Professional Plumbing Tips

2 minutes reading time (478 words)

When Is Your Water Filter Really Ready to Be Replaced?

Water filters are a necessity. Any water line you use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs extra tools to ensure that the water you're using has as few toxins and undesirable microbes as possible. However, the traditional filters that come with refrigerators and those that can be added to your sinks are a bit imprecise.

sink faucet running water

What's wrong with the filters most of us use?

There are always problems that can be solved with improved solutions. Your refrigerator may require a filter that isn't the right fit for your region's water. Or the filter isn't equipped to deal with the lime and slime that build up around the icebox in your freezer. These solutions are always getting better and more comprehensive. However, the problem isn't the filter themselves, but the tools needed to know when these filters have reached end of life.

Refrigerators are often timer- or volume-based. That timed light bulb that turns red at the top of your fridge doesn't measure the build-up in your filter. Instead, it merely keeps track of how long it's been since you last reset the bulb. Not only does the light setting just keep an estimate, but also, it's completely removed from the actual filter component. Newer fridges might have a bit more precision if they base the reminder indicator on the volume of water going through the refrigerator's water line, but even that doesn't take other variables (like variances in regional waters) into consideration. 

Sink filters are even worse, since they rely purely on your memory of the last time you replaced a filter. There's no lightbulb, only a manufacturer's warranty for recommended replacement schedules.

How can you solve the water filter problem?

  1. First, invest in sensors that measure your water quality. These devices can measure problematic lead, fluoride, and microbial particles in your water, and you can set them to ping your phone or supply another form of notification (like lighting up their own red bulb) when the toxins start increasing above the allowed baseline. This gives you live feedback on changes in your water quality, and it also lets you know how well your filter is cleaning the water in the first place.
  2. Second, ask your city and county about the specific risks in your region's water. There are increasingly stringent laws that require your community or government to disclose the information, even if they don't yet have to publicize it. Based on the specific toxins in your area's water, you can look up a more realistic duration estimate for your filters. It might be longer or shorter than the fridge light bulb recommends.

Combining extra detail with live updates gives you a clearer timeline for changing your water filters. To find the best options for how to measure and filter water throughout your house or for more information on water filters for your home, contact us today.

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