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Home » Water Education & Testing » Why Does My Water Taste Like Metal? + What to Do When Your Water Tastes Like Metal

Why Does My Water Taste Like Metal? + What to Do When Your Water Tastes Like Metal

By: Stephanie Nielsen
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Water is life. It’s essential for our daily activities, from drinking to cooking. But what happens when that refreshing glass of water suddenly tastes like you’ve taken a sip from a metal cup?


If you’re wondering why your water tastes like metal, you’ve come to the right place. 

Let’s dive into the reasons behind this peculiar water taste.

Also Check Out: Best Home Water Test Kits

Key Takeaways 

  • Various metals can infiltrate our water supply, leading water to taste metallic.
  • The presence of metals in water can be due to natural sources or human activities.
  • Identifying the specific metal causing the taste is crucial for effective treatment.
  • Regular testing and using the right water filters can help eliminate the metallic taste.

7 Reasons Why Your Water Has a Metallic Taste

Imagine this: You’ve just finished a vigorous workout, or maybe you’ve been out in the sun for a bit too long. You rush to the kitchen, fill up your favorite glass with water, and take a big gulp, expecting that pure, refreshing taste. 

But instead, you’re met with a metal taste that reminds you more of a coin than a clear stream. It’s puzzling, right? And a tad bit concerning.

Before you start wondering if you’ve developed some unique metal-tasting superpower, let’s break it down. Several factors can make your water taste like metal. From natural mineral deposits to man-made interferences like chlorine, the reasons that give water a strange taste are as varied as they are intriguing.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the most common culprits behind this drinking water mystery.

Cause #1: Iron in Water

Iron Chemical element

Iron, while essential for our health in small amounts, can be a nuisance when it’s in our water. It’s not just about the taste; high levels of iron can damage appliances and make laundry a nightmare. Plus, let’s be honest, no one wants to drink water that tastes like metal.

  • Source: Iron is generously sprinkled throughout the earth’s crust. Over time, it can leach into groundwater, especially in areas with high mineral content.
  • Indicators: Those reddish-brown stains in your sinks, bathtubs, or on your laundry? That’s iron making its presence known. Besides the visual cues, water tainted with iron often has a distinct metallic taste and can appear slightly cloudy.

Cause #2: Copper in Water

Copper chemical element

Copper is another common element that is vital for our body’s functions, but too much of it isn’t great. Prolonged exposure can lead to health issues, including stomach distress. Plus, high levels of copper can give your water a bitter taste, making hydration less than pleasant.

  • Source: Those shiny copper pipes that transport water to our homes? Over time, they can corrode, releasing copper into the water.
  • Indicators: If your fixtures or tiles sport blue-green stains, it’s a sign that copper’s been playing in your water. Water is tasting metallic, such as coins? That’s copper’s signature flavor.

Cause #3: Manganese in Water

Maganese Chcmical element

Manganese, in high concentrations, can be problematic. Not only does it affect the taste and appearance of water, but it can also impact our health, affecting the nervous system over prolonged exposure.

  • Source: Manganese can enter our water from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial discharge.
  • Indicators: If you’re spotting black stains on your plumbing fixtures or your laundry, manganese might be the culprit. It can also impart a bitter taste to your water.

Cause #4: Zinc in Water

Zinc Chemical Element

Zinc is an essential mineral for our body. However, when it’s in our water, it’s usually a sign of corroding pipes, which means other contaminants might be present too.

  • Source: Those galvanized pipes and fittings in older homes? They can sometimes release zinc into the water.
  • Indicators: If you have slightly sweet yet metallic-tasting water, zinc might be making an appearance.

Cause #5: Lead in Water

Lead chemical element

Lead contamination is a serious concern. Even at low levels, lead exposure can harm children’s brain development. It’s crucial to test for lead if you suspect its presence and take immediate action.

  • Source: Old lead pipes, fixtures, and solder can release lead into the water, especially if the water is acidic or has low mineral content.
  • Indicators: The scary thing about lead? It doesn’t have any distinct water smells or taste. But it’s toxic and can lead to severe health issues, especially in children.

Cause #6: Arsenic in Water

Asenic Chemical Element

Chronic exposure to arsenic can lead to skin changes, respiratory issues, and even an increased risk of cancer. It’s essential to test for arsenic if you’re in an area known for its presence.

  • Source: Arsenic can find its way into our water from natural deposits, agricultural runoff, or industrial processes.
  • Indicators: Arsenic is sneaky; it doesn’t have a specific taste or smell. But over time, it can lead to health problems.

Cause #7: Low pH Levels

Acidic water isn’t just about taste. It can damage plumbing systems, appliances, and even lead to metal contamination. Balancing the pH is crucial for both taste and safety.

  • Source: When water is acidic, it can corrode metals from pipes, introducing them into the water supply.
  • Indicators: A sour or metallic taste is a good indicator of low pH levels in water.

How Can I Tell What Causes My Water to Taste Metallic?

Navigating the metallic maze of your water can be a bit daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can pinpoint the culprit.

