Using tap water, using bottled water for cooking & such

soozDecember 1, 2012

Just wondering... our tap water has a "taste" to it (to me), but I do use it primarily for cooking.

Sometimes, though, I use the "Arrowhead" type water.

Do you have preferences??

While I'm asking, we have one of those 5 gallon water dispensers where you put the 5 gallon container of water upsidedown onto the dispenser. What's the best way to clean out the plastic reservoir (or whatever that part is called, that "holds" the water inside it, until you press down the little dispenser lever)?



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I use and drink tap water. We have a well and the water is hard. We have a softener with a rust filter which takes most of the "crap" out of the water, it's actually quite good.

I am not a fan of bottled water for a number of reasons, one of which is the amount of plastic used that invariably ends up in a landfill.

Good lord, they have us afraid to drink water straight out of the well these days! It's nothing but a marketing ploy, like many, many others.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:45AM
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I agree with Linda, I also use tap water. Here in town I have "city water". I don't care for the taste, although it's not chlorinated or fluoridated or anything, but it has a significant mineral content. It's been tested and is safe to drink, so I drink it. I also use it for canning, in spite of the dire warnings of the government about using distilled water for pickles, etc. I do sometimes squeeze some lemon into it, especially when beachlily sends me fresh Meyer lemons! I also use it for coffee and tea, for cooking and bathing, for laundry and filling the swimming pool. I do have a filter on the kitchen faucet but I never remember to switch the little lever over. Then again, I've been known to drink straight out of the garden hose at the farm when I'm in the garden or hayfield, so I guess I'm not all that picky.

The farm has a well and the water comes from the same aquifer that Ice Mountain pipes their water from. It's bottled just a few miles from the farm. That's right, a foreign company is pumping our water, putting it in bottles and selling it back to us and we're buying it. So my cattle and horses are drinking Ice Mountain water while I'm stuck with White Cloud's city water, LOL.

Numerous studies have shown that bottled water is usually no safer or cleaner or healthier than the stuff that comes from the tap which costs pennies. By using tap water we avoid all those plastic bottles in our landfills, all the use of petroleum products for shipping, and a lot of money stays in our wallets.

I guess I'll keep using it. I cover up any off flavors with coffee. (grin)

Anyway, the short answer is that I use tap water and that is my preference.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:00AM
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If you don't like the taste of the water, use bottled or filtered water for tea or coffee. For ordinary cooking, it won't make any difference. Try a filter on your faucet or a RO unit (ours is zero waste). But I wouldn't bother cleaning the water dispenser unit.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:07AM
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I run my drinking and coffee water through a charcoal Brita filter. It does improve the taste. I had a chemistry teacher who taught at night and worked for the water department during the day. He was very offended that aome people thought his water was bad. Anyway,bottled water is just tap water run through a filter. Do it yourself -- it's cheaper, less wasteful and a whole lot easier than heaving 40 lb bottles of water around.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 3:17AM
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I have a well, and the iron content (and harmless iron loving bacteria) of our water is pretty high, so we don't drink the water. I use Poland Spring water in my water crock. I use it for cooking and baking, etc, except for making pasta, etc, then we use faucet water. We actually live next to the reservoir for the city water!

The schools out here have fluoride Friday, the kids who have well water get a dose of fluoride, to swish and swallow, every Friday.

The cats won't drink the tap water, either.

Since I can't get it delivered any more, I buy the 2 1/2 gallon bottles and fill my 3 gallon water bottle from those.

We have bottled water at work, and periodically we wipe down the inside with alcohol to kill the bacteria that gives it a bad taste.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 6:25AM
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I'm a complete water snob. We've distilled our drinking/cooking water for the last 25-years. The cost is currently around 21-cents per gallon (checked with a Kill-a-Watt meter) to distill it at home. One-gallon counter-top models cost around $200 and last 5-8 years of daily use. When we don't use the distiller (summer), we use a Berkey water filter as an alternative method for purifying the water, which is a gravity-fed unit and no electricity is used.

Municipal drinking water is safe to drink as far as bacteria is concerned, because that is exactly what they treat. However, they don't have methods for removing chemicals, including the ones they use to treat the water, as well as things like farm-related chemicals (which we have an abundance of here in Kansas contaminating wells and run-off water), and Rx drugs that end up in the water system.

I've had two friends who had drug interactions with drugs they weren't taking and their physician suggested they drink distilled water instead of the local water and the problem went away.

If you have well water in this area, it is suggested you use purified bottled water for your newborn's formula due to ag-related chemicals and bacteria in well water. Both distillation and the Berkey will remove these chemicals and bacteria. Reverse osmosis and other commonly used filters don't, although they help with the taste and some forms of bacteria, aren't as good as distillation or the Berkey.

