Many modern-day refrigerators – GE, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, LG, Samsung, etc. – feature built-in water dispensers for an added level of convenience. Rather than pouring a glass from the faucet, you can place your cup directly into the side of the refrigerator for a quick glass of filtered water. But what should you do when the refrigerator water no longer tastes as ‘fresh’ as it once did?
Check The Water
If the tap water connected to your home is tainted with impurities, it may cause unpleasant flavors and odors. Most municipal water systems provide their customers with an annual water report (also known as a Consumer Confidence Report) which details the levels of minerals, chlorine and other chemicals. It’s not a bad idea to file this report somewhere in your home or office for furtuer reference.
“The report contains information on contaminants found, possible health effects, and the water’s source. If you do not receive a report, contact your water company for this information,” says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Remove The Middle Man (The Refrigerator)
To determine the cause of your funny-tasting refrigerator water, you should remove the middle man from the equation. Go behind your refrigerator and unplug the water line running the wall. Next, pour a glass of water straight from the wall faucet and take a couple sips.
Does it taste like normal H2O? If so, then your problem is originating somewhere inside the refrigerator. If it still tastes funny, then the problem is likely caused by the actual tap water or pipes carrying the water to your home.
Replace The Filter
Refrigerator water filters should be replaced at least once every 6 months (check your owner’s manual for more information). Allowing your filter to go unchanged for longer than this length of time may result in impurities being transferred to the water, which subsequently will alter its flavor.
Depending on the particular manufacturer and model, you can usually gain access to a refrigerator’s water filter by removing the front panel at the bottom of the unit. Most units have a circular-shaped button that releases the filter when pressed.
In some cases, an exceptionally dirty and/or damaged water valve is to blame for funny-tasting refrigerator water. If you’ve exhausted all other solutions, try replacing the water valve to see if it’s the problem. It’s not uncommon for minerals and chemicals to build up on the valve over the course of several years, which could negatively effect the flavor of your refrigerator water.