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When you are shopping, the one thing you probably never forget to do is check the expiry date. This pretty okay because when you buy something, it’s mandatory you know how long it will last. So, if it’s your first time buying a water filter system, you may be wondering, “do water filters expire?”
A water filter will last a long time without a “due date” if it remains dry. A filter is basically a plastic cartridge filled with activated carbon and no chemicals. Once it gets wet after serving for some time, it will need changing. Therefore, feel free to buy your filters in bulk.
Once your filter starts being used, the story changes completely. The most stable/high-quality filter can last for about six months. However, if the filter processes large amounts of water or filters water with a lot of coarse sediments, its lifespan will be less than six months.
On the other hand, if you filter processes few volumes and goes unused some days, it’s likely to serve you beyond the recommended time frame.
Your filter comes with a recommended time frame use and the gallons of water it can process. This timeframe and volume vary from one filter to the other. We have whole house water filters, pitchers, faucets, countertop, undercounter and reverse osmosis filters amongst others. Each of these has its own recommended working time frame. For a guide read our post When should I change my filters.
Why are they so important?
Drinking water straight from the tap, wells or any source including rainwater is a risky affair.
Impure water contains organic acids, volatile organic gasses, chlorine, fluoride, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, agricultural chemicals and heavy metals like lead, mercury, aluminum and copper. Now, can you imagine what all these contaminants can do to your health?
Some impurities like mercury are arsenic, and some like lead have slow effects that amplify as time goes by. Even the so much cherished bottled water and municipal water sometimes contain impurities. The only way you can be sure you are drinking safe water is by purifying it on your own.
Besides removing contaminants from water, some advanced filters have the ability to introduce other useful minerals like magnesium back into the water. Such minerals make water taste good. They are also known to enhance the taste of coffee and tea.
Signs that your water filter needs to be changed
So many people actually don’t know when to change their water filters. While you may write it down, it’s still very easy to forget. Water filters are not like tire bursts that you can detect right away.
However, if you value your health and that of your family members, you should be able to tell when your filter is no longer functioning. If you can’t, the following pointers will help you out.
Change in the taste of water
If you have using a filter for a while, it’s not that hard to detect a shift in its taste. Clean water has a natural good taste. If this taste gets replaced with chlorine smells, silvery taste, and other unusual odors, it could be an indication that your filter is no longer working.
Some filters have been equipped with a LED light that flashes a yellow as a warning that your filter is losing its grip. At this time you should have a replacement at hand. The moment it flashes red, get rid of it and insert the new one. However, it might be a good idea to replace at the first flash.
Use your instinct
Assuming you already know how the quality of water and the volume processed affects the lifespan of the filter, you should not wait until the recommended time to change it if your water has plenty of sediments or if you have processed large volumes.
As a side note, you’ll find some filters to be simple to replace the filter while others can be extremely hard. Get help from experts to avoid breaking some parts of your filtration system if its science is beyond your grasp.
What filters do not expire and will remain intact as long as they are dry. However, once you start to use them, make sure you change them as early as possible to continue enjoying the benefits of clean, fresh water.