How Often Should I Replace My Water Filter?

by Jamin Arvig on August 14, 2013

Clean Water For Your FamilyOne of the most common questions my team hears from our customers is in regards to how frequently a water filter cartridge be changed. Whether it’s a standard sediment or carbon filter, refrigerator replacement filter or reverse osmosis membrane, every customer has one key priority in mind:

How Long Will I Have Dependably Clean, Great Tasting Water? In other words, how can I be sure that my filter is still reducing the impurities that can impact the flavor of my water and the health of my family?

Our standard answer: It depends.

The frequency of filter changes depends upon your water quality and your water usage. For example, if there are a lot of sediment particulates in your water, then you will have to change your filters more frequently than someone with little to no sediment. If you are a family of six who consume gallons of drinking water throughout the month, who wash piles of clothes every week, and who take multiple long hot showers every day, then your usage will demand more frequent filter changes. Having said that, our manufacturers suggest replacement schedules that are generally as follows:

Pentek P5 Sediment Water Filter
An affordable, easy to install filter used in whole house or reverse osmosis systems, this filter cartridge should be changed every two months or 8,000 gallons of water.

Pentek DGD-5005-20 Sediment Water FilterPentek DGD-5005-20
Many industry standard sediment filters used for the whole house, like Pentek’s DGD-5005-20, should also typically be changed every 2 months or 8,000 gallons of water.

Pentek RFC-20BB
Carbon filters used for the whole house, like Pentek’s RFC-20BB, should typically be changed  every 3-6 months.

Culligan PR-1
Like many pitcher and faucet filters, the Culligan PR-1 should typically be changed about every two months.

GE MWF Refrigerator Water Filter
Maytag UKF8001 Refrigerator Water Filter
Similar to many other refrigerator water filters, these models should be changed about every 6 months.

GE MWF Refrigerator Water Filter

Bottom-line – you should replace your water filters whenever you notice a decline in performance, whether it is a drop in flow rate and/or pressure, or an unusual taste in the water. You should also, per the CDC, replace you water filter after any boil water alert or advisory is lifted in your area. Remember: taste and odor may tip you off to the presence of chlorine in your water, but most contaminants are tasteless and odorless.

For the benefit of our customers, we have set-up automatic electronic reminders for our customers that are sent when we see that their filters are due to be replaced, based on order history.  We can even set-up Auto-Ship for customers that know they will need water filters by a certain date, but may not remember to place an order, with our “Worry-Free Water” Auto-Ship program.

If you have a water filter or filter style not included in the list above, and have a question regarding how often you should replace your filter, I invite you to submit a question below or call our team at 1-888-801-PURE (7873).

I also invite you to subscribe to this blog or our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest water news and hydration tips.  I also invite you to +1 the WaterFilters.NET Google+ page to be among the first to see exclusive deals and new products.

Jamin Arvig

Jamin Arvig

In 2002, Jamin Arvig founded WaterFilters.NET from his small college apartment. Just over ten years later, his company has doubled in revenue each year, grown into a multi-year honoree on the Inc. 5000, and become the online consumer’s first choice for water filters and water filtration technology. Jamin's success with WaterFilters.NET can be seen through coverage in publications ranging from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to the Wall Street Journal, its consistent ‘Excellent’ status from customer service ratings provider STELLAService, frequent appearances in Best Places to Work lists and in the pages of Upsize Minnesota who recently named the company Business Builder of the Year. Jamin also helps to ensure that WaterFilters.NET supports its core value of charitable giving by making significant contributions from its profits to various water-related charities. Posts from Jamin are contributed regularly to this blog.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Shari September 3, 2015 at 9:08 pm

From the very first time I used my PUR water filter, I recognized that I had to run the water through it twice to allow most of the awful taste to dissipate. What’s up with that?


wfnblog September 15, 2015 at 9:31 am

Thank you for contacting WaterFilters.NET!
Most water filters require to purge 2-4 gallons of water through the filter before use to release any excess carbon from the filter.
Please let us know if you have any questions!


Hank Katz October 26, 2015 at 10:00 am

I have a whole house Carbon Filter system. How often should I change the filters under the sink. (Big tank is outside). There are just 2 of us in the household.


wfnblog November 11, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Dear Mr. Katz thank you for your comment. Usually its recommended that you change out your filters every 6 months, but depending on the source water you have or the type of system you are using it could differ a few months. Feel free to give us a call at our customer service line 888-801-7873 and one of our representatives would be more than happy to assist you with any additional questions. Thank you and have a good rest of your day.


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