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There are several factors that could cause your drinking water to taste salty. Although some of these factors might be a bit serious, others are not really concerning. However, I will be going through all these factors because it is important for you to know all of them.
Why Does my Water Taste Salty?
Your drinking water could taste salty for a number of reasons, but the major reason is the presence of minerals. The presence of chloride (sodium chloride), magnesium, or sulfate in your water can make it taste salty.
These minerals are called “secondary contaminants” because they are not a “primary concern.” Lead and arsenic are the primary contaminants in water.
The most common mineral that causes water to taste salty is chloride. Chloride can be present in the form of sodium chloride (as in table salt). Once this gets into your water, it gives it that salty taste.
Chloride ions in your water can also be a result of agricultural run-offs or industrial waste. If you live near the sea, it could also occur when seawater enters your drinking water supply.
Sulfates can also make your drinking water taste salty. When rainwater passes across the surface of the earth, it dissolves sodium sulfate and magnesium sulfate. If this groundwater is introduced into your source of drinking water, it could taste salty.
Sulfates, like chlorides, can be caused by industrial pollution. One common cause of increased sulfate levels is shale waste.
Why Does My Well Water Taste Salty?
Salty well water is caused by many reasons, and common ones include:
- The natural increase in salt levels in the underground layer of rock where your well water is gotten from.
- Contamination of groundwater by sewage or liquid waste.
- Large amounts of sodium-rich rain or snow enter the drinking water supply.
- Contamination by agricultural and industrial waste.
- Run-off of salt from the surface of the ground.
- Contamination of water supplies by seawater in coastal areas.
- Erosion of salt deposits into your drinking water supply.
Even with this list, finding out the exact reason why your well water is salty can be quite difficult. Also, the cause might be something that is not listed here.
Another thing is that even if you know the reason for your salty well water, there is very little you can do about it. If the well is your private well, then you cannot report it to any water supplier.
Since you are not able to stop the well water from tasting salty, the only thing you are left with is how to fix it before drinking.
Why Does Softened Water Suddenly Taste Salty?
Hard water is water that has dissolved a large number of minerals. Calcium and magnesium are the minerals that cause water to become hard.
Sometimes hard water is preferred because of the minerals it contains. There are people who choose it due to its taste.
A water softener produces softened water that contains little or no minerals. Regular water softeners add little amounts of sodium to the hard water. The added sodium replaces the calcium and magnesium minerals.
However, the water must not taste salty!
So, if your softened water tastes salty, then there is a problem somewhere. It is very important that you identify the cause and find a solution immediately.
The first thing to know is that water softeners will not make your water salty. If your water tastes salty with a water softener, then the problem is with the system.
Before checking the system for the source of the problem, make sure that it is disconnected from the power source. Afterward, use the bypass valve to direct water away from the system.
Some of the reasons why your softened water tastes salty are:
Clogged Injector Valve
You should first check your injector valve to confirm whether or not it is clogged. Because the injector has several vertical and horizontal holes, it is quite easy for it to get blocked with dirt, sediment, and even sand.
The valve is quite delicate, so care must be taken while trying to unclog it. You can make use of a soft toothbrush or a wooden toothpick to prevent damaging it. Using metal objects can cause the holes to become bigger, and if you cannot get rid of the particles, then you get another valve.
Clogged Drain Line Flow Control
If the problem is not from the injector valve, then you should check the drain line flow control. The control button is at the elbow of the water softener system and so can easily get blocked by particles. You should remove and clean it if it is blocked.
Just like the injector valve, take proper care while cleaning it. It might be better to get a replacement if it looks worn out.
Clogged or Crimped Drain Line
If your water still tastes salty, then you should check the drain line of your water softener. Sometimes, the line gets crimped, which prevents water from flowing efficiently. Other times, it is simply clogged with particles.
To fix this, you can use your hands to trace the drain line from the tank to its exit. Try to feel for any crimps as you go and also check where it seems to be blocked.
At times, this might occur because your drain pipe is too long. Your drain pipe should not be longer than 8 feet, and there should be a maximum distance of 20 feet between the tank and drain.
Clogged or Crimped Brine Line
The brine line can also be blocked with sodium and other sediments. Like the drain line, it could also get crimped, preventing the brine solution from flowing correctly. If the water cannot flow evenly, it could gather in the system, causing it to taste salty.
Check the line for crimps and blockages. If you find any, remove them and clean them. However, get a new line if there is any significant damage.
Spoilt Brine Valve
Check the components of the brine valve (brine and downflow pistons and space stack) to see if they are still in good condition. If not, they could cause the water softener to release more salt into the water.
When you remove the drain and brine elbow, if you find dripping water in the valve, then one of the brine valve components is damaged. Replacing the faulty parts will fix it.
If your water softener is not correctly programmed, then it will not perform as well as it should. Input your correct water hardness so that the regeneration cycle can be efficient.
Check the pre-programmed settings after power outages to make sure that they remain as they should. If not, it can cause too much salt to be added to the water.
