked the traps in our outdoor storm water, which ties into our sewer line. But I've been living in my apartment for 14 years, and it started suddenly about a week ago. The bleach smell stops when chlorine completely dissipates. 2) If I were them I would also take an organic chemical sniffer (OVA - Organic Vapor Analyzer or similar) around the outside perimeter of the house and adjacent yard area to detect any concentration of spilled chemicals, to rule out (or confirm) that source. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Poured water down there none the less. Though I have lived in this city for 8 years now so not sure why I would have a sudden reaction to it. Turns out, that's not chlorine you can smell at … Often I can smell things that other people can't but the smell is actually coming from somewhere. 4) Cleanup - highly unlikely house would need tearing down, or even major rebuild of attic or wherever the source is - usually in-situ remediation can be done with extensive scrubbing down and/or spray-on chemical treatments. We have a pool in the backyard but just don't believe that's the source.......we just had it resurfaced so the pool has been empty for a few weeks and the smell remains. We used it in guest bedroom when tennis student left their smelly gear there. We hope this information will help you make a more informed decision on your home needs. Our phone number is 888-944-5478. Also of course, if it was smelled at closing date walk-through, and same smell and approximate persistence now, I would be making a strong effort (if previous owner will cooperate) to talk with any contractors or cleaners who were in the house about what they used - anything from wall washing or carpet cleaning solution to repainting. Result - fo course they were out a house, plus a thirty year mortgage for over a half million $ became immediately due because the house the mortgage was on was destroyed and not covered by insurance - I am sure the couple end up bankrupt because of it. yellowing of white plastic, especially coat hangers. 6) about the slab leak - unless chlorinated water was coming in, should be a musty, stagant water, or mildew/mold smell - easy to tell if source by taping down plastic sheeting (thin cheap painter's drop sheeting) with masking or duct tape, held up to create an airspace with a bucket or junk chair or such, then open up a side after a day and stick your nose in and smell if concentrated smell from that area. Next step is to hire an environmental firm to test for what chemical is present in the's strong enough that it will be asborbed into your clothing if you spend 15 minutes in the house.......any thoughts/help are greatly appreciated! Weird News. 20) On day of closing when you noticed the smell - I presume you had not moved in yet - but if you had or were doing so at that time, look for spilled or leaking (maybe a bottle cracked during moving) cleaning or laundry products, or garage/yard solvents or such. Why Is Bleach So Stinky? Or a neighbor's unit, especially if in outdoor utility closet if in non-freezing area. To our knowledge there was no ozone treatment done but I'm just trying to check everything off the list I can. 19) on day with slight steady air drift across your property (from different direction for each side of property) stand at property line and smell if you can smell it coming onto your property from elsewhere - could be from chemical plant, refinery, water or sewage treatment plant, public swimming pool, etc upwind of you - though unless you are in an area where the wind direction is very constant you should have noticed some days with worse smell and some with near none, and of course should have been as or more obvious when out in yard or on deck or such than when inside. There was an entertainment center in the house that we gave to our handy man.....he put it in his garage and recently told us it smelled up his entire garage with the chemical smell!!! its been 60 days since we closed and while i believe the smell is marginally better it is still lingering. A visit to a highly-chlorinated indoor waterpark once left me foggy for days. They have the potential to transform your brain positively. In cases where the house surfaces are permeated it can involve stripping down to the studs (usually all loose insulation and flooring and such in area is discarded), chemically neutralizing the situation, then refinishing/ repainting (sometimes with an encapsulating paint) or rebuilding as needed. Im hoping it is slow to dry as have not been able to air out...only ac is running. For instance in our area the local landfill started extracting and burning for power the methane coming out of it - but even though a mile or more away, commonly in the summer the odor of the burning gas and the associated phenols and partially burned gas odorant added to it can be highly obnoxious (though smells like rotten garbage or a natural gas leak, not chlorine bleach) - enough so that the local natural company is going crazy with callouts for people thinking there is a natural gas leak in the area. Well, if all your faucets are turned off all day, and you come home and smell chlorine before you turn any water on, it can't be coming from the water. There's no leak, no visable mold. Common contaminated surfaces cleanup modes for your sort of case, assuming an in-house contamination source (as opposed to groundwater contamination or buried waste or drifting-in contamination or such): 1) commonly, a bleach or hydrogen peroxide or solvent or borax (depending on chemical) cleanup protocol is used, using "wet-wiping" techniques - like mopping all surfaces, commonly with either a second person following to wipe up the excess liquid after a short exposure time, or sometimes vacuuming the remnant up - usually followed by normal detergent wash using TSP to remove residual and the cleaning chemical. Debate or don't but I have undeniable personal experience after being very sceptical that the filters could be the problem. Indeed, why does this product have such a mind-blowingly strong odor?! Where the chlorine smell is determines how to get rid of it. Answered by LCD: Rambled a bit as I added things - so I would recommend reading all the way through, especially to bolded part near end, before doing anything based on this input. My husband who is allergic to dust mites and mold has no symptoms at all. Other people smell the bleach smell, they just don't have horrible sinus pain from it. A "stinky stock syndrome" coil or high-humidity ducts can smell to high heaven - hence the stinky sock name. I would think if you air out all the rooms (all windows open while weather is still nice), then close all doors and HVAC system and leave all fans off, and block the gap underneath all doors with tape or towels, after a few hours of it being shut up you should be able to go through the house room by room and detect where the smell is strongest, then track down the source by nose from there. That would have been the time to open windows and see if it aired out completely, or if not to get a supplemental disclosure from the homeowner on anything they did to cause the smell - cleaning or disinfection or whatever.