Refrigerator Filter

How Often Should You Change a Refrigerator Water Filter?

Refrigerator water filters should be changed on a consistent basis to ensure the water supply is not contaminated by a clogged, musty filter. Municipal water is normally treated to meet high standards, but it gathers impurities while traveling through metal piping into your home, and you may not appreciate the metallic taste that results. Additionally, even though the Environmental Protection Agency sets strict regulations on water quality, it does not monitor private wells.

From disintegrating plumbing lines to pesticides leaching into groundwater, pollutants and heavy metals still have the potential to sully both private and public water supplies. For this reason, refrigerators that dispense water and make ice cubes include a filter to ensure safety and high-quality taste for the consumer.

Dangers of Mold in Water

When the filter is past due for replacement, not only will the water from the well or municipal system pass through unfiltered, it will also pick up new contaminants from the aged filter itself. The filtered particles will build up over time and block the filter pores. In a dark, moist environment, mold and bacteria will flourish.

The negative health effects of black mold include symptoms of an allergic reaction: sneezing, coughing and red and watery eyes. The exposed individual could also suffer from chronic headaches or rashes. At toxic levels, black mold can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Signs You Need Filter Replacement

It is vital to replace refrigerator water filters at least once every six months, or within the time frame recommended by the manufacturer. If the household consumes a high volume of water, once every two to three months may be a more fitting timeline.

Here are specific signs the refrigerator filter has expired:

  • Altered Taste and Odor: A change in taste or smell is the first sign the filter is not functioning at the same level as before.
  • Slow Filter: If the once-powerful water flow is reduced to a slow trickle, remove the filter and check for clogs – this drop in pressure may signify a buildup of minerals and call for a replacement.
  • Indicator Light Lit: On newer models, an illuminated button may alert the homeowner to replace the filter, or a beep may sound when the dispenser is in use.
  • Cloudy Water and Ice: Unfiltered contaminants could affect the water’s clarity. You also may spot dirt particles or sediment in ice cubes.

Replacing Your Filter

Before purchasing a new filter, confirm the make and model of your appliance. The filter is commonly located in the bottom grille, accessible by turning a plastic knob or pushing a button. Some filters are also found in a slot in the water dispenser compartment.

Contact the team at Peter’s Appliance if you require assistance replacing refrigerator water filters, and for all other home and business appliance maintenance.