Once a year, for about one month, our city water treatment plant switches to a high level of chlorine and you think you are taking a bath in a swimming pool it's so strong, so we also have special filters on our showers. Friends who have a reverse osmosis system as well as a carbon filter on their refrigerator can still taste the chemicals in their ice and water during this month. It's not a problem when we use our distiller or Berkey. The problem with most filters that use a carbon filter method is people don't change the filters often enough. We use a small stand-alone ice maker and use distilled water to make ice.

If you want more information, do a search on - drugs in the drinking water. When our daughter and family were stationed in Germany for 4-years (SIL is an Army Officer), the Army instructed them to use a water purifying system for their drinking water, so we sent them a distiller. Pharmaceutical drugs in the drinking water were first discovered in Europe.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 6:42AM
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There is nothing wrong with tap water....I grew up drink out of the garden hose. I'm still here HELLO!!!

Linda LOL

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:08AM
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"I grew up drink out of the garden hose"

That made me laugh out loud linda! And I almost spilled my morning cup of ice water. I don't drink coffee and rarely tea so water is my beverage of choice. And it's usually tap water. There are two natural springs not far so when I have time I go and fill a couple of gallon containers.

Grainlady - many people don't realize that RX drugs end up in the water supply. Most local drug stores will dispose of your excess prescriptions. I would never throw even OTC stuff in the trash.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:54AM
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I use tap water - they sell our city water in bottles - LOL
I am thinking of getting a 5 gallon water jug and using a local spring water company for cold water in the summer - in the winter, our water comes in at 37 degrees but in the summer it is very warm. I think the water pipes must be too close to the surface but no frozen pipes (knock on wood!)
For now, I just use a 1/2 gallon glass milk bottle from a local dairy and keep it in the fridge for when i want cold water or add a few cubes.

Now when I had a well - that was a different story - I just could not drink it and did use a 2.5 gallon jug for drinking and most cooking. I tried using tap for a couple years but found I always went for soda instead of water - I gave up soda 8 years ago - cold turkey!

I am a hose survivor also.

The abx in water and milk could be a problem for some so good to check your water reports - but then again if you have a well - better check the underground chemical flumes.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Supposedly NY has the best water. That's what I use for everything.

I never use bottled water. I buy bottled water only if I have a party for some guests just in case.

I have a water distiller to make distilled water for an electric iron and for battery maintenance. I once served distilled water to guests; they all said the water tasted funny, because they had never tasted 100% pure water before.

If you have a distiller, you will notice that there are plenty of impurities in regular tap water, which does not bother me. The pipes that supply you with tap water can have over a hundred years of deposit in them.

"---The cost is currently around 21-cents per gallon (checked with a Kill-a-Watt meter) to distill it at home.----"
A little less in the winter time because the heat in distilling heats your house.

BTW, OT: I remember seeing a report that the advice of "drinking more water" is meaningless. It may even be harmful to your body. Drink more water only if you are thirsty. Your body knows better.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:20AM
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You hit the nail on the head....

Rx drugs are also expelled in urine from the nearly 50% of the U.S. population who now take at least one prescribed drug. Not that long ago it was a common practice at health care facilities to flush drugs down the toilet as a "safe" way to dispose of them. The local police station will take and properly dispose of old Rx drugs and OTC stuff as well.

-A friend used an artestian well that had the most wonderful cold, clear, great-tasting water, and nearly died from the bacteria contamination it was also supplying.

-Another friend has encountered large counts of e-coli from their well several times when they had it tested and now regularly treat their well water with a disinfectant. As an alternative, I wonder what the disinfectant is doing to them? YUM!

-A plume of decades old industrial waste has affected ground water and wells used for our city water, and there is a battle in the courts about who is responsible for the clean-up. Meanwhile, I wonder what unintended health issues might rear it's ugly head in the future?

-Farmers in the area have high rates of Leukemia from exposure to ag-chemicals, which are also now commonly found in well water.

"Hasn't killed me yet" isn't any guarantee you won't have a disease or condition from chemicals in your drinking water. In reality, ignorance isn't bliss, it's just ignorance.... Just because you can't smell, taste or see something, or it doesn't choke and gag you when ingested, doesn't make it any less dangerous.

I don't take any kind of medications and I'd just as soon not get them secondhand. Drinking water shouldn't include the antibiotics given to cattle, toxic chemicals applied to your crops, or those expelled by 50% of the population - at least if I can help it...


