How to Fix Hot Water Bad Taste

I have a Rheem gas water heater, and for some reason, hot water has a bad taste? Why is it happening, and what can I do to fix the problem? Can you help? 

Since you were not specific about the hot water bad taste; is it salty, metallic, chemical, or... we will try to provide some answers and quality info.

Hot water tapHot water tap

There are several reasons for the strange taste of your hot heater. And this applies not only to Rheem but any water heater. One of these reasons is when you have a saltwater intrusion into your water source, resulting in the salty taste of the hot water. You can’t do much about this problem except to call your public water utility so they can check what is going on.

The metallic taste is another problem, and it happens when you have corrosive water due to iron and manganese contamination or high mineral content.

Corrosive water affects the metal tank causing the corrosion and leakage followed by the necessary water heater replacement. High mineral content usually happens in private wells, and the best suggestion will be to call the local health agency and public water utility. 

If you find that your hot water taste has a chemical taste, you must immediately contact the local officials as there is contamination due to the industrial actions (if there is industry nearby) or waste (septic) discharge into the municipality water system.

Usually, with the strange taste comes specific odor, and these can be oil or gas smell due to the gasoline or oil leak; rotten eggs due to the sewage or bacteria contamination; chlorine due to the excess chlorine, moldy odor due to the organic matter contaminants (algae, vegetation), detergent, perfume or fishy odor due to industrial waste and chemical pollution. In all these cases, call the public authorities for help.

Hot water might have a strange texture too. Fine sand, grit, or hard water with high levels of calcium and magnesium salts can change water texture into gritty, abrasive, and water with scum and white deposits.

Most of the time, you have to contact public water utility, while in the case of the hard water, you can try with the water softener, but be careful as it might affect the longevity of the anode rod.

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