How Often to Change Refrigerator Water Filter

Does your refrigerator water tastes bad?

If you haven’t changed the refrigerator’s water filter in the past few months, a year, or a number of years, you might be thinking about when to change it.

It’s even possible that your water tastes well, and you’re pondering whether changing the filter in your refrigerator is actually required. If your water is fresh doesn’t mean it’s good. Many contaminants are in tasteless.

How often should I change my refrigerator water filter?

Typically, manufacturers recommend changing the water filters in refrigerators at minimum each six-month period. There are many elements that influence the frequency of replacing water filters.

Hardness of water as well as water quality and the frequency you use your dispenser and ice maker can affect the speed at which the water filter will fill up. If you’re not sure of your quality of your household water supply, test the water using test strips to determine the presence of contaminants.

Four members of a family that uses their water dispenser as well as the ice maker frequently should have an upgrade to their filter each six-month period. A couple with no children may need to replace it every year. If you haven’t changed the fridge’s filter for several years, you’re probably not drinking water that has been filtered, but something completely different.

Finding a replacement filter for your refrigerator from the manufacturer that originally made it can cost a lot. Filters for refrigerators that are purchased off the market are less expensive but can come at the cost of quality.

Many fridges have the so-called indicator light that will notify you when it’s time to install a new filter.

Change the water filter in your refrigerator is vital, so we’ll guide you through the terminology of the marketplace for replacement filters to help you find the right fit for your fridge and your budget.

What You Need to Know Before You Replace Your Refrigerator’s Water Filter

Although the advantages of changing your refrigerator’s water filter are significant but there are reasons to change it often. If you’ve been using this filter a long time it won’t be able to filter out dirt and other contaminants.

If the minerals and bacteria get past the filter, you’ll see that the refrigerator’s water tastes bad and your ice smells unpleasant and eventually the filter will get blocked. A water filter that is blocked can result in other issues within your refrigerator, like lower ice production and decreased water pressure in the dispenser.

Signs That You Should Replace the Filter

You should change refrigerator water filters regularly. It’s not good to have a clogged water filter, right?

If you’re not able to recall when the last time your refrigerator water filter was replaced, here are some tips for you. There are a few indicators to look for to tell you when the time is right to change it:

  • The smell of ice and water in the refrigerator is bad
  • The taste of water or ice in the refrigerator is bad
  • The pressure of the water dispenser is low.
  • The Ice Maker is slow in making ice, or it makes no Ice at all

If you spot any of these indications of a dirty filter, it’s time to be replaced.

How does a water filter operates

The majority of refrigerator filters are designed to get rid of bad tastes and odors through an amalgamation of carbon filtration and sediment. Refrigerator filters are made up of carbon blocks that are covered in a material such as polypropylene. The water flows through the outer layer to eliminate particles and suspended solids. Other particles that are not desirable cling to the carbon blocks.

The contaminants in water stick to the carbon within the filter of a refrigerator through the process of adsorption. They don’t penetrate the carbon’s surface (absorption) of carbon, but instead stick to an area within the carbon’s vast surface (adsorption).

What does a refrigerator’s water filter does is remove

The water travels through hundreds of underground pipes before reaching your property or business. On the way it can draw lead from pipes that are old or agricultural runoff as well as other dangerous compounds.

Most refrigerator filters are designed to eliminate three main contaminants: chlorine, lead and volatile organic compound (VOCs). Some filters are designed to remove the cysts as well as chloramine.


In the early 20th century, the lead used to be thought to be to be harmless and was used for the manufacture of paint, pottery along with plumbing pipes. The majority of the solder used in plumbing before 1986 contained lead. Since water is a wonderful solvent, it absorbs lead from pipes that are old and then carries it to the faucet. A structure built prior to the Safe Water Drinking Act likely has lead pipes, as well as fixtures with lead soldered copper which could be dissolved into the water you drink.

Since lead is toxic, the EPA determines the highest contaminant level that lead can be found in drinking water to zero. Consuming lead can cause reproductive issues as well as premature births, hearing, brain and kidney damages. Check out a complete list of negative health effects caused by the lead by the EPA.


Chlorine can disinfect drinking water and is able to eliminate waterborne illnesses like dysentery and typhoid. It also affects the taste of your drinking water. Carbon fridge filters are excellent for to give chlorine-treated drinking water the freshest flavor.

