Why Does Your Home’s Water Taste Weird?

Water tastes funny? That’s no joke. If your water tastes a little off, you need to find out why and get a solution in place, pronto. The following are several common reasons your water might change in taste.

If it’s only a problem with the hot water,

  • then you probably have a problem with rusty water from an old water heater changing the taste of your water. Try filling a bathtub and looking for a rusty tinge to the color. Then get a plumber in to see if the water heater needs to be flushed (which you should do every year anyway), or, if it’s older than 10 years old, possibly replaced.
  • or you have an issue where the water heater needs to be sanitized to kill off sulfur-producing bacteria. In this case, your hot water probably smells bad, too. Get that water heater treated ASAP!

In general, it’s advised to only drink filtered water anyway, so try not to use hot water from the tap for cooking or drinking.

If you taste a bit of rusty flavor overall (both hot and cold water) and you have older plumbing, then you will want to consider the age of your pipes. If you have older pipes, those old pipes may be corroding. This is especially true of galvanized steel pipes over 20 years old. You’ll water to talk to a plumber about the possibility of repiping and/or installing a water filtration system.

If you taste a bit of rusty flavor overall (both hot and cold water) and your pipes are relatively new (under 20 years old), you will want to consider if there has recently been a water main break in the area, which can cause a temporary influx of debris. Has your water tasted off for a while, or is it just today? A temporary change in taste is probably related to some sort of work on the local water main and is not worth worrying about. However, if the change is accompanied by low water pressure and/or water pooling in your yard, you probably have a water main break on your property. In that case, call a plumber now!

If your water tastes funky (both hot and cold water) and you have an irrigation system, ask yourself if you’ve gotten the backflow preventer tested this year. If you haven’t, you may have a water contamination problem because your irrigation system’s backflow preventer isn’t keeping out contaminants.

If you are on well water, you may be dealing with localized well water problems, some of which can be quite serious and detrimental to your health. Get your water tested right away.

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