Even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates all community water supplies, it doesn’t mean that contaminants aren’t getting through to each water tap. While over 250 million people in the United States get their water from community water systems, only about 100 million use a water filtration system. But there are countless others who have to rely on wells and other sources for their consumable water supply.
Nowadays, all refrigerators come with water filtration systems that trap harmful contaminants from getting into your water dispenser and/or icemaker. Typical contaminants include—but aren’t limited to—lead, chlorine, and microorganisms like giardia and cryptosporidium (both of these can cause terrible gastrointestinal illness).
The water you drink should be clean and healthy, especially if it’s to replace what you are losing. When you think about it, the water you drink becomes a part of you, and when you drink dirty water, you allow your body to become contaminated. Using some kind of water filtration system means you drink and cook with only safe, clean water.
Most filters use activated carbon to catch and hold contaminants while the water passes through the filter. The longer a filter is used, the more contaminants it captures. Over time, the filter becomes too saturated to catch any more. The water has a harder time getting through the filter, and some contaminants may slip through.
Switch out your water filters every six months or so. However, if your water source contains a higher-than-average amount of contaminants or if your water usage is above normal (if you have a large family or simply drink a ton of water), then you may need to change the filter sooner. Something as simple as making extra batches of ice cubes each week can drastically change the amount of water being filtered, which will in turn reduce the longevity of the filter itself.
Signals Your Filter Needs to Be Changed
- Indicator light: Most refrigerators have an indicator light that will shine green when the filter is still working properly, yellow when it’s about time to switch out the filter, and red when the filter is no longer working. This is when the filter should be replaced immediately. Indicator lights are always on and can easily be found near the water dispensing station.
- Bad odors or taste: If your filter has run its course and no longer works as it should, you’ll notice it right away from the bad odors or taste that comes with the water. The water itself may also not be as clear as when it’s properly filtered.
- Water is slow to dispense: If the water being dispensed comes out at a slower than normal rate, it’s probably due to a saturated filter. When this happens, you can pretty much guarantee that it’s time to change out the filter.
Most indicator lights need to be reset after replacing the filter. Here’s a quick go-to guide for resetting most water filter indicator lights.
Keeping your water and ice cubes clean and safe to consume year-round is as simple as adhering to the six month change-out rule. When you replace a water filter, go directly to your calendar, count forward six months, and schedule out a replacement. An easy way to remember is to group it up with smoke detector batteries, which also need to be changed out every six months.
We also provide an easy way to remember when to change your water filter with our DiscountFilters.com email reminder system. Simply schedule your reminder when you purchase your next filter, and you’ll get an email when it’s time to replace it with a clean one.