Let’s explore some of the most effective ways to investigate and understand what’s giving your water that unexpected tang.

Lab Test for Metal Water

Ever wished you could get a detailed breakdown of every little thing in your water? Lab tests are your answer. They offer a deep dive into your water’s composition, revealing even the sneakiest of contaminants.

  • Why it’s great: Provides a comprehensive analysis of your water, identifying a wide range of contaminants, including metals.
  • What to expect: Collect a water sample using a kit, send it back, and receive a detailed report.
  • Pro tip: Opt for a certified lab to ensure accurate results.

At-Home Water Test for Metal Taste

For curious minds who love instant results, at-home tests are a quick and convenient way to get a snapshot of your water’s quality.

  • Why it’s great: Immediate results and a general idea of potential contaminants.
  • What to expect: Kits with strips that change color based on what’s in your water.
  • Pro tip: They’re great for a quick overview, but for a deeper analysis, consider a lab test.

Water Reports

Imagine if your city gave you a report card on your water quality every year. Well, they do! Water reports are a treasure trove of information about your local water supply.

  • Why it’s great: Insights into common contaminants in your area.
  • What to expect: An annual report detailing substances in the local water supply.
  • Pro tip: Can’t find your report online? A call to your local water department should help.

pH Testing for Water Taste

Acidity can be a sneaky cause behind that metallic taste. pH testing is a straightforward way to gauge the acidity or alkalinity of your water.

  • Why it’s great: Indicates the potential for metal contamination from corroded pipes.
  • What to expect: A reading using a pH strip or digital tester.
  • Pro tip: Water with a pH below 7 is acidic and more likely to corrode metal pipes.

Tap Score Water Testing

Shoutout to our affiliate, Tap Score! If you’re looking for a blend of detailed analysis and user-friendly reporting, Tap Score has got you covered.

  • Why it’s great: Comprehensive water testing that’s easy to understand.
  • What to expect: Send in a sample and receive a detailed yet user-friendly report.
  • Pro tip: Regular testing can help ensure consistent water quality, especially after making changes to your plumbing or treatment system.

Remember, understanding your water is the first step to improving its quality. With these tools in hand, you’re well-equipped to solve the mystery of the metallic taste!

How to Fix Water That Tastes Like Metal

Identifying the metallic culprits in your water is half the battle. The next step? Finding the right solution to ensure every sip is as refreshing as it should be. Let’s dive into some effective remedies, from a softener to a water filter, and everything in between.

Water Softener

A water softener system is the unsung hero in the battle against hard tap water. Tackling hard minerals like calcium and magnesium in your water source can play a significant role in improving the taste.


  • Softener water prevents scale buildup, which can damage appliances and plumbing.
  • Improves the overall taste by reducing mineral content.


  • Installed at the point of entry in your home.
  • Requires regular maintenance and salt replenishment.

Expert Tip: While a softener addresses water hardness, it might not eliminate all metallic tastes from tap water. Consider pairing it with another filtration system with your water softener for comprehensive results.

Sediment Filter for Water

Sediment filters act as the first line of defense, trapping larger contaminants and ensuring they don’t make their way into your glass.


  • Remove large particles like rust, silt, and sand.
  • Protects and extends the life of other filtration systems by reducing the load of contaminants.


  • Typically installed after the main water line enters your home.
  • Requires periodic replacement of the filter cartridge.

Expert Tip: For homes with visibly cloudy or murky water, sediment filters can make a noticeable difference in clarity and taste.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water

A reverse osmosis (RO) water system is like the VIP treatment for your water. It forces water through a membrane, ensuring only the purest water molecules get through.


  • Removes a wide range of contaminants, including metals, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Delivers high-quality, bottled-water-like taste right from your tap.


  • Installed under the sink or as a whole-house system.
  • Requires periodic membrane replacement and maintenance.

Expert Tip: An RO system paired with a carbon filter can deliver some of the purest water you’ve ever tasted, making it a popular choice for many households.

Remember, the key to fix metallic-tasting city water is understanding its source and choosing the right solution tailored to your needs. With the right system in place, every sip can be a refreshing delight.

Final Thoughts on Metallic Water

Water is more than just a basic necessity; it’s an integral part of our daily lives. From that first cup of coffee in the morning to the hydrating glass we reach for after a workout, the quality of our water impacts every sip and every moment. 

When something as fundamental as water starts to taste like metal, it’s not just a minor inconvenience; it’s a call to action. Water tasting metallic, while puzzling, is a signpost pointing to an underlying issue that needs addressing.

By understanding the potential causes of the metallic taste and equipping ourselves with the right solutions, we can ensure that our hard water is not only safe but also delicious. After all, clean, refreshing water isn’t just a luxury; it’s a right.

So, as you move forward, whether you’re considering a simple filter or a comprehensive water system, like Springwell whole house water softeners, know that you’re taking a step towards better health, better taste, and a better quality of life. Cheers to pure, refreshing, and naturally delicious drinking water and the peace of mind that comes with it!

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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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