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How Often to Change Your Water Filter - 3 Filter Types

 Whether you are using a faucet, pitcher, or whole house water filter, it can be hard to tell when exactly it’s time to change the filter. A worn-out water filter will be less effective at filtering out the various chemicals, minerals, and microbes that may be present in the water supply. This may become apparent to you from changes in the taste or odor of the water, but that is not always the case. Therefore, it’s important to keep track and change the water filter regularly, even if everything seems to be just fine.

How often to change the water filter depends on the filter type and the makeup and quality of your local water source. Below you will find a breakdown of the most common types of filters and how often they should be replaced according to plumbing experts. 

Related: The Effects of Drinking Contaminated Water

1. Whole House FilterHow Often You Should Change Your Water Filter whole house filter

A whole-house filtration system is a filter that removes contaminants from water through a filter connected to your water line. That means all water that enters your house will pass through the filter and you will get clean water out of every outlet, including appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. 

In general, if your water source is municipal it is recommended to change those filters every six months. However, if your home pulls water from a well, it would probably be best to change your filter every three months, as the water may have excess sediment or iron in it. 

One of the telltale signs to change a home filter is a reduction of water pressure throughout your home. As the filter clogs with sediment, it restricts water flow and reduces the gallons per minute it allows into your home. The more significant the clog is, the weaker the water pressure will be. 

Replacing these filters can be challenging. An experienced DIYer with a moderate amount of plumbing experience may be able to follow the filter manufacturer’s instructions, but in most cases, the task requires a professional. 

2. Faucet Water FilterHow Often You Should Change Your Water Filter faucet mounter filter

Faucet filters are installed directly onto the spout and filter the water as it leaves the tap. Faucet water filters are common all over the world and are considered efficient in removing fluoride, lead, and other contaminants. Unlike whole house filters, they are easy to install and don’t require any complicated plumbing. The one drawback is that they can reduce the flow rate significantly. 

How often a faucet filter should be replaced really depends on how busy your household is. A large family will need to replace the filter more often; every three to five months could be necessary. Smaller households will only need a replacement every six months. In any case, double-check what is recommended by the manufacturer of your specific filter. 

3. Pitcher Water FilterHow Often You Should Change Your Water Filter pitcher

Water pitchers have many benefits. They are convenient to use, inexpensive to maintain and they filter impurities in tap water by removing chlorine, zinc, copper, cadmium, mercury, and sometimes the metallic taste you just cannot seem to shake. It is important, however, that the filter is changed regularly for the pitcher to be efficient. 

Exactly how often you need to replace them depends on how much water you use. On average, it should last about six months or about every 10,000 gallons of water usage. However, if the pitcher is in constant use, it would be a good idea to change it more often. 

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