Water Filter Maintenance
By their very design, water filter cartridges in a water filter system are prone to clogging due to the accumulation of contaminants (sediments, dirt, organic materials, bacteria, etc.) on the outer shell of the filter cartridge. When this happens, your filter system will no longer perform as it should be, which, at the very minimum, will lead to low filtered water output.
In other cases, contaminants can seep back into the water undermining the very scope of a water filter. For these reasons, water filter maintenance should be carried out regularly, observing the instructions laid down in user guide of your water filter.
Our quick guide to water filter maintenance will run you through the must-knows of water filter maintenance, so you’ll be prepared to service your filters.
But before we delve into the details of how to take care of your filters, here are some signs that it’s time to service your filters:
- Sudden drop in water pressure: A change in the water pressure is a strong indication that something might be wrong with your water filter system. The problem is usually the clogging of one of the filter cartridges, usually the sediment filter in a multi-stage filter system, or the main filter in single-cartridge water filters;
- Changes in the taste, smell or appearance of your filtered water: If you notice that your filtered water is cloudy or has a peculiar colour, or that it smells or tastes differently, it may be that the filter cartridges have become saturated with contaminants, and it’s time to replace them;
- Anything out of the ordinary in the operation of your filter system: If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your water filter, be it a strange noise, an alarm that lights up, or anything else that you haven’t noticed before (e.g. too much water going to the drain in your reverse osmosis water filter), make sure to check your user manual for any troubleshooting information.
Quick Tips For Water Filter Maintenance
When it comes to replacing your filter, cleaning your system, or simply just monitoring it, follow the water filter maintenance tips below:
- Read Water Filter Maintenance Instructions
All water filter systems are dispatched with a user guide or user manual that contains everything you need to know about your system from its assembly all the way to installation and troubleshooting. Make sure you don’t throw this manual away as you might need it later.
- Set Water Filter Replacement Reminders
If your water filter system comes with a single filter element, it’s easy to remember when to replace it. Problems appear, however, when filter systems come with multiple filter elements that are replaced at different intervals. For example, the cartridges in a reverse osmosis filter like the Ecosoft 5 Stage Non-Pumped Reverse Osmosis System are replaced every 3 to 6 months for pre-filters, every 18 to 24 months for the reverse osmosis membrane, and every 6 to 12 months for the post-filters.
To make it easier to remember these different intervals, set filter replacement reminders.
- Don’t Postpone Filter Replacement
For various reasons (filter still works fine, ordering new filters takes more time, etc.), you may be tempted to postpone your filter replacement. Ideally, you shouldn’t do that, but if you’re forced to, make sure you monitor the quality of your tap water, and if you find that something is wrong with it (has a strange colour, taste or odour), it’s best if you stop using it until you can replace the filter cartridges.
- Use Compatible Filter Cartridges Only
Before you buy new filters, check to see if they’re compatible with your filter system. Don’t use filters that are not of the same brand and model as you water filter system, or if you’re planning on using off-brand filters, ask your vendor to see if they’re compatible.
- Have Replacement Cartridges Ready
It’s a good idea to buy all the filters needed for the annual maintenance of your system. This is a good idea because the quality of your tap water may change, and you may need to replace your filters sooner than expected. If you stock up on spare filters, you can easily manage unplanned filter changes.
- Observe Cartridge Storage Conditions
Avoid storing your filters in a hot, dusty or moist environment, as they can easily become damaged. Observe the storage conditions mentioned on the packaging of your cartridges. Always store filters in their original packaging.
- Avoid Damaging Your Filter Cartridges
Ceramic filter candles and UV lamps are probably the most sensitive filters, so take care not to drop them or chip them. You should also avoid dropping other filters as well, as they are not shock-resistant, and even if they seemingly don’t show any signs of damage, the core of the filter might still be damaged.
- Avoid Reusing Used Filters
Once you replace your old filters, make sure to dispose of them correctly. Don’t consider reusing these, not even if you replaced them before the end of their service life. The contaminants already absorbed by these filters lead to bacterial growth, so you should never reuse them.
- Clean Water Filters When Applicable
Some filter cartridges are cleanable. For example, filter elements in gravity water filters like the Big Berkey can be cleaned under running water. Similarly, some pleated filters can also be cleaned. Follow the cleaning instructions of the manufacturer, and reuse filters accordingly.
Some water filter systems have other cleanable elements as well. Filter housings, reverse osmosis water tanks, and gravity water filter chambers should also be cleaned regularly.
- Always Monitor Performance
Just because you’ve replaced the filters in your system, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue paying attention to the performance of your water filter. Keep an eye on the quality of your filtered water, so you can notice if something is not right.
Water filter cartridges are the single most important element in your water filter. Each time you turn on the tap, these cartridges trap contaminants, so that they don’t end up in your drinking water. When they become saturated with contaminants, it’s absolutely crucial that you replace them to ensure that you get clean filtered water every time you turn on the tap.