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Are Refrigerator Water Filters Necessary? What You Need to Know

Do you own a refrigerator with a built-in water and ice dispenser?

If the answer is yes, that means your refrigerator also has a water filter. If you didn’t already know this, don’t feel bad—most people don’t. But, now that you do, it’s time to learn all about what they do for your water.

If you’re wondering, are refrigerator water filters necessary? Then keep reading. After this, we guarantee you’ll never miss a refrigerator filter replacement date again.

Are Refrigerator Water Filters Necessary?

Yes, yes, and yes. Refrigerator water filters are an absolute necessity, and so is changing them regularly. The water that comes from your fridge dispenser travels through a great distance of tubing before it gets to you. Tap water itself is already questionable, not to mention all the bacteria and bugs it can pick up on the way to your fridge.

Luckily, the water filter in your fridge takes care of this. Unless, of course, you never replace it. If you check your owner’s manual, it’ll tell you how often to replace the refrigerator water filter. Spoiler alert, it’s typically every three to six months. 

Your fridge water filter is responsible for removing nasty stuff including (but not limited to):

  • Funky tastes and odors
  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Cadmium
  • Chlorine
  • Chromium
  • Benzene
  • Barium
  • Herbicides and pesticides
  • Lead
  • Fluoride
  • Mercury
  • Nitrates and nitrites
  • Toxaphene
  • Particulates
  • Turbidity
  • Radium
  • Water cysts (microbes)

Most people don’t realize what’s in their tap water, to begin with. They assume it’s safe to drink because it gets cycled through a water treatment plant. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Replacing your fridge water filter on time adds another means of protection for you and your family from harmful chemicals and bacteria. 

How Your Fridge Water Filter Works

You shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your drinking water is safe. Luckily, fridge water filters are among the most effective at removing pollutants and toxins that the water treatment plant missed. 

The process by which refrigerator water filters work is simple. They’re equipped with activated carbon filters, which the water is forced through before it reaches your glass. The carbon acts as a magnet for contaminants, trapping the toxins, particulates, and pollutants from the water. The result is clean and safe drinking water for the whole family.

Over time, however, the carbon within the water filter will become soaked with contaminants. Once this happens, it won’t be able to do its job efficiently, leaving your water unfiltered. In addition, any water passing through an old, contaminant-latent filter may dislodge some of the trapped toxic particles. When this happens, you end up with more contaminants than you started with.

Signs You Need a New Water Filter

Once again, just because your local water treatment plant treats your tap water doesn’t mean you’re in the free and clear. It’s only your first line of defense against contaminated water, and your fridge water filter is your second. 

Of course, your fridge water filter won’t last forever. That’s why refrigerator manufacturers suggest that you replace them at least every six months. If you don’t replace your water filter on time—or never have—there are a few unpleasant consequences you may encounter.

A Change in Taste and Odor

Once your fridge water filter starts to wear out, it’ll let the various contaminants, pollutants, and other particles through. Eventually, you may notice a slight change in your water’s taste or odor.

The taste may range from sweet to salty, and the odor may vary from that of a wet dog to sulfur. There’s a different reason behind each change, but ultimately it comes down to poor filtration.

Cloudy Ice Or a Poorly Functioning Ice Maker

If you notice that your ice cubes are coming out cloudy, chances are, you’re witnessing a high mineral count. It may also signify a large amount of other undissolved solids in your water. You may not notice if you only use crushed ice, so it’s a good idea to make it a point to examine the whole ice cubes from time to time.

You also may notice that the ice maker in your fridge isn’t working properly, i.e., it’s not dispensing any ice. If this is the case, it means that your water filter is most likely clogged.

A Slight Change in Color or the Appearance of Floaters

In addition to odor and taste, the physical appearance of your water may change as well. Especially when there is a mineral deposit build-up, you may notice your water taking on a yellowish tint. 

If you’re seeing floaters in your water, please don’t drink it! Floaters mean that other contaminants that have been trapped in your water filter are being pushed out as the carbon filter deteriorates. 

A Slow Water Flow

The more the contaminants build up in the filter media, the more difficult it will be for water to pass through it. So, if you notice that the water is dispensing much slower than usual, it’s a sure-fire sign that it’s time for a refrigerator filter replacement.

Stop Drinking Contaminated Water

So, are refrigerator water filters necessary? You bet they are! They’re your second line of defense against harmful contaminants next to your city or town’s water treatment plant. 

We’re not saying that changing your fridge filter is the difference between life and death. However, not changing it can put you and your family’s health at risk. Luckily, we have a fully-stocked inventory of NSF-safe filters made right here in the USA. With our easy-to-use fridge filter finder, you’ll be able to find your filter in seconds. Give it a try and see how much you can save versus the manufacturer!

5 thoughts on “Are Refrigerator Water Filters Necessary? What You Need to Know”

  1. Kenmore Model # 795.51012.010 Serial # 003MRLM03552 Looking for a water filter (MADE in USA) Year model 2010

  2. great website just purchased 2 humidifiers from o guys . coming from Louisville Ky. It was great to see Indiana I trust that area . wish i had never moved to Florida. did it because my children are here. I have a new Fridgadaire refridgerator and a hunter @ air purifiers both need filters will be back soon. also i would like to purchase the battery that is necessary for remote control for humidifier i just bought any suggestions??I always use distilled water is that ok?

    Dr. Bailey

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