Why Does Brita Water Taste Weird? 5 Major Causes

Why Does Brita Water Taste Weird? 5 Major Causes

Brita water filters provide clean and good-tasting drinking water. So, if the water has a weird taste even after it’s been filtered, you might be confused and disappointed.

But before you send a complaint to Brita, check out what might be causing this off taste.

Weird-tasting Brita water may be due to an unrinsed, old, or dried-up filter. In some cases, the Brita filtration system has nothing to do with the bad taste in your water. The undesirable flavor may be caused by a contaminant in the water that the Brita filter does not remove. If you grew accustomed to the taste of your tap water, your palette may need to adjust to the improved quality for the weird taste to go away.

In this article, we explore the reason behind the odd taste your Brita-filtered water may contain.

1. You Didn’t Rinse the Brita Water Filter Well

To avoid having weird-tasting Brita water, start with properly preparing and installing the filter. Whether attaching it to a faucet or a pitcher dispenser, you must thoroughly rinse or soak it in clean water according to the instructions. This step ensures the filter will work properly once installed.

Brita filters use granular activated carbon that traps impurities in tap water that usually cause the funky taste. It is normal for a newly installed filter to release a small amount of tiny carbon dust in the first batch of water.

You have to rinse the filters to get rid of this dust. Although these tiny particles of carbon are not bad for you, they can give your water a strange flavor.

If you rinse the filter according to the instructions, you’ll flush out the carbon dust and avoid this problem. Even if you forgot to rinse the filter, the carbon particles will eventually be flushed out after a few batches of water are processed.

How To Fix This?

The simplest way to remove the weird taste caused by carbon contamination is to rinse them thoroughly. The same goes for the plastic pitcher, which can also influence the taste. Its primary material is why people associate the initial taste of filtered water with plastic. Fortunately, this eventually goes away, much like other containers.

Aside from cleansing the Brita filter to remove the carbon traces, you also need to ensure that the filters and their components are appropriately installed, especially for faucets and three-way tap filters. If not, you may have some untreated water bypassing the filter. This would allow some contaminants to slip into the water, giving it a funky taste.

Other things to keep in mind when setting up your Brita filter include:

  1. First, check the carbon cartridge for damage or particles spilling out.
  2. Use the testing strip if available.
  3. Make sure to wash your hands with water and soap before installing the filter.
  4. Run the water for at least 15 seconds after installing the filter to remove carbon dust further.
  5. Screw the gaskets, hose, and faucet tightly.
  6. Lastly, follow all the steps in the installation guide from start to end.

2. You’ve Been Using an Old Filter

If it has been a while since you’ve changed your Brita filter, having weird-tasting water could signal that it’s spent. Old filters may not function as efficiently as they should.

Moreover, these filters accumulate contaminants while they are filtering water. They are also prone to microbial buildup. If you leave a spent filter in place for too long, it will not only degrade the water’s taste but may also cause health issues.

You can easily tell when the filter is spent and it’s time for a new one. Signs to look for include:

  • Black or green spots in the filter: These flakes and spots can be mold or algae. They typically grow on filters that have been used for a long time. If you keep on using this filter, you might experience digestion problems.
  • There’s an odor in the water: No one wants to drink water that stinks! A bad smell is the most obvious sign that you need to change your filters. Odor indicates bacterial buildup, which spells bad news for your health – change the filter right away!
  • The water tastes metallic: If the weird taste is metallic, the filter may not be doing its job of removing contaminants. There’s a chance that metals like zinc, copper, or cadmium are not being filtered and are in your drinking water.
  • Water passes through the filter slower: When water takes more time to flow through the filter, it’s time to replace it. As the filter processes your water, it removes small particles and turbidity. Over time, this debris clogs the filter.

How To Fix This?

You should change the filter immediately if the water tastes terrible or even just a little strange. If your water contains algae or mold, you’re not only sacrificing your satisfaction, but also potentially risking your health. You could get food poisoning, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.

According to the Brita website, you must replace your filters every two months or every 40 gallons filtered for a standard white filter – whichever comes first. Other filters have greater capacity and can be used for as much as four to six months.

Even if the filters aren’t at their end-of-life yet, change them immediately if there are any indications they’re no longer effective. You know it’s time to change your Brita filters when the sticker indicator changes color, or you see a red light.

Read my article that answers the question Do Brita filters expire.

3. You Have Installed a Dry Filter

Carbon filters must be wetted to work properly. This requires saturating the carbon granules with water and allowing the air to work its way out of the filter. It’s very simple to do this, just follow the instructions and rinse the filter with water.

If you don’t rinse or soak your filter before putting it into service, the air in the carbon will reduce the filter’s ability to remove contaminants. As a result, your water will have a weird taste.

How To Fix This?

Preventing this problem is easy. Simply soak the filter in water and shake it after to remove any air bubbles. If you’re still unsure if this works, just install a new filter.

4. The Water Has Too Many Contaminants

Brita filters remove impurities using activated carbon. This filter media acts as a sponge to trap contaminants like chlorine, lead, benzene, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, PFAS, and other particulates or dissolved solids.

As effective as these filters are in removing elements that could be harmful, they aren’t perfect. Many contaminants cannot be entirely screened, like nitrates, some minerals, and microscopic organisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

If your Brita filter is fine but the water still tastes funny, check your water supply. If the water you’re trying to filter has too many contaminants or impurities, it may not be able to remove them all.

How To Fix This?

Test the quality of your drinking water supply. Although it’s less common, you may also want to check with your local water company to see if there’s been any major contamination.

5. Unchanged Taste Perception

Even after you remove all of the impurities from your water that can make it taste bad, it may still not have a desirable flavor. Your palette may not automatically taste the difference in the water’s flavor. In actuality, it might take some time before you notice any change.

How To Fix This?

Ask someone outside your household to taste the water. If they think it’s weird or funky, your solution may have not adequately addressed the issue. If you don’t have any complaints about the water, it could just be your taste buds adjusting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Brita Filters Change Water Taste?

The Brita filter not only gets rid of water impurities, but it can also remove the harsh taste and smell of chlorine. If it’s working correctly, the water should taste better after using a Brita filter, not worse.

Water taste generally depends on the source, which significantly influences how people perceive the taste of Brita-filtered water. If your Brita filter is giving your water a weird taste, learn the underlying cause and do what’s necessary to fix it.

How Do I Know if My Brita Filter Is Bad?

When the water takes a long time to filter or has an unpleasant taste, smell, or appearance, it means that the Brita filter needs to be replaced. You should also change the filters if you observe algae and mold forming – in fact, if this is the case, remove the Brita filter immediately.

Is Brita Healthier Than Bottled Water?

Brita water is free from dangerous contaminants like chlorine and metals. While bottled water also undergoes purification, Brita filters can remove 99% of the impurities that affect taste and odor. On top of that, Brita water is more environmentally friendly, healthier, and usually better tasting than bottled water.

The Bottom Line

Brita filters work to improve water quality, which includes better taste. If your Brita pitcher or faucet attachment is not working, check to see if the filter was installed correctly or needs to be replaced. Keep in mind, any weird taste in your filtered water might be coming from the water source. Your pipes may need cleaning or changing when it starts to harbor molds and other contaminants.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has a degree in journalism and has worked as a freelance writer and author for many years. She is passionate about clean drinking water and has written many articles on this subject. Amy enjoys hiking and water skiing with her husband and is grateful to have the opportunity to help others learn more about the importance of clean drinking water.

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