How and When to Change a Water Filter

How and When to Change a Water Filter

Whether your home came with a water filter system or you installed one yourself, you will eventually have to replace the water filter before it becomes useless. While many systems are high quality and will last for years, they still need routine maintenance. Replaceable water filters can be expensive, but they are worth every penny because they filter out contaminants and unwanted particulates from your water supply. However, it can be tricky to know when to change a water filter if you don’t know the signs.

Step 1: Consult the directions and look at your water. If you saved the owner’s manual or product information booklet for your water filter, it should give you an estimate of how long your filter will work before it needs replacement. Use this as the benchmark for when you need to replace your filter, and then factor in individual variations such as:

• Changes in the water (strange odors, off flavors, unusual coloration, clogging in your pipes or a significant drop in water pressure)
• Personal use factors like the volume of water you typically use or whether you own multiple filtration systems
• Quality of your water before filtration

Obviously, changes in your water’s flavoring will give you a major clue that the time for replacement is past due. You can estimate the necessary change date before the water goes bad by assessing your water supply before it hits the filtration system and factoring in the amount of water you use daily to determine how hard your filter is working. The harder it works, the sooner it will need replacement.

Step 2: Purchase and install your filter. The type of filter you purchase will depend largely on the system you own. You can consult your owner’s manual for an exact model number or you can take the old filter to your local home improvement store to find the perfect match. You may also find that your system lets you choose between different styles of filters that use methods like carbon or reverse osmosis to clean the water. Installation will also depend on the model of water filter you own, though most water filters will easily snap into place without too much trouble. Again, consult your water filter owner’s manual for specific directions.

Step 3: Test your new filter. Finally, run your water through your home for several minutes to clear out the water from the old filter and ensure the new one is working. Check the water for clarity, flavor and odor. Also, don’t forget to check the filter site to make sure there are no leaks or clogs. If everything checks out, your new filter is ready to provide you with gallons and gallons of fresh, clean water to use and drink all year long!

By: Kristine-Esser, MySears

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