What causes 'metallic' taste in water?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by squeaky, 4 Aug 2010.

  1. squeaky

    Joined:
    21 May 2006
    Messages:
    4,816
    Thanks Received:
    328
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi all.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what may be causing the following?-

    I have a customer who says that their tap water has a metallic taste. This has been happening for about four months after having a new washing machine fitted. They contacted their water supplier who were convinced that it was to do with the new washing machine and suggested fitting check valves.

    I have since fitted check valves to both the washing machine and the dishwasher supplies but the problem has not gone. Apparently when the water is boiled in the kettle, it tastes even worse.

    Also, they were thinking of fitting a water filter kit with replaceable cartridge. Does anyone know if theses are any good?

    Thanks v much.
     
  2. kevindgas

    Joined:
    28 Mar 2006
    Messages:
    5,708
    Thanks Received:
    469
    Location:
    Southampton
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    the supply pipe is it metal? is there any mallable iron pipe in the building? if the pipe is rotting out it will give this taste.
     
  3. squeaky

    Joined:
    21 May 2006
    Messages:
    4,816
    Thanks Received:
    328
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi kevindgas.

    All the pipe work is copper - house built in the 60's. I infact fitted the kitchen for them about six years ago and ther was no problem until now. I'm pretty sure there are no iron pipes anywhere. unless its outside the house maybe. I will check this with them.

    Thanks
     
  4. Whitespirit66

    Joined:
    15 Dec 2007
    Messages:
    7,605
    Thanks Received:
    663
    Location:
    Bristol
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I had an identical job to yours in Bristol. Cold water came in through floor in corner of kitchen, tee'd off to kitchen cold tap and wash machine/dish washer before rising to ceiling to supply rest of house.

    She contacted the water co, they said put check valves on wash machine/d washer, and replace machine supply hoses.

    Didn't make a bit of difference. Never did solve that one. :(
     
  5. heatingman

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    1,744
    Thanks Received:
    112
    Location:
    Surrey
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    the problem arises when plastic or rubber parts in fittings or appliances start to react with the chlorine in the water, it can produce phenolic compounds such as TCP. Boil the water, if taste still there it is a phenolic compound. Different people describe the taste or odour as TCP, disinfectant, medicine, metal, bitter or chemically. Common cause are kettles (gaskets), flexible hoses & tap washers.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 5
  6. kevindgas

    Joined:
    28 Mar 2006
    Messages:
    5,708
    Thanks Received:
    469
    Location:
    Southampton
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    well you learn something every day!!
     
  7. daneski88

    Joined:
    4 Jul 2010
    Messages:
    886
    Thanks Received:
    13
    Location:
    Manchester
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    So, you'll never get a cold nor sore throat again!
     
  8. nelectric

    Joined:
    31 May 2010
    Messages:
    40
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    So most likely culprit in this case then would seem be the flexible hoses to the washing machine? Is there any evidence that different washing m/c manufacturers use different plastic compounds in their flexible pipes?

    @heatingman, does this reaction happen with new plastic or rubber items, or just old ones? Can you give us a source (link to) more information? Am interested in finding out more about this.
     
  9. ollski

    Joined:
    8 Oct 2003
    Messages:
    5,000
    Thanks Received:
    77
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Because of my lead water main I use a reverse osmosis unit for my ingested water, have a TDS of over 600ppm into the unit and 0 - 1 coming out.
     
  10. Onetap

    Joined:
    19 Jun 2006
    Messages:
    1,829
    Thanks Received:
    188
    Location:
    Essex
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I didn't know that; I do now!

    A Google for "phenolic tcp mettalic taste water" found;

    http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/household/water-quality/facts/tcp/

    See also the acrobat download link at the bottom of that page.

    PS Non WRAS-approved washing machine hoses and washers seem to be the main culprits. There have also been incidents of contamination from no-name cheapo flexible tap connectors, so it may be worthwhile checking any of those.
     
  11. squeaky

    Joined:
    21 May 2006
    Messages:
    4,816
    Thanks Received:
    328
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for your replies everyone. This gives me more to work on. I will come back to this thread if I manage to solve the problem as I can see that a few of would be interested in the results
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1

Share This Page