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Home » Water Education & Testing » Is Metallic Tasting Water Bad For You?

Is Metallic Tasting Water Bad For You?

By: Stephanie Nielsen
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Are you getting a metallic taste from your tap? You may not like the metal taste when you pour yourself a glass of water, especially if it’s noticeably different from what you’re used to. Even more, you may wonder if the metal taste in your water is safe to drink.

Luckily, metallic-tasting water is not necessarily bad for you.

However, you should get the water tested to learn exactly what is in your drinking water, which can tell you how to remove the metallic taste. 

Today we’re going to cover the following topics: 

Why Does My Tap Water Taste Like Metal?

Metallic Tasting Water and pH Balance

If your water tastes metallic, there’s a strong chance that the pH balance is off. Whether your water has low or high pH levels, it can impact the taste of the water. Generally, improper pH balance occurs due to water contaminants or a lack of minerals in the water. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, drinking water should have a pH balance between 6.5 and 9 (with 7 being neutral). Water with a pH balance under 7 is more acidic, which creates the taste of metal. 

Water Treatment With Chemicals

Before your water arrives at your home, it goes through several filtration and cleaning processes to make it suitable for drinking. Many municipalities use chemicals to clean potable water. 

Some of the chemicals used to treat drinking water include:

  • Aluminium sulphate
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Fluorosilicic acid
  • Liquified chlorine
  • Sodium silicofluoride

These chemicals can be dangerous to consume in high concentrations. However, public water treatment centers generally use these chemicals in safe amounts. Still, the chemicals can alter the pH balance (and taste) of your water. 

Soft Water

A large portion of the United States receives hard water. Hard water refers to water with a high concentration of minerals in it. Many people assume that well water is the only hard water, but public water is often considered “hard”, too. 

Some of the most common minerals in water include:

  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Sodium
  • Potassium. 

These minerals are not harmful to you. In fact, these minerals are essential to your health, and they provide your water with the taste that you’re familiar with. If you receive soft water, it can make your water taste slightly more metallic.

However, soft water can be better for your plumbing. It’s up to you whether you can put up with the metallic taste or not. Furthermore, hard water may also contain a strange taste, even if it’s more basic than metallic. 

Metals in Water

One of the most common causes of a strong metallic taste in your water is actual metal. 

The water that enters your home may contain small levels of metal in it. For example, if your water pipes are made of lead, iron, zinc, or copper, remnants of the piping material can end up in your water and lead to a metal taste. 


Metal in high concentrations can be dangerous to your health. High levels of iron in your water aren’t necessarily hazardous, as your body needs iron. However, lead consumption can lead to health problems. 

Metal pipes also succumb to corrosion over time. Corrosion is the process of metal turning into rust. The rust can then get into your drinking water, which can impact its taste. 


Is Water That Tastes Like Metal Dangerous?

Water that tastes like metal is not typically dangerous. However, if there are high concentrations of chemicals or metals, metallic drinking water may harm your health.

For example, lead poisoning can occur due to lead in your water. It can be especially hazardous to children, expecting mothers, and other vulnerable subsets of the population. 

Additionally, exposure to chlorine can lead to irritation of the skin and eyes. Excessive chlorine exposure can contribute to respiratory and cardiac conditions. 

How Can I Stop My Water From Tasting Like Metal?

There are several things you can do to prevent your water from tasting like metal. The first step in determining if your metal-tasting water is hazardous is to test it.

You can buy a water testing kit online to perform the test yourself or enlist the services of your local plumber.

After you perform a test, you will know the greatest dangers in your water and what’s creating the undesired taste.

You can attempt to resolve the issue at its source. For example, you can replace lead water supply pipes with another material or switch your water supplier. However, installing a water filtration system or a water softener may be a more realistic solution. 

Water Filters

Water filters remove contaminants from the water. You can get whole-home water filters that filter the water before it enters your home’s water system. Alternatively, you can get a filter installed on a particular faucet or pitcher. 

There are several types of water filters:

  • Reverse osmosis – high-end option for all contaminants
  • Ultraviolet light – filtration for  organic and nonorganic contaminants best used at the end of the filtration process
  • Activated carbon – non-electric option best for nonorganic pollutants
  • Activated alumina – best for fluoride and arsenic

Water Softeners

Water softeners are different from water filters. Water softeners remove minerals, causing the water to taste more metallic. Therefore, you shouldn’t use water softener as a solution to resolve metal-tasting water. However, it can resolve other problems caused by hard water, such as sediment buildup. 

Water softeners don’t filter pollutants. However, you can also find dual units that include a water filter and softener. 


If your home’s tap water tastes metallic, you should start by determining the cause. Test your tap water quality to determine what contaminants are in it. When you receive your test results, you can take the appropriate steps to improve the taste of the water and ensure your family’s health. 

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Stephanie Nielsen
Stephanie worked as a department supervisor of kitchen, bath, and appliances at Home Depot, and water filters were part of the inventory she was responsible for assisting clients with so she learned the ins and outs of matching the right filtration device to homeowner’s needs. She also worked closely with Culligan water to educate customers about whole-home water treatment and softener systems.

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