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Our city water is pretty good, but when we redid the kitchen I had them install a two stage filtering system that is supposed to filter out a lot of junk--cysts, lead, chlorine, chloramine, etc. The filters are in the basement (so I can change them without crawling under a sink) and the filtered water goes to the fridge for cold water and ice, the potfiller faucet over the stove, and the cold water tap of the prep sinks.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:20AM
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I drink tap water at work, but filtered water at home, since our fridge has a filter to the water dispenser. Although, if I'm filling a big pot full of water for pasta, I'm not bothering with the filtered water, since it flows so slowly.

No, our water in Texas doesn't taste wonderful, but I'm used to it. The water at our place in Tahlequah tastes wonderful. It's well water, and we love it.

It's funny about cats, at least, my cats. They love it when I fill their water bowls with fresh tap water - one even begs for fresh water by sitting at the water bowl, looking at me and meowing. I have to dump the water that's in it and put fresh in it, and she's happy. I see the same cat at our water garden outside drinking the pond water. Go figure. But nothing is better for my cats than sneaking a drink of water out of my glass of water.

I refuse to buy bottled water. I hate drinking out of plastic, period, and hate what the bottled water and bottled drink industry has done to the environment. The only time I drink bottled water is if I'm visiting someone, they offer me water, and present me with a bottle of water. I drink it to be polite.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 11:04AM
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We drink tap water, sometimes filtered with a Brita filter, sometimes not. I can't taste the difference. I will not buy bottled water. Even when travelling I carry my own water bottle and fill it from drinking fountains. We have hard water in the area and plan to install a water softener system because of the deposits in the plumbing. We're debating installation of RO filtration. DH is concerned with the amount of water wasted, also the space the system takes up. We still haven't resolved that.

Distilled water tastes "off" because it lacks the minerals and dissolved gases which give water its characteristic flavor. To me it tastes dead. I'd rather take my chances with tap water.


This post was edited by jadeite on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 12:13

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Cheryl, I agree. The farm water from the well tastes really good but the water here in town doesn't. The city has its own well, but doesn't add anything. There is a slight odor of sulfur here in town.

And then there's "mineral water".

Elery has a water softener because there is so much iron in his well water. I don't like it, it makes me feel "slimy" when I take a shower.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Annie - "slimy" isn't good! I know people say they can't get the soap off with softened water. I've never had a softener and I've resisted this for a while, but the water here leaves calcium deposits on everything - the walls of the shower, the sinks and floors, anywhere a drop falls. It's amazing. I can now imagine stalactites growing! The worst part is the buildup inside pipes which could be a big problem soon.

It's surprising how water tastes different from one place to another. I'm sure your farm well tastes a lot better than the processed water from the city.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:55PM
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What you feel on your skin with unsoftened water is the same calcium carbonate deposited as in your pipes, mixed with soap residue. "Slimy" is actually cleaner.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:17PM
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The tap water in Vancouver and B.C. is the best I've had (and I've been to NY) - I think it comes from melted snow. Anyway, I noticed that ice cubes made with tap water were crystal clear; after I washed my hair, I did not need conditioner; and there was never a ring in the bathtub. It was the best water for both washing and drinking.

El Paso has lithium in the water supply and therefore one of the lowest rates of mental illness. I always stocked up on El Paso water whenever I was there, and I did notice that people in El Paso seemed particularly happy, for whatever reason. I always made a point of spending the night there when driving between Texas and California.


Here is a link that might be useful: What makes NY tap water special

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Now I understand why I enjoyed visiting my DD and her family in El Paso. I must say, it was the warmest tap water, by far, of any city I ever visited. Which made it rather gross, all in all.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Maybe that's what I need, some lithium in the water!

It might be cleaner but it still feels icky and I still need to use conditioner in my hair, so I guess I'll go with less clean and un-slimy, LOL.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

We had an under the sink water filter for twelve years. The filters were regularly changed ( one in the refrigerator too) and the sink has a water filter faucet.
Anyway, earlier this year, the filter broke during the night and flooded our finished basement. We later found out that it is quite common for that to happen. Our insurance paid for everything except the enormous hassle and much work on my part. Everything damaged was replaced and the total insurance bill came to near 50,000.

Since then, dh has been reluctant to put in a new under sink filter and we have been buying bottled water.
I think I'm going to get a Brita Water Pitcher.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:35PM
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I used to have excellent water but no more. I filter the water for most cooking and most water drinking is spring water. I don't give a rat's patute about the bottles and the worrywarts talking about the landfills. There's a new thing around here called "recycling". If people would start doing that (or give 1/10 the concern about) the disposable diapers in those landfills, I could give a little more respect to it.

