When a Fridge Filter Needs to be Changed
More than 250 million people in the United States get their water from a community water system. Countless others rely on wells and other sources for drinking and cooking water. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates community water supplies, contaminants can still be present in your drinking and cooking water.
Your refrigerator water dispensing system and icemaker come equipped with a filter that will remove harmful contaminants. These contaminants may include – but are not limited to – lead, chlorine and microorganisms such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Giardia and cryptosporidium can cause gastrointestinal illness.
Discount Filters offers quality refrigerator water filters, which can remove contaminants from dispensed water and ice cubes. Most filters contain carbon that catches the contaminants as the water flows through the filter. The longer a filter is used, the more contaminants it catches. As the filter ages, it can become clogged with trapped contaminants. A clogged filter cannot continue to remove the same level of contaminants as it did when it was new.
Typically, a fridge water filter needs to be changed every six months or twice a year, but there can be exceptions. If you use an unusually high amount of dispensed water due to houseguests, parties or other functions, the filter may need to be changed sooner. Making several extra batches of ice cubes each week also can reduce the longevity of the water filter.
Three things can signal when the refrigerator water filter needs to be changed.
- Indicator light — most refrigerator models have an indicator light. When the light changes from green to yellow, the filter is almost in need of changing. When that light changes from yellow to red, it is time to change the filter. The indicator light may be located above or near the dispensing station.
- Bad odors or taste — if your water begins to smell or taste unpleasant, it may be time to change the filter.
- Slowed water dispensing — a water filter that has been catching contaminants for several months will become clogged eventually. When this happens, it will take the water longer to pass through the filter and the dispensing system.
After changing the water filter, the indicator light will need to be reset. Different refrigerator models will reset in various ways. Some may have a button that needs to be held in for 30 seconds while others may ask you to hold the button in and then release it, repeating the procedure five times. Refer to your refrigerator owner's manual for directions on how to set the water filter indictor light.
To keep your refrigerator water and ice cubes clean and healthy all year, schedule a water filter change every six months. Make it easy to remember by changing your water filter at the same time you change your smoke detector batteries or change the water filter at the summer and winter solstices (June 21 and December 21.) Other easy dates to remember may be January 1 and July 1.
The easiest way to remember when to change the refrigerator water filter is to use Discount Filters' email reminder system. Schedule your reminder when purchasing your next filter.