OEM and Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters
Discount Filters offers a large selection of refrigerator water filters, both OEM and aftermarket products. When selecting the filter for your refrigerator, there are several factors to consider, including filter efficiency, capabilities, construction and price.
OEM vs. Aftermarket
OEM is an acronym that stands for “original equipment manufacturer”. A product labeled as OEM or factory original means it has been made by, or officially authorized by, the company that manufactured the refrigerator's original filter. An aftermarket product is a generic product made by a third-party manufacturer, designed to replace the factory original. An aftermarket fridge filter typically costs less than an OEM filter.
Differences between OEM and Aftermarket Filters
Depending on the type of refrigerator water filter, OEM and aftermarket filters may differ in gallon capacity, PSI range, price and some certifications.
- Gallon capacity measures how many gallons the fridge filter can clean before it needs to be changed. It can vary depending on brand and filter. When considering between an OEM and aftermarket filter, compare the gallon capacity to determine which filter may last longer when the price difference is close.
- PSI range measures the force at which water flows through your water pipes. PSI stands for pounds (of pressure) per square inch. Your refrigerator's water system functions within a specific PSI range. The water filter's PSI range must be compatible with refrigerator's range. Check your owner's manual for the water pressure or PSI range. It can vary between models and even between OEM and aftermarket filters.
- Price differences between OEM and aftermarket filters are common. Typically, the aftermarket filter made by a third-party manufacturer costs less.
- NSF International tested and certified means a water filter has been tested by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International for the reduction of various water contaminants. These may include - but are not limited to - chlorine, lead, microorganisms, turbidity and chemicals. Often OEM filters are certified against Standard 42 for the reduction of chlorine and Standard 53 for the reduction of lead, turbidity, cysts (microorganisms) and chemicals. Aftermarket filters also undergo testing, but not all may be certified by NSF International.
Similarities between OEM and Aftermarket Filters
OEM and aftermarket water filters typically share the same temperature range, water flow rate and capabilities for reducing contaminants from water.
- Temperature range is simply the range of water temperature for the filter's best performance.
- Water flow rate is the amount of time it takes the water to move through the refrigerator's system and then dispense into your glass. A water flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute means the system can dispense one-half gallon of water within one minute.
- Contaminant reduction is a job all fridge filters, either OEM or aftermarket perform. Even a filter that isn't certified by an independent testing agency should still reduce impurities.
If you are unsure how the differences and similarities between Discount Filter's OEM and aftermarket filters affect your choice of replacement filter, talk to one of our Customer Service Representatives. We are available to answer all your questions via email or phone.