I cannot drink the water from refrigerator "through the door" dispensers. I can usually taste the mold in there. People that drink that stuff can't have taste buds. A friend gave me a glas of water and was so proud of her refrigerator and I went to the sink, dumped it out, rinsed the glass and took tap water. She was shocked. "Don't you like COLD water?" Sure do, but not MOLD water. Since people are flaunting all the studies, check out the studies of refrigerator dispensers.

I've been a heavy water drinker all my life. Way before it became fashionable. Now all of a sudden the past years water has become a villain. There's a concern about water bottles, but the tenfold number of Coke and Pepsi bottles apparently don't hurt the landfills. Nor do the Starbucks foam cups, the coffee cans and bags, Keurig cups, or the 5 hour energy bottles or any number of other things. It's laughable.

The excuses run wild. "Oh bottled water is only tap water! I heard that somewhere" Probably the email right after the $250 cookie recipe!

An yes, I too have had drinks from a garden hose, but then again I question people who believe that the water from that hose 50 years ago is the same as today.

I need a drink... (of that ever-feared water!) :)

Oh, as for the water cooler/dispenser units, you do need to clean them. We had a Glenwood/Inglewood unit and I learned that quickly. I could tell within a couple weeks that the taste was bad. Shouldn't have been like that. I was going to change the bottle one day and looked inside and saw the crud buildup in there. Ugh! A guy from the company came out and cleaned it and showed me the tricks for getting it clean. Great tasting thereafter.

I usually like spring water and that's what I buy most of the time. There used to be a lot of arguments that spring water was better for you than others. I don't know if it's true or not but psychologically for me, I feel better getting spring water than purified "city" water. For a penny a bottle difference at most, it's worth it to me.

As far as brands, that'll vary a lot by area. I do like the Buhl water even though it's not spring water. I can't drink Aysta. Kandiyohi is OK. Chippewa is pretty good. Try some and see what you like or dislike. Taste is subjective.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Oh, cynic! You tease!!! Please, do tell the details about the tricks the guy from the water company showed you for getting the inside of the cooler/dispenser clean!


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:29AM
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Cynic, I agree about the refrigerator dispensers, the water never tasted like mold but it always has that off "stale" taste. I won't drink the stuff.

Here soft drink bottles and beer containers have a 10 cent deposit so they all get recycled by the local kids wanting pocket money, they pick them up from the roadsides, the campgrounds, the parking lots. I do recycle everything that can be recycled, recycling is free and I've done it for at least 25 years. I don't have a Keurig, I buy unbleached and biodegradable coffee filters and coffee in brown bags that go to recycling. I have my own Biggby coffee cup that I take with me on the rare occasion that I'll buy one of those $5 mocha drinks, otherwise I take a travel mug of my own coffee with me, no styrofoam. I never did understand the 5 hour energy drink thing, I just drink a couple more cups of coffee, LOL. And I buy coffee in bags, but cans (even the plastic ones) get recycled as scoops for chicken feed or containers for screws and nails in the pole barn, the Grandkids painted some orange and punched jack-o-lantern faces in them and put candles inside for Halloween lights because there weren't any pumpkins this year due to the drought. I recycle everything I can so I get to fuss about bottles in the landfills, but you're right, it's too easy to recycle, people need to pony up and do it. Especially grocery bags, my pet complaint. The darned things are blowing around everywhere and nearly every grocery store has a box right inside to recycle the darned things, just drop them off when you go shopping, sheesh.

My city water isn't "purified" or anything else, it's just pumped out of the city's well and provided to my house. It is tested periodically to be sure it's safe to drink.

I've never had a water dispenser so I can't help on that, but I'd like to know if you actually can clean out those refrigerator dispensers. My refrigerator doesn't have one, neither does Amanda's, we have very basic and old models. Ashley's and Elery's refrigerators both do, however, and the water tastes nasty. No one uses them and I don't know how to clean them.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:42AM
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I am currently shopping for all new kitchen appliances. The water dispenser does not appeal to me at all due to the cleaning situation.

My kitchen is not huge so I am looking for a fridge in the neighborhood of 25 cubic feet or so. The ones I've viewed so far all have the water dispensers.

Next weekend I plan to hit a couple of big appliance outlets with hopes of finding 3 appliances I like.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:50AM
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We have city water, and I can go to different parts of town and the water tastes different. I always drink water with my meals when eating out and I can't drink it at some restaurants because of the strong chlorination.

