Why Does My Water Taste Like Metal?

Water is the elixir of life, but there are times when water just doesn’t taste right. A metallic flavor to water is an unpleasant, but fixable problem that is worth investigating if it’s happening to your drinking water.

Metal Taste In Drinking Water

There are a number of reasons why your water can taste metallic, which makes this issue harder to diagnose than, say, a salty taste to your water.

The minerals causing the metallic taste might not be problematic, but they are always worth testing and confirming they are not harmful as a range of minerals and chemicals could be the cause.

Common metals that can cause this taste are:

  • copper
  • iron
  • lead
  • manganese

Pipe Can Cause Metallic Tasting Water

Between the water supply and your faucet, drinking water comes in contact with lots of metal. Your municipality could have large iron pipes that moves the water from a treatment facility to a neighborhood to your street, and then to your home.

Your home could have copper pipes in them used to route the water to your faucets, showers, hoses, and bathtubs. Your showerheads and faucets are metal as well. This list of metal goes on and on.

One common of metal taste in water is a high level of iron in the water. This can be caused by natural deposits of iron in your area or it can be caused by old and/or corroding pipes that are transferring the water.

Similarly, galvanized plumbing can corrode causing zinc to enter water.

Manganese and iron are natural components in water sources. However, when there is a mix of zinc, iron, and manganese, your clothes, appliances, home will be affected. Water heaters and boilers will have deposits of minerals in them that build up, so you’ll know there is an issue, confirming the metal taste you sense.

If you have low pH water it can cause extra corrosion in pipes. This is usually noticeable as you’ll have a blue ring in tubs from copper or red from iron.

The metallic taste can even come from an old faucet or other fixture, so consider the entire trip your water takes, not just what happens before it gets to your home.

Local Causes

Well water from private sources may have more metal content in the water primarily because the water is not treated. This is common but it’s treatable with a sediment pre-filter as well as a drinking water filter attached before the faucet.

It’s not uncommon for local deposits of iron or other minerals to affect the flavor of water. This can happen with a well or by trace amounts of the mineral entering the water as it makes its way to your home.

It sounds crazy, but decaying vegetation and swamps also causes metallic components in the water. This is worse if these areas were used as dumping ground for waste. Wildfires also cause water to be affected because the soil is damaged and metal or metallic flavors will be more likely to enter the ground water as a result.

Expert Help

Excessive metal content in the water can damage teeth, hair, skin, and parts of the body, both internally and externally. If it’s just a little iron that be nothing but it’s worth seeking expert help.

Whenever you notice a frequent change in taste in the water that you consume, call in the experts or buy a test kit.

Professionals often note that the actual taste of the water is not what we experience — its the smell that has the real effect on us. Total dissolved solids (TDS) in water will change the water make-up and affect your taste buds. The water may have a metallic or medicinal taste. Most people who consume water that has a high TDS will know it thanks to a flavor or some kind of effect, like hard water making it hard for them to water their hair. This is treatable with a filter.

Closing Thoughts

There are many reasons why you might have a metallic taste to your water. It could be pollutants in water, old pipes, a rusty faucet, or simply that you live in an iron-rich area.

The way forward as cited above is to figure out the cause, work on a solution and stick to the plan. A water softener and filter will almost alway be enough to get problem fixed but always make sure to test, so you know the problem is and how serious it was.