Water filter maintenance ensures that your water filter operates at peak performance and that the filtered water it produces is of dependable quality. Water filter cartridges are responsible for the brunt work of filtering the water that passes through your filter system, therefore, they are the single most important element of your filter system. Because with time they get saturated with contaminants, they have to be replaced periodically.

Water filter cartridge, replacement

Filter replacement involves purchasing a filter cartridge compatible with your system, discarding the old cartridge, and installing the new one. With most filters, replacement is easy to carry out, and it doesn’t require the assistance of a plumber. But how often should you replace your filters? And what happens if you forget to replace them?

The service life of your water filter is influenced by certain factors such as filter capacity and water quality.

Filter service life

The first factor that determines when you need to replace your filter is its service life. Generally, filter cartridges are designed to last anywhere between 3 to 6 months, however, water filters with longer service life also exist. For example, the Osmio Active Ceramics 4.5 x 10 Inch 3 Year Whole House System Replacement Filter is replaced every 3 years or every 300,000 litres. Some filter cartridges are cleanable, meaning that you can prolong their service life by cleaning them, but these too have a maximum filtering capacity beyond which they can no longer be used as they won’t offer you the same high level of protection against contaminants.

Water quality and Usage

Another factor that determines the service life of your filter is its quality. If your tap water is not high in contaminants, sediments or other impurities, you may be able to use the filter longer, however, if your filter cartridge does not contain bacteriostatic filter media, you’ll need to obey the filter replacement periods indicated by the manufacturer and replace the filter on time as it may harbour bacteria that can get into your water. Also, changes in the taste, colour, odour, flow rate and general quality of your tap water are signs that you need to replace your filter cartridge sooner than recommended.

If you use your water filter system day and day out and the quality of your tap water leaves a lot to be desired, you may find yourself replacing filters more often. By monitoring the quality of your filtered water, you’ll be able to tell when filter replacement is needed. Similarly, if you happen to forget to replace your filter, changes in the flow rate and quality of your filtered water are generally good indicators that you need to replace your filters.