Reasons Why Your Pool Water Tastes Bad (And What to Do About It)

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Although drinking pool water is not usually recommended, it’s almost inevitable to avoid at least some water from entering your mouth while you splash around.

On these occasions, have you ever noticed that your pool water tastes bad, metallic, or sour? Ever wondered why it tastes like that?

Pool owners are often at a loss when it comes to improving the taste of their pool water. Imbalanced chemicals, low maintenance, and temperature changes can all have a significant impact on the taste of your pool. However, there’s no need to put up with foul-tasting water.

We’re going to help clear up the mystery by investigating what could be causing this bad taste and providing you with solutions!

3 Reasons Why Your Pool Water Tastes Bad

If you’re having a hard time with the bad taste of your pool water, here are some possible explanations:

1 – Imbalanced Chemicals 

Excessive chlorine or other chemical imbalances can make the water taste bad. Chlorine is a chemical element that helps to effectively kill a wide range of harmful microorganisms and disinfect your pool water.

If you smell or taste chlorine in the water, it might be time for a non-chlorine shock treatment. Keep in mind that over-chlorinated pools can also cause your eyes to burn and sting when you swim in them.

Besides chlorine, other chemicals, such as sodium bicarbonate and carbon dioxide, should be wisely measured to keep your pool water clean and clear.

To keep the pool water chemicals at adequate levels, you may want to be aware of the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI).  The LSI provides you with an idea as to how saturated your pool water is with metals and other minerals, all of which can contribute to the taste of water.

2 – Sudden Changes in Temperatures

Different temperatures can affect the taste of pool water. How does that happen? 

It’s because chemicals in the water are set to exist at certain temperatures with specific requirements. Any drastic change could lead to an imbalance in the pool water.

Another reason that you may not notice chlorine in cold water is because it dissolves slower. Cold water can also cause your taste buds to become less sensitive to minerals in the water.

Warm water, on the other hand, makes you more sensitive to the taste of calcium.

So, if your pool is colder than usual due to extreme weather conditions, this could explain why the water tastes different. In the same vein, warmer temperature might make the water to taste weird.

3 – Low Maintenance

Being safe is infinitely better than being sorry. Neglecting your pool and the proper maintenance can affect the taste and color of your water.

Leaving the pool unattended for too long can cause some algae to grow around it. Algae build-up can cause your water to literally turn green! As a result, the water will most definitely not taste any good.

A weekly pool maintenance routine will help you avoid too much hassle by the time your pool starts to look bad.

Plus, a cleaning schedule, as well as using the right chemicals, can keep algae growth at bay. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to shock the pool.

Additionally, a high level of total dissolved solids (TDS) can cause the water to taste bad. Often the best course of action to reduce the TDS is to perform a drain-refill of the pool.

Why Does My Pool Water Taste Metallic?

Pool water can sometimes taste metallic due to high levels of metal and mineral traces in the water. For example, using an algaecide to help keep your swimming pool clean can cause this metallic taste.

This is because most algaecides have copper in the components to kill algae present in water. As a result, you’ll have higher metal levels in your water, which can affect the taste or even leave stains on your pool.

Another possible cause for the metallic taste in your mouth could be the pool heater. A copper heat exchanger in a pool heater can malfunction due to a poor chemical balance. This can result in metal traces in the water and hence, a metallic taste.

Using sequestering agents can help lock minerals/metals in their solution. In turn, this can boost the water quality as well as water taste problems.

Why Does My Pool Water Taste Sour?

If your pool water tastes sour, it’s most likely another water chemistry issue. It could be because you don’t have enough chlorine in it or the pH levels could be off. 

A pH of less than 7 is considered acidic. If the pH is too far below 7, it’s possible that it could cause the water to taste sour.

To test the water, you can buy a kit and do it yourself or have an expert do it for you. The pH or total dissolved solids (TDS) levels might be too high or low, so it’s best to make sure the water is balanced.

If you’ve checked for the LSI levels but still can’t find the source of your problem, then try this:

Run your filter system on “backwash” mode for about five to ten minutes. This should clean out any debris that may have clogged up the filters over time. Alternatively, perform a full cleaning of the filter to really ensure that any contaminants are cleared out of it.

If none of these things work, it could be time to call in some experts to inspect and fix whatever has gone wrong with the equipment in your swimming pool.

Final Takeaway

If your pool water tastes bad, there are several reasons why this is happening. Most of the time, it can be fixed by using a pool shock treatment or checking the pool chemistry with appropriate adjustments to the balance. 

In the event that the pool water still has an odd taste after following these steps, then you might have other problems with your pool equipment. It may be a good idea to check the filtration system or the heater during your investigation.

A salty taste to the water can also have its own separate causes, so be sure to check out possible causes and solutions!

Nonetheless, it’s best not to drink the pool water, so hopefully the taste is nothing more than a mild nuisance!

Happy Swimming!

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