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Water or Ice Tastes/Smells Bad

Troubleshooting Refrigerators Last Updated 06/07/2017
Water or Ice Tastes - Refrigerator

NOTE: If this is a NEW INSTALLATION, it is necessary to flush out the first 2 gallons of water and dispose the first 2 bins of ice. This will allow any debris in the lines to be cleared out and enable the filter to fully engage.

  1. Remove odor.

    Odors in the refrigerator's freezer or fresh food compartment may not be apparent, but it will still affect the smell and taste of water and ice.

    • Clean the interior of the unit regularly.

    • Always seal food containers tightly.

    • Place boxes of BAKING SODA in both compartments for odor absorption. Do NOT use open containers of baking soda, which can allow the baking soda to be stirred up and circulated in the air. If baking soda circulates with the air flow, it may settle in the ice tray and affect the taste of the ice.

    Baking Soda
    Next Step
  2. Recently replaced the water lines.

    If you recently replaced your water line, it may transfer an unfamiliar odor or taste to the water or ice. Different types of water lines can impart different odors and tastes, such as plastic, rubber, greasy, mint, or even chemical.

    • Try dispensing 2 gallons of water to flush the line, then taste the water again.

    • If the taste persist, pull the refrigerator out of power, turn OFF the water supply, and disconnect the water supply line from the refrigerator.

    • Once disconnected, turn the water supply ON and check the taste of water from the line.

    • If the water tastes good, reconnect the unit and proceed to next step below. However, if the taste is present directly from the water supply line, then that could be the cause.

    water line
    Next Step
  3. Replace filter every six months.

    It is recommended that the water filter be replaced every six months or more often as needed. This can vary from household to household, depending on the frequency of use, water quality, and style of filter. If the water filter has not been replaced in the last 4-6 months, the water or ice may develop an unpleasant taste or odor.

    Order Replacement Water Filter Here

    Replace Water Dispenser
    Next Step
  4. Water softeners.

    If the water taste fine but the ice doesn’t, this is the result of water softeners in the water. Water softeners do not have taste in a liquid state, but when frozen the chemical properties of the softeners change. This is why ice can taste different than the water. This is not the result of the unit, but the softeners added to the water.

    Next Step
  5. Stale water or ice.

    If the unit is not used often, water will sit in the water lines and the reservoir. This will give the water a funny taste. Dispose off the first few glasses (2 gallons) and try again.

    If ice is used infrequently, it can affect odor and taste of the food items in the unit. It may be necessary to dump the ice and allow more to be made. Make sure that food items are sealed properly and do not place food items in the ice bin.

    Next Step
  6. Impurities from source.

    If the tap water in the home has impurities that require removal prior to consumption, a water purifying system will be required. The water filter is only capable of improving the quality of already drinkable tap water.

    If the tap water is consumable, the taste could be caused by the water supply lines to the refrigerator. Attempt to check the water supply line by disconnecting it and tasting the water from the source.

    Water Valve
    Next Step
  7. Request a repair.

    If you performed all the troubleshooting steps above, and the issue still persist, the unit will require a repair service. Please visit our Request a Repair page.

Author - Sanmi Ajanaku

Sanmi is a Home Appliance expert and author of this help library article. Please leave him feedback below about the page.

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