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Why Does the Water Taste Weird From My Refrigerator?

Updated February 21, 2017

On a warm day, a cold glass of water from the refrigerator's water dispenser is very refreshing. If the water tastes or smells bad, however, it can spoil the experience. Odd-tasting water is most probably a problem with the water itself or the mechanism used to deliver it. Often a simple solution will take care of bad-tasting water or ice from the refrigerator, but a little detective work may be required to find the root of the problem.

Change the Filter

The water filter connected to the refrigerator's water dispenser may need to be changed. An inefficient or worn filter may filter out minerals from the local water supply, resulting in odd-tasting water. Replace your water filter at least once yearly or as often as the manufacturer recommends.

Filter Installation Procedures

Most refrigerator manufacturers recommend flushing a new filter for a few minutes after installation. Skipping this step can cause impurities to remain in the water supply, affecting the water's taste. Additionally, some people purchase filters online or at home improvement stores. You must use the right filter for your product, and verify that it is installed correctly.

Food Odors

Odours from strong-smelling foods like fish, cheese or spices can transfer into the ice and water, giving the water a bad taste and smell. Place strong-smelling foods in containers with tight seals, and ensure they are completely closed. Clean the inside of the refrigerator regularly, and keep an open box of baking soda on the door.

Supply Line Problems

On some refrigerator models, the tubing that carries the water and the water reservoirs are made from plastic. Over time, the plastic can absorb odours which then transfer into the water, giving it an off-taste. Review your owner's manual or consult the refrigerator's manufacturer about replacing the plastic tubing with copper tubing or replacing the reservoir.

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About the Author

Lee Weal began writing and editing online content as a corporate intranet administrator in 2000 and was also the publisher and editor of a monthly employee newsletter. Her articles specialize in children's issues and home improvement.