I have a whirlpool side by side refrigerator with an ice maker / water dispenser in the door. I got it used and have never use the water features because there is a peppery taste in the water that sits in the line for a while. I have tried the water in the supply line and have ruled that out. I have replaced the filter to no avail. if I purge the water, I can use it without the taste but if I let it sit, say.. over night, the peppery taste comes back. Both water and ice have problem.

I have a theory that pepper containing food was stored in the refrigerator and the aromatics leech into the internal supply lines, thus contaminating the water.

Does this theory seem valid? Has anyone else had this problem? Has anyone else solved this?

I am thinking about running copper lines to replace the internals.. Any advice?

  • I don’t have a water maker in my fridge or an ice maker, I make ice the old fashioned way and my ice tastes peppery. I do however have a well that I get my water from. I’m guessing it’s the minerals in the well giving off this taste.
    – user142555
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


My refrigerator also has as a through the door water dispenser like yours. Inside the refrigerator behind the bottom produce drawer there is a large coil of plastic tubing that is designed to pre-cool the water that is delivered to the door spigot.

You should check your refrigerator to see if it also has this same tubing arrangement. It is entirely possible that the previous owner of the refrigerator had left vegetables in the drawer for such a long time that they became severely spoiled and contaminated this tubing. Contamination could also have happened if spoiled food was on a shelf and decay liquids ran down the back wall into the tubing area. If the lower drawer was cracked and leaked out into the bottom of the refrigerator this problem could have been even worse.

If your refrigerator has this system I would highly recommend that you simply replace this coil of tubing with new.

  • You are exactly right! There is a large coil of tubing behind the drawers. I will try replacing this and see if that solves the problem. Sep 24, 2013 at 1:29

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