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Here’s How Long Do Water Filters Last?

Published by: Paulo Baker

How Long Do Water Filters Last

Everyone knows that safe drinking water is extremely important. In fact, it is the most essential requirement for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. However, the ongoing cost of bottled water can be quite prohibitive.

As a result, a lot of people consider installing a home water filter system to reduce expenses and ensure clean and pure drinking water.

The question that continually comes up regarding water filters is: How long do water filters last? Well, the answer isn’t as simple as you may think—it depends!

How to tell When a Water Filter Needs Replacing?

Most people have a pan under their sink full of water filters, and most of those filters haven’t even been changed in the last year. This is not a big deal for most people—once a filter starts tasting bad, it’s time to replace it. 

But if you’re lucky and your water is exceptionally clean, you may not even notice a change in the quality of your water before the filter is totally dead and needs to be thrown away. Water filters and water filter replacements can end up costing a lot of money if you don’t keep your filters clean. 

But how long do water filters last? How do you tell when you need to replace one? The answer is simple: you should check the filter every month and replace it as soon as you notice a decrease in water flow or the filter begins to smell. 

In other words, if you notice a decrease in water flow or a smell, you should replace the filter.

How Long do Water Filters Really Last?  

Water filters are designed to last a long time. The following are different filters and their span of use:

1. Brita Water Filters

Brita water filters will last a lot longer than you think. Many people believe they need to change the filter every couple of months. But, this is not true. The filter can last up to 500 gallons before it starts to become ineffective.

How to Clean Brita Water Filter

How long the filter will last depends on how often you use the water filter. If you do not use the water filter for a long time, the filter will last longer.

2. Zerowater Filters

The Zerowater purification systems are some of the most popular on the market. With a low price tag and quality product, these machines offer great value and will often be an essential part of your home water filtration system.

Most Zerowater filters last somewhere between 2-4 months.

3. Refrigerator Water Filters

Refrigerator filters should be replaced every 6 months. Never leave a filter in place longer than a year.

How Effective Are Refrigerator Water Filters

If you use carbon filters beyond their maximum capacity, it means there is a higher chance your water can become more harmful.

4. Berkey Water Filters

Ideally, we recommend the replacement of a Black Berkey Filter after 2-5 years. There, of course, are exceptions to this blanket statement. How often you must change or replace your filter elements is always a case-to-case basis.

5. Under Sink Water Filters

Residential filters need replacement within 6-12 months. Additional alkaliser, membranes, and reverse osmosis only need changing after 2 of 4 years. 

How to Install Under the Sink Water Filter

A water filter removes contaminants from your water. This filter does not remove the beneficial minerals from your water, although the filter is able to remove many of the most harmful chemicals in water, including lead, chlorine, arsenic, and mercury. 

Filters are not designed to remove all the minerals from your water, so it is important that you change these filters regularly.

6. RV Water Filters

By now, most RVers know that you need to replace your RV water filter at least every 3 months. Most people don’t change it as often as they should, and/or they don’t use it very often. 

Some people will never change their filter, and some will change it every couple of weeks. Whichever method you choose