Water taste can be influenced by numerous factors. If your tap water tastes sweeter than normal, you may wonder whether you need to be concerned.
In this guide, I’ll be sharing the common reasons why your water tastes sweet which include mineral content, pH imbalance, or plumbing issues and whether you should look at options to improve your water quality. I’ll finish off with some of the solutions for altering the flavor of your water if necessary.
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📝 What Factors Cause My Tap Water Taste Sweet?
If you’re wondering, “why does my water taste sweet?” it’s likely because of one of the following reasons:
In most cases, sweet-tasting water is caused by minerals such as calcium and magnesium. If you’ve ever drunk a bottle of mineral water and noticed a sweet taste, a high concentration of minerals are usually the cause.
Many people enjoy the slightly sweet taste of calcium and magnesium, and healthy minerals can improve the overall quality of your water. If you’re not a fan, however, there are ways to remove these minerals from your water.
An imbalance of your water’s pH can also cause it to taste sweet. A high pH will make your water naturally taste sweeter.
A low pH, on the other hand, may cause your water to taste bitter and acidic. If your pH is particularly low, your water may take on the taste of baking soda, which many people find unpleasantly sweet.
Your plumbing can affect the taste of water flowing through your home. Metals from your pipes may leach into your drinking water and alter its flavor. Limescale deposits in your pipes may also dissolve into your water, affecting its smell and taste.
Your Sense of Smell or Diet
It may be the case that your sense of smell or sense or taste is affecting how you taste your water. In most cases, this isn’t a cause for worry.
Everyone has a different number of taste buds, and we all taste things slightly differently. That’s why some of us enjoy foods and drinks that others don’t.
Water tasting sweet may even be caused by something as simple as eating something that affects your taste perception. If you eat something particularly bitter or sour, like certain vegetables or citrus fruits, then follow with a drink of water, your water will taste much sweeter in comparison.
A taste in the mouth, caused by health problems like diabetes, may also affect the way your water tastes. This is more of a serious issue, and you should seek advice from a medical professional if you experience additional symptoms alongside a taste in your mouth.
😨 Should I Be Concerned When Water Has a Sweet Taste?
In the majority of cases, a sweet taste in your tap water is nothing to be worried about. Of all the different water tastes out there, sweet tastes are rarely a cause for concern.
The biggest issue to consider is with your own health. It’s unusual for your drinking water to suddenly taste different, especially if you haven’t upgraded your plumbing, changed suppliers, or switched to a different water source.
If your water starts to taste sweet out of the blue, you should consider whether diabetes might be the cause. Diabetes affects your blood insulin levels, which in turn affects your body’s blood sugar. If your body can’t produce insulin properly, your blood sugar levels may rise.
A side effect of diabetes is ketoacidosis, which, amongst other symptoms, can cause you to smell a sweet, fruity odor and have a similar taste in your mouth. Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you have any reason to think that the taste and odor of your water is caused by ketoacidosis.
💡 How to Tell What Is Causing Sweet Tasting Water?
Exactly why does water taste sweet, and how do you diagnose the issue in your own home? It’s not always easy to determine what is giving your water a sweet taste, but there are a number of things you can do to ascertain the most likely cause.
First off, test your water. Testing your water’s pH and hardness will let you know whether the sweet taste is caused by a high pH or mineral content.
You can either arrange for private laboratory testing or test your water at home. At-home testing isn’t usually as precise as laboratory testing, but it’s a lot cheaper. In most cases, if you’re just testing your water for acid or alkaline pH, or calcium and magnesium minerals, you should be fine to use an at-home test kit.
If you believe that your water’s sweetness is caused by your plumbing, enlist a plumber to take a look at your home’s water system. Usually, however, this isn’t necessary – not unless you’re dealing with a serious corrosion issue or your home’s plumbing is more than 80 years old, putting you more at risk of problems.
Related: Why does cold water taste better?
✔️ How to Improve the Quality of Your Drinking Water
To improve the quality of sweet-tasting drinking water, there are several options you can try.
Flush Your Plumbing
Before spending money on any of the options below, try flushing your plumbing. If your water isn’t naturally more alkaline, and it doesn’t contain contaminants that affect its sweetness, the issue may lie with your plumbing itself.
Even letting your water run for a minute or two before drinking it might get rid of the sweet taste.
But if you want to properly flush your plumbing, turn on all the cold water faucets in your home and let them run for up to 5 minutes. Switch the faucets on all the way to allow the high water pressure to dislodge anything in your pipes that might be affecting the taste of water in your home.
Aeration is one treatment option for water that tastes sweet. This method of filtration is used for treating many common water taste and odor issues, so it should effectively tackle the contaminants that cause a sweet taste.
Aeration involves sending large amounts of air through water, which releases dissolved gases and improves water quality. After aeration, water may then pass through a filter, which removes any minerals that have been converted into a solid state.
There are a number of different types of aeration systems, but these aren’t widely available for smaller, whole-home applications. The options listed below are more affordable and available in today’s filtered water market.
Activated Carbon Filtration
Activated carbon is perhaps the most common water filtration option available. These filters may be used on their own to treat water, or they may be installed within a larger system, such as a whole-home filter or a reverse osmosis unit.
You can buy carbon filters made from a variety of natural ingredients, including coal, coconut shell, and peat. These filtration devices use the process of adsorption to attract contaminants, including those related to smell and taste, and hold onto them, preventing them from passing through.
Because they’re so widely available, carbon filter cartridges are generally suitable for all budgets. From lower-cost filter pitchers to whole home treatment options, there’s a carbon filtration solution to suit all budgets.
If you’ve noticed limescale stains on your pipes, faucets and appliances, as well as sweet-tasting water, you’re likely dealing with a hard water problem.
A whole-home water softener replaces hardness minerals with another mineral; usually sodium. If hardness minerals are giving your water a sweet taste, using a salt-based water softener will resolve the issue immediately.
Water softeners usually cost around $800 upwards. You will also need to keep on with the ongoing cost of maintenance, including salt top-ups and regeneration.
Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective at-home water filtration options for both city and well water treatments.
During the reverse osmosis process, water is subjected to several filter stages and a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane allows only the smallest water particles to pass through, acting as a barrier against everything else.
A reverse osmosis system can eliminate everything that might be contributing to your water’s sweet taste, including chemicals and minerals. However, this system can cause a pH imbalance because it siphons out the impurities that contribute to alkalinity. You may end up with acid water that has a slightly sour taste after treating it with reverse osmosis.
Finally, pH neutralization, or pH correction, is a water treatment option that can bring your water to optimum pH.
If you’ve put your sweet water problem down to a pH issue, using a pH neutralizer to bring your pH back to normal should do the trick.
Keep in mind that many pH neutralizers add healthy minerals into your water. This will give your water a sweet alkaline taste – the very taste you might find unpleasant.