Using the Water During Regeneration
It is normal to set the regeneration of your water softener to around 2–3 a.m. This is because it is the period where you are least likely to use the system. If you wake up in the night and pour a glass of water while the system is regenerating, it can cause your water to be salty in the morning.
You can fix it by just allowing the water to run from the faucet for a few minutes so it can go back to its normal taste.
Low Water Pressure
Your water should have a pressure of between 45 and 70 PSI so that it can flow properly and get to the water softener. If it is lower than this, it could cause the production of water that has a salty taste.
Use a pressure gauge to check your water pressure. Water pressure can be increased with a booster pump.
High Sodium Content of Incoming Water
There are a few times when the issue is from the water entering the softener. In cases when your water supply has a high sodium level, your water softener will only add to it. So you should test your drinking water to know the sodium ion concentration.
Why Does My Water Taste Salty with a Water Softener?
When you have hard water, you will usually make use of a water softener to “soften” it. Oftentimes, you will notice a salty aftertaste when you drink soft water.
The reason why this happens is that softeners contain salts.
Water softeners are usually very effective appliances, but they are also complex. Cheap and low-quality water softeners get broken easily, and this is to your disadvantage. So it is better to invest in a good water softener even though the price is higher.
If you detect that your water tastes salty after you install a water softener, then the device is either fitted incorrectly or broken.
If the device is installed incorrectly, it might add more salt than necessary to your drinking water. So, the first step is to confirm that the device is correctly installed.
Afterward, check all the components to make sure none of them is malfunctioning. Sometimes the drain line or tanks might be clogged, and they would need cleaning or replacing.
You can also fix the problem easily by simply reprogramming the system for it to do a regeneration cycle. If your water softener is clogged, simply cleaning the blocked area (drain line or tank) should fix it. However, if this doesn’t solve the problem, then you should call an expert.
How to Fix Salty Water
Since you now know the reason your water tastes salty, the next thing is to find a solution. This is because there are many side effects to drinking salty water, depending on the cause. If left unchecked, chloride minerals can destroy your plumbing.
When trying to fix salty water, the first thing to do is to test the water. The result of the test will let you know the specific contaminants in the water and the type of treatment to use.
You can fix salty by any of these methods:
The most common method by which salty water is fixed is with the use of a water filtration system. You can filter your drinking water with a water filter pitcher or faucet-mounted filter. However, if you want to protect your plumbing and other appliances through which water flows, then you should invest in a whole-house filtration system.
This is the simplest method to fix salty water. Here, the contaminant is filtered out, giving the water a fresh taste.
Removing sulfate and chloride from water is a fairly difficult task. Your regular carbon filter and water filter pitcher are usually unable to remove these minerals because they are dissolved in the water. So, the most effective method of removing these minerals is by using a Reverse Osmosis system.
In reverse osmosis, multiple filters and membrane stages are used. This helps to remove 99% of all the contaminants in the water, including those that make it taste salty.
The reverse osmosis semi-permeable membrane has very tiny pores that only water particles can pass through. The contaminant particles in the water are too big to pass through these pores, and they are then flushed down the drain.
This process is best suited for salty well water and others in which you cannot fix the cause at the source of the water supply.
As mentioned earlier, you can fix your salty water issues by checking if your water softener is damaged or malfunctioning. You can simply adjust the settings so that the amount of salt added to your drinking water is reduced.
If this doesn’t seem to fix your problem, then why not try a salt-free softener? This type of softener alters the form of the dissolved minerals in hard water to prevent limescale without using salts.
1. Why does my water suddenly taste salty?
Water could taste salty because of a high concentration of chloride ions, the presence of sulfates, or an issue with your water softener. Contaminants in your water can also make it taste salty, earthy, or even metallic.
2. Why does my water taste salty after regeneration?
This means that your water softener did not rinse away the brine after the regeneration process. This can be caused by clogged water pre-filters, damaged valves, and the presence of sediments causing excess salt in the water softener.
3. Why does my filtered water taste salty?
If your water tastes salty after filtering, it could be because the filter is old and it no longer works properly. Also, there are certain contaminants that pass through the pores of water filters. In this case, you can use a Reverse Osmosis system for a more throughout removal.
4. Why does my pool water taste salty?
Noticing a change in the smell or taste of your pool water indicates a change in its chemical composition. This means a change in the number of salts, organic material, metals, and microscopic minerals. The best way to handle this issue is through regular professional service.
5. Why does RO water taste salty?
If your RO starts producing salty water, then the RO system is malfunctioning, and the RO membrane needs to be changed.
6. Why does bottled water taste salty?
This depends on the type of bottled water. Some of them are spring water, which contains natural minerals, while others are distilled water with added minerals for a good flavor. Also, it depends on the quality of the water supply in your area. Most bottled water will taste similar to or worse than the tap water in the area.
7. Why does my hot water taste salty?
It is likely a result of high chlorine concentration or the presence of sulfates in your water supply. It can also be caused by dirty drains and control valves. Cleaning or replacing these valves can help fix it. It is advisable to use cold water until the water stops tasting salty so that salt water does not enter the hot water tank.