Did you know that tap water can potentially have hundreds of contaminants?
Filters help remove contaminants from your water. If you have a refrigerator with water and ice dispensers, it’s important to know how often to change the refrigerator water filter.
You can follow manufacturers’ guidelines, who usually recommend you change your water filter every six months. But what if that’s not enough? Or you haven’t changed the water filter in over a year and your water tastes just fine?
Continue reading to find out what you can do to make sure your water is filtering properly.
What Does a Filter Actually Filter?
Tap water can contain contaminants such as bacteria or heavy metals like lead. Tap water is treated with chlorine to help kill other harmful contaminants, but you still shouldn’t drink it. In the worst-case scenarios, you can be exposed to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like pesticides or agricultural runoff.
How Does a Refrigerator Water Filter Actually Work?
It’s important to note that a fridge water filter is designed to work with pre-treated drinking water, water already made safe to a certain degree. Your fridge filter will not prevent health hazards or soften your water for you.
Your water will first go through a layer with polypropylene material that will remove the larger debris and suspended solids. It then filters through a carbon block core that catches other small unwanted particles. This process is called adsorption because it adheres to a spot on the surface area of the carbon filter, rather than absorbing into the material.
As you use these filters, keep in mind that they don’t last forever.
So How Often Should You Change Your Water Filter?
Changing your water filter every six months per the manufacturer’s recommendation is a safe bet, but there are other ways you can make sure whether your water is being filtered or not. The most obvious way to know that bacteria and minerals are getting past your filter is if the water or ice tastes or smells funny.
When the carbon core reaches max capacity, meaning there are no more spaces for particles to accumulate and contaminates begin to pass through, then your filter is clogged. You will notice that your ice production is low or the water pressure in your water dispenser is lower.
When this happens your filter can also start growing its own bacteria that can pass through to your water.
Some contaminants are tasteless. You can use testing strips to test the water coming from your filter to see if it contains contaminants.
If any of these things happen, you’ll know it’s time for a new filter, even if you can’t remember when you last changed it.
Take Care of You: Change Your Water Filter
Changing your refrigerator water filter regularly will keep you from ingesting contaminants that can affect your health. The tips in these articles should help you know when to change and keep your water constantly in the clear.
Check out other articles on our site for answers to more of your questions!