High-quality, clean water is essential for everyone. Sometimes, we overlook its importance; however, tap water contains harmful chemicals, bacteria, and other elements. To reduce contaminants and the risks involved, water filtration is essential!
There are several different types of water filters for you to choose from. Each of these has unique filtration properties but offers the basics of water purification. Unfortunately, depending on the type, these filters must be replaced regularly to prevent clogging and reduced efficiency.
The frequency of water filter replacement depends on the type of filter, water quality, and usage. For example, filters like gravity systems and reverse osmosis units last longer than pitcher water filters that require more frequent changes.
Why Change Your Water Filter Cartridge?
Like most household appliances such as a washer, a water filter collects particles and extra residue that do not belong there. Over time, these filters get clogged with removed substances, reducing efficiency and making filtration less effective. Therefore, to avoid problems such as slow water flow, it is crucial to replace your filter cartridge and clean the filtration unit regularly.
How Often to Replace Water Filters?
Generally, most drinking water filters must be cleaned and replaced after every 40 gallons of use or every two months. However, several factors like the number of people per household, the rate of contamination, and how hard the water is, affect this rule. For example, if you have a large family or very hard water with medium to heavy contaminant sediments, you should change your filter cartridge every two to six weeks.
A general indication that it’s time to change your water filter is a sudden change in the quality of water. Have you noticed your water tastes odd, has a murky appearance, and leaves residue in your appliances? These are all signs of a water filter needing replacement as soon as possible.
The exact frequency of replacement depends entirely on the type of appliance. The list below covers the most common filters and how often you should replace these. But, be sure to go through the manufacturer’s manual beforehand so that you have all the information needed.
1. Faucet Water Filters
Water filters that are mounted directly onto a faucet are convenient as they are easy to maintain. Usually, the cartridges in faucet filters have to be replaced every two to three months. However, factors like busier households and water quality decrease the life of the filter cartridge.
2. Water Pitcher Filters
Water pitchers are very convenient and cheap to maintain as well. They reduce contaminants in drinking water through the filtration of zinc, copper, mercury, chlorine, and other harmful chemicals. However, the downside to this type of filter is that the cartridge lasts for a very short period, usually two months (or maybe less). Look out for indicators like a sudden change in the color or taste of the filtered water.
3. Shower Mounted Filters
Targeted at reducing irritation and skin sensitivity, shower filters remove heavy metals, chlorine, and other harsh sediments. A shower-mounted filter cartridge must be replaced every six months or when 10,000 gallons of water have been used, depending on the water quality. However, if you use more water than average when you shower, your filter would require more frequent replacement.
4. Whole House Water Filters
Recommended by most professionals, whole-house water filter systems ensure a clean water supply in every tap of your home. But, with prolonged use and time, the efficiency of whole house water filters is reduced, indicating the need for replacement.
Sediment filters must be replaced every three months or when you notice changes in water flow to prevent clogging. Whole house filter systems, including reverse osmosis, carbon absorption, and ion-exchange filters, need to be changed every three to six months. Typically, the cartridge replacement relies on the type of water filter.
For example, reverse osmosis filters last longer and only require annual replacement when used at peak capacity. On the other hand, carbon filters have a shorter lifespan and need to be changed every six months.
Every Filter Has Its Own Limitations
Every water filter has its own limitations. This is why most people use a combination of mechanisms for the best results. By understanding the different methods each water filter uses and following the detailed manufacturer’s guide, you can effectively change your filter on time. But always trust your gut, and don’t be afraid to change the filter earlier than anticipated if you notice changes in water quality.