New Water Softener Water Taste Like Plastic?[Expert Guide]

Does the new water softener water taste like plastic? If you’ve recently installed a new water softener, and facing this issue, then you’re not alone. Many homeowners experience this issue, but it’s essential to understand that it’s usually a temporary problem. In this article, we’ll explore the potential causes of the plastic taste in your water softener and provide solutions to help you enjoy fresh, clean drinking water.

Potential Causes

In our previous article, we discussed water softener settings for wells. However, while writing that guide, I have decided to shed some light on the issue of plastic taste associated with water softeners as well.

Hence based on my personal research, water softener water taste like plastic for the following reasons:

A. New Plastic Taste from Resin Media

The primary cause of the plastic taste in your water softener is the resin media. The resin beads or media are made of plastic and are responsible for removing hard minerals from your water. During the initial use, these resin beads can release trace amounts of plastic flavors, which can give your water a distinctive taste. This taste will diminish over time as the resin “seasons” and becomes less concentrated.

B. Other new materials

Apart from the resin media, there are other plastic components in the water softener system, such as piping and control valves. These components may also release trace plastic flavors initially, contributing to the plastic taste in the water. Additionally, rubber or silicone materials used in the system may have a “new” taste when first installed.

C. Purge process incomplete

During the manufacturing or installation process, residual materials may be left behind in the water softener system. If the initial purge fails to fully flush out these residuals, they can contribute to the plastic taste in the water. Hence you have a plastic taste from your new water softener.

water softener hardness setting for well water


After diagnosing the three main reasons that can give rise to it, what are the solutions we have? Following are the few methods you can try?

A. Flush system thoroughly

To address the issue of plastic-tasting water, it is recommended to run the water softener in bypass mode for 12-24 hours. This allows the system to fully flush out any residual materials present in the internals. If the plastic taste persists, additional flushes may be necessary.

B. Use untreated water for initial seasoning

During the initial break-in period, it is advisable to run the softened water to drain for 1-2 weeks rather than using it for drinking or cooking purposes. This practice allows the resin media to fully season without consuming the water, reducing the plastic taste over time.

C. Activate carbon filter if available

Some water softener systems come equipped with an optional carbon filter. Activating this filter during the initial break-in period can help remove trace plastic flavors from the water. Running the softened water through the carbon filter aids in the system’s break-in process and further reduces any residual taste. Or you try Brita filters to remove this plastic taste as well.

D. Check for sanitizer residue

Likewise, it is essential to ensure that no chlorine or other sanitizers used during the installation process remain in the plumbing system. These sanitizers can exacerbate the plastic taste initially experienced. Thoroughly flushing the plumbing system and checking for sanitizer residue can help mitigate this issue.

When to be concerned

Typically, the break-in period for a water softener system ranges from 1 to 4 weeks for the plastic taste to dissipate naturally. However, if the taste does not improve within 4-6 weeks, it may be necessary to contact the manufacturer for further troubleshooting assistance. Reputable water softener manufacturers often provide technical support to address any persistent issues.


To summarize, new water softener water taste like plastic is a common occurrence. Fortunately, this issue is usually temporary and can be resolved through proper flushing and seasoning of the system. By following the recommended solutions outlined in this article, you can alleviate their concerns regarding the plastic taste and enjoy the benefits of clean, soft water.

If the problem persists beyond the typical break-in period, it is advisable to seek technical support from the manufacturer to ensure the system functions optimally.

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