When Should You Replace the Water Filters in Refrigerator?

When Should You Replace the Water Filters in Refrigerator?

If the water filters in your refrigerator are not replaced after a prolonged period of use, they can become clogged with dirt. This can result in an increased level of contaminants entering your fridge's ice maker if the water filter is not functioning properly. Neglecting to regularly change the water filter in your refrigerator can eventually lead to poorer water quality, posing potential harm to your health.

What's in Unfiltered or Inadequately Filtered Water at Home?

There are many user-friendly home test kits available to check the contents of your water, whether it is unfiltered or less effectively filtered. The results can be surprising, showing high levels of bacteria, chlorine, lead, or other chemicals, as well as an imbalanced pH level.

Signs Indicating the Need to Change Your Refrigerator Water Filter

Even without a water test kit, there are several signs to be aware of that can help determine when it is time to change your refrigerator water filter:

Reduced water flow

If you notice a lack of water or a slow flow from the dispenser, or if you only get a small trickle when trying to drain the water, it indicates that there may be an issue with the water supply line or the refrigerator's internal water system. This could be caused by a clogged or old filter, a kinked or damaged water line, or a malfunction in the refrigerator's water valve. Additionally, if the ice maker is not producing ice or if the ice cubes have an unusual taste or odor, it suggests that there may be a problem with the ice maker's water supply. This could also be related to a clogged or ineffective filter.

Unpleasant tastes or smells

Rely on your sense of taste and smell to determine if there are any unpleasant odors or tastes. When the filter is initially installed, any chlorine odor or taste should disappear. However, as the filter ages over a few months, previously removed contaminants may reappear. Once you notice these odors or tastes, regardless of the timeframe, it is time to replace the filter.

Indicator light

Many modern refrigerators are equipped with a "change filter indicator" on the dispenser, which provides valuable insight into when the filter needs to be changed. This indicator operates on a predetermined schedule rather than measuring the filter's capacity with sensors.

Refrigerator manufacturers and experts generally recommend changing the water filter in your refrigerator every six months. However, without a device to monitor water flow, it can be challenging to determine when the filter has reached its maximum capacity. Usage and flow rate can vary significantly, making the six-month interval an average but unreliable estimate. To avoid replacing the filter too early or wasting its filtration potential, it's suggested to change it every six months, assuming normal usage. If you are unsure, refer to the mentioned indicators for replacement.

Using two water filters in your refrigerator each year can purify approximately 3,000 water bottles. By avoiding bottled water, you can save over $600 annually and contribute to environmental protection by reducing plastic waste in landfills.

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