The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Getting Rid of Your Bad-Tasting Tap Water for Good

 May 23, 2022 |  Home Maintenance, Home Inspection |  plumbing, homeowner, appliances

If you think you have bad-tasting or smelling water in your home, it may not be in your head. In some areas of the United States, tap water includes additives that you may have certain sensitivities or allergies to. While a few of these added chemicals serve a purpose, such as the addition of fluoride to help protect the enamel on your teeth, there is also unwanted waste that can sometimes end up in the water supply.

Blended Piping
Another reason your current water system may be producing a bad taste or foul odor is the piping. For many newer homes, it can be an issue, as the piping leading to the tap is not a pure metal as was once used in older homes built prior to 1950.

Today, it is standard practice to use piping that is a blend of metals and plastic such as polybutylene or polyethylene. This type of piping has the potential to cause an assortment of issues. These plastics can lead to problems, specifically for those with latex allergies. An additional issue with the usage of blended pipes is the addition of mold buildup. If mold builds up in the pipes it can not only cause problems from a blockage standpoint, it can also be the source of foul odors and tastes.

On the other side of the equation, pipes made of solid metals eventually rust, causing leaks underneath your sink. While this may not happen for many years down the line, it is an issue that will occur eventually due to the impurities in the water system breaking down the structure of your pipes.

Water Filters
An easy fix that may alleviate some of these problems is the usage of water filtration systems. While replacing the pipes underneath your sink is another option you may want to explore further down the line, it isn’t typically the most practical route to take, as most solid piping made of brass or copper can be extremely expensive.

A type of water filtration system that’s growing in popularity is the reverse osmosis tank system. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems work by separating the impurities from tap water and releasing the contaminants in their liquid state back into an outlet connected to the sink’s draining system. While these systems are slower to produce an abundance of water at one time, they’re useful for drinking and cooking purposes.

Other types of water filters to consider are filters for your refrigerator and showerheads. Water filters used for your refrigerator, while useful, do not filter out as many impurities as a full filtration system. These water filters typically only filter out chlorine as opposed to the other harmful minerals, bacteria, and dirt filtered out by larger systems. Filters for your showerheads are very similar in what they filter out, however, they also screen out sand and rust particles.

Water Softeners
Another avenue you can take to alleviate water pollutants in your entire home is by installing a water softener. While water softeners don’t filter out as many toxins as reverse osmosis systems, they still clean out more than filters used for filtration systems in refrigerators. Water softeners help rid the tap water in your home of iron, calcium buildup, and magnesium contaminants. Water softeners are a good middle-of-the-road option. Plus, they cost less than replacing old piping. As an added bonus, with the water softener installed, you will notice a change in texture of your hair and skin. With less pollutants in the water your skin will feel smoother, and your hair will feel softer.

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