Chemical smell from radiator

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Helen12345, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Helen12345

    Helen12345 New Member

    Hi! Hoping someone can help me diagnose this issue...
    We have a combi boiler (maybe around 3 years old gets serviced etc) and we had a new bathroom and radiator (the old column style/look) installed 2-3 years ago. All has been fine until recently. The radiator in the bathroom has always been a very hot one.
    A few weeks ago a bad chemical smell started coming from the bathroom, we noticed this only happened when the heating was on. I bled the radiator and the smell went, then returned again. Turned the radiator off and if the heating was on, no smell. So it seems the radiator is the culprit. Had an engineer out who has took the radiator off, gave it a proper clean out with chemicals etc (he said it was very dirty) and put more inhibitor in the system. The smell is still there. We had the heating on last night and it stunk, turned the valves off but I can still smell it today (not as strong) even tho the heating is off.
    Also to add - the valves on the radiator don’t seem to control the level of heat it’s on or off. Would a new rad/valves help? We can’t understand as this is quite new and has come out of nowhere. no smell anywhere else in the house. It stinks!
  2. teabreak

    teabreak Screwfix Select

    You say new bathroom, is it freshly painted? There have been lots of problems over the last couple of years of "paint smells of cat pee" and similar problems I thought it was resolved but maybe the trouble is back or old stock of paint used.
    Often the trouble was worse when the heating was on.

    Do a Google on:

    paint smells like cat pee

    And see if it might be the case.
  3. Helen12345

    Helen12345 New Member

    Thank you for the reply. No it’s all tiled and a new plastic ceiling, no paint in sight. It’s 2-3 years since it was done and never an issue until now, definitely seems heating related and more of a chemical smell than pee smell.
  4. teabreak

    teabreak Screwfix Select

    OK sorry I cannot help I have never had a problem as a heating engineer with smelly rads other than freshly re -painted ones.
    Only other suggestion I can make is to look at any new bathroom cleaners or air fresheners you use.
    I say that because often after painting with old oil based paints heating the room increases the smell just wondering if a cleaner you use regularly is having a similar effect.
    If you do sort it out I would love to hear the cause please.
    Best wishes.
  5. Helen12345

    Helen12345 New Member

    Thanks, I’ll defo post the solution if we find it. I’ve found others have posted similar on other forums but never post their solution. Which isn’t useful. We re siliconed around the bath on the day that this issue occurred and at first we thought it was just that smell. We had a new toilet gel/cleaner I thought it was that and haven’t used it since. So coincidental? After a few weeks the silicone smell/toilet cleaner will be gone. I’ve no idea...
    teabreak likes this.
  6. dcox

    dcox Screwfix Select

    Monitor your boiler pressure in case there’s a pinhole leak on your rad and you’re smelling inhibitor.

    Nothing else I can suggest unless something has fallen down inside/behind the radiator and is being ‘cooked’ when the rad is hot.

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