Chloramines are a mixture of ammonia and chlorine which municipalities employ to decrease the development of harmful disinfection caused by substances like trihalomethane. A few studies on adverse health consequences from chloramines are conducted, and the outcomes of the ones that have have been conducted are not clear. Filters for refrigerators that use catalytic carbon eliminate chloramines and chlorine by segregating the chlorine from ammonia and changing the chlorine into chloride.


Volatile organic compound (VOCs) are dangerous chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. The exposure to VOCs originates mainly from paints, air pollution and preservatives. However, they may also enter drinking water via industrial waste or agricultural runoff. A lot of VOCs can cause cancer or kidney, liver, and reproductive issues.

Are the filters in refrigerators necessary?

New refrigerator filters offer pure water, eliminate the presence of contaminants and stop bacteria from entering your water. However, the carbon’s limitations in its capacity. The longer you put off the replace your filters, the more corrosive the water you drink.

What happens when you don’t clean your refrigerator’s the water filter

  1. Your filter gets clogged. It reaches a point at which it cannot longer be able to filter due to it being stuffed with debris and dirt. You’ll know it’s the time to change your filter when the water stops flowing out.
  2. Carbon is at its the maximum capacity. Water continues to move through the filter even when the surface is filled, however the water is carrying contaminants with it. Imagine going to a shopping mall during the Christmas season. After driving through rows of cars, and having no parking space at the end of the road, you take a break from your way and head to another place. Similar to when all spaces of an old carbon filter have been removed, particles build up or are able to pass across the filters.
  3. Your filter is a source of the bacteria. A loaded carbon filter is a collection of elements that live organisms take advantage of , and then becomes a campsite for bacteria.

Do old refrigerator water filter cause you to get sick?

Refrigerator filters are designed to function on micro-biologically safe water. Water from the city has been chemically treated to remove pathogens and viruses.

If you use filters after a year, your water may be enriched with the same contaminants that were previously blocked. The old filter is prime place for living organisms which could get into your digestive tract, or the gastrointestinal tract, causing symptoms resembling flu.

When should you change your refrigerator’s filters?

Filters in refrigerators need to be replaced every six months. Do not keep a filter on the shelf longer than one calendar year. The longer you make use of a carbon filter above its capacity, then the more dangerous your water can become.

Are refrigerator water filters effective?

Refrigerator filters work well in the job they’re intended to accomplish. They are great at removing chlorine taste, odor and sediment removal. They do not soften water, eliminate iron, or eliminate illnesses in water that isn’t treated.

If your water is from the well, you’re accountable for its safety and require more than a fridge filter in order to clean your drinking water. Well water usually requires complete house water filtration, and that includes the use of a specific type of treatment for bacteria.

Learn the process by which UV systems kill harmful bacteria as well as the best way to put in the water system in a well.

The importance of the Refrigerator Filter

The most popular filter found inside a refrigerator can be the filter for water that serves as the inside water and the ice dispenser. Pure drinking water and free of contaminants and clear, pure ice are the reasons refrigerators are equipped with water filters.

Based on the refrigerator’s filter type the water filter in your refrigerator can remove 50% to over 90 percent of impurities.

The most common substances that are removed by refrigerator filters are:

  • Mercury, lead and other heavy metals
  • Chlorine
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Chemicals and pesticides

Water filters in refrigerators can help make water taste better as well as keep ice clean and eliminate particles, contaminants and hard water in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Water filters for refrigerators are especially important for families who use well water, as also for those suffering from certain health conditions or impaired immune systems, as per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Certain refrigerator models also come with air filters that help to eliminate the smells and bacteria. If you notice an cylinder or flat box with what appears to be shutters for windows inside your refrigerator, it is probably the air filter in your refrigerator.

The best replacement filter for your refrigerator

When it’s time to replace your refrigerator’s filter There are two purchasing choices:

Replacement filters for OEM: name-brand filters from the manufacturer who originally made them.

Replacement filters for aftermarket: generic or off-brand tap water filters

OEM vs aftermarket refrigerator water filters

If you’re looking to purchase an updated refrigerator water filter, getting one from the manufacturer that originally made it (OEM) will be a reliable and easy choice. But be aware that OEM filters can cost up to $50 or more. If you’re looking for an economical filter, you might want to consider purchasing an off-the-shelf filter that is compatible to your fridge style.

OEM refrigerator filters


  • Simple search
  • Expected quality performance
  • NSF certified

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • More expensive

Aftermarket refrigerator water filters


  • Cheaper
  • Choices that are quality and compatible


  • The risk of a lower performance
  • It is possible that they are not NSF certified

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