Home Blog Home and Wellness Tips for Maintaining Your Home Water Filtration System

Tips for Maintaining Your Home Water Filtration System

by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated August 18, 2021
With each day that passes, we see more individuals purchasing home water filtration systems or, at the very least, considering a new unit. Top notch water filtration systems work to eliminate dangerous contaminants, chemicals, total dissolved solids, and much more, which all pose a danger to human health. Water scale may also build up throughout household pipes, common kitchen appliances, faucets, pots, and much more. Without the aid of a filtration system, whether it's an RO unit, or even a water filter pitcher, you could be consuming unsavory levels of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and various pharmaceuticals just to name a few. Once you have a water filter system of your own, maintenance is just as important as the initial investment. If the unit is not properly maintained, contaminants and solids will pass through virtually unaffected, rendering the water filtration system useless.

The Importance of Regular Filter Maintenance

Overall Lifespan

Obtaining safe, healthy drinking water is as much of a human right as any other basic need. Not only does it provide for an essential necessity, but it also provides a level of protection for your entire household. Contaminants are removed, health risks are decreased, and meal quality improves. However, every piece of equipment, especially a water filter cartridge, only comes with a set lifespan. Regular water filter system maintenance mitigates the risk of consuming dangerous tap water, thereby avoiding scale buildup, the spread of viruses, and more.

Save On Repair Costs

As with any piece of equipment, regular maintenance goes great lengths in preventing and saving on repair costs down the road. Costs associated with repairs can be expensive, and add up quickly. By cleaning the unit on a regular basis, and replacing filters as needed, you can avoid potential damage to your water filter unit, and continue providing safe, healthy filtered water to your friends and family.

Filter System Maintenance Instructions

Replace the Filter Cartridge

In the case of a water filter system that is more delicate, featuring an integrated system, it may be impossible to clean it manually without damaging the unit. In this case, the importance of replacing the filter cartridge on a regular basis should not be overlooked. If you leave an aging, full filter cartridge in place, and continue to utilize your unit, you put your filter system at risk of irreversible damage, such as clogs.

Manually Maintenance & Cleaning

In regard to water filter units where manual cleaning and maintenance is possible, the importance of regular disassembly cannot be overstated. This further enables consumers to clean each internal and external component of your water filter, in order to prevent clogs, bacteria buildup, and much more. This type of maintenance is effective in the prevention of water scale buildup, as well as impurities from making its way into your cup. Another important aspect of manual cleaning, is to avoid the use of harsh cleaning products, especially those mainly comprised of dangerous chemicals.

Knowing When to Replace Your Filter Cartridge

Dispensed Water Has a Peculiar Smell

When you, or a roommate, begin to notice your filtered water has taken on a peculiar odor, or taste, it is a huge indicator that it's time to install a new filter cartridge. One of the most prominent smells may be chlorine, a chemical typically added to municipal water sources at the water treatment center. Once it reaches your home, the chemical remains, further highlighting the importance of a home water filter system, as well as the regular maintenance of new filter cartridges.

You Notice a Decrease in Water Flow

Once you begin to notice a decrease in water flow into your home, within the realm of a drop between 10 to 12 PSI, you will know it's time to look at your filter cartridge. When the filter becomes clogged with various solids and contaminants, it can slow down the flow of water into your home or tap. Understanding the process of checking your water pressure simply involves the observation of water flowing through the faucet.

An Integrated Life Indicator Gives a Warning

Many water filter units provide a built in life indicator warning, even with at home units. More advanced water filter systems provide numerous filtration stages, with varying purposes. Each individual filter stage also possesses a different lifespan, which can be difficult to remember as far as maintenance. Smart water filters utilize a built-in indicator light in order to provide homeowners with a warning in regard to filter cartridge replacements. Check the link to get advanced Waterdrop water filtration system with smart indicators.
PIC: smart indicator

The Function & Average lifespan of Various Filter Media

Below, you will find a chart detailing the average service life you can come to expect of various styles of water filter cartridges. Different filter manufacturers provide insight toward their own filter cartridges and filter media, which is why you should pay particular attention to the details included in each package.
Type of Filter Media Substances Reduction Expected Service Life
PP Cotton Filter Interception of dirt, dust, rust, and other large particles 3 to 6 months
Pleated PP Filter Interception of dust, dirt, rust, algae, suspended solids, and other large particles. 6 to 12 months
Activated Carbon Filter Absorbs odor, color, putrid taste, organic, and some heavy metals. 6 to 18 months
Ultra Filtration Filter Reduction of microorganism, bacteria, colloids, and other organics. 1 to 2 years
Reverse Osmosis Filter Reduction of pesticides, bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, organics, and inorganic salts. 2 to 3 years

Choosing the Most Appropriate Filter Replacement

It's essential to understand that there are basically two types of water filter cartridges on the market. Homeowners either invest into brand name replacements, or OEM filter replacements, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer. While these products vary greatly in price, there is also a big difference in performance. For example, if you purchased a GE fridge, you may want to continue replacing water filter cartridges with GE brand filter replacements. Otherwise, an OEM filter replacement may not operate the same, or may also void various warranty. Ensure you have read, and understood all of the details in your warranty, before installing a sub-par filter.
Although OEM filter replacements range on the cheap side, quality can vary greatly. This detail further highlights the importance of opting for filter cartridges that are tested and covered by an NSF certification of some sort. For example, Waterdrop brand filters are certified by NSF 401, NSF 53, and NSF 42 certifications, proving an overall effective reduction in harmful substances and contaminants. An additional NSF 372 certification also proves Waterdrop filters feature lead-free material, for an additional guarantee in terms of safety.