Teresa, it's not going to be easy, I don't think, finding a frig without the water dispenser. When my landlady was replacing my stove last year, she told me to go and pick out one that I liked. I nosied around the fridges while I was there, looking for one without the water dispenser. They take up so much valuable door space, and I know I wouldn't want one.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:02PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

We use the refrigerator filter for the ice maker not drinking water.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Teresa, our refrigerator does not have any type of container to store the water that would need cleaning. It runs through copper tubing direct from the source to the filter and then to the glass. Nothing sitting around. The manual says to run a gallon through when installing and discard. Then, it's no different than drinking filtered tap water from your pipes. We change the refrigerator filter every other month. The manual says every third month.

We're on town water. Once a year, we get a report from our water company with testing results. All they do is run it through a charcoal filter. It's pretty good tasting (but, of course, there's that prescription drug thing that grainlady noted...).


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Oops, forgot to mention our refrigerator is a Samsung. Or, I should say it WAS a Samsung before it got flooded and floated into the sunroom. We really like it and have already purchased a replacement exactly like it awaiting completion of the construction repairs after Sandy.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:27PM
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" I don't give a rat's patute about the bottles and the worrywarts talking about the landfills. There's a new thing around here called "recycling". If people would start doing that (or give 1/10 the concern about) the disposable diapers in those landfills, I could give a little more respect to it."

You've nailed it again,cynic!
As usual!

And then there's the plastic bottles, dirty diapers, etc,
All over parking lots and roadsides.

How often I've wished I would actually see
someone dumping their trash in a parking lot,
So I could gather it up,
follow them home,
And dump it in their front yard!

Annie, I sure wish Texas had a bottle deposit
program like Michigan does.
That would help a lot, I think.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Forgot to say,
I do not buy bottled water.
I use tap (city) water
For everything.

And I recycle everything I possibly can!


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:38PM
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I, too, dislike the water dispenser in the fridge door, and found a very nice Kenmore over at our local Sears store that did NOT have this feature!

My sister has the water dispenser/ice dispenser in the door of her fridge, and the water tastes HORRIBLE! I'm guessing it's mold or slime, although the water looks clear. The taste is not palatable at all !

Still waiting for cynic to post the tricks for getting the 5 gal water dispenser clean. :O)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 4:13PM
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Not having a water dispenser isn't too tough to find but I searched a lot to find a frig without the ice maker. Very few don't have that wart. Though I really liked the 4 door Samsung with the option to make 3 compartments freezers, (and especially liked it being marked down from $2500 to $700) but it annoyed me that for the most part 1 full section was lost to the ice-maker and water dispenser. Yes, I know they don't have a tank in there for water, but I haven't seen any using copper pipes. Every one I've seen uses plastic tubing and a plastic tube to connect the water to the unit.

Sooz, it's been a long time now, but basically take the thing apart as much as you can and wash that stuff away. He used his "miracle cleaner" that had this odor of... salad? Vinegar takes that crust off the stainless and plastic quickly and effectively.

And I guess I should clarify, I DID drink water from a garden hose, but never the stuff that was sitting in the hose! I ran it a while to get the hosewater out of there and would have to do that with a refrigerator unit.

Even my cousin, who was so proud of his new frig with icemaker quit using the ice for drinks. He agreed with me that bad water makes bad ice, just like bad water makes bad coffee. The only thing he used that ice for was to dump in the cooler when he headed to the lake.

Annie, the only way I know to clean out the frig dispensers is to disconnect the water supply line, and these days most often they're those dang vampire couplers, then flush the system with bleach. And I highly doubt anyone ever has, or will.

Triciae, too bad about the flood, but it reminded me of when a friend's place flooded from a broken washer hose. All the totes floating around in the basement and her little foo-foo dog on top of one of them. I wanted to call her Gilligan after that! :)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 4:05PM
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I have an ice dispenser and water dispenser in my freezer door, and I love both of them. Also, my connections from the back of the fridge are copper. I go through a lot of ice, and the ice dispenser saves us a lot of time. The water from the dispenser tastes much better than the plain water from my tap. We bought the refrigerator in 2009 when we bought the house and put our old fridge in the garage. It still works very well, but we wanted the ice and water dispensers and we wanted a stainless steel finish to go with the rest of the kitchen.

Not all refrigerator ice and water dispensers are created equal.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 5:23PM
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For all of you who disdain bottled water, may I remind you that potable water is part of your disaster survival kit. Bottled water is certainly handy, but not required. You can store tap water, just follow the guidelines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Are you prepared?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 7:11PM
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Thanks, cynic!!! I was figuring maybe bleach first, then rinse with hot vinegar, then rinse again with... water. :O)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 7:48PM
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How much do you get paid for resurrecting these old threads and posting links?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 6:18PM
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Olychick good thing about the new format is there is a report SPAM function. You can flag the post as spam by clicking on the little flag to the right of the post.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 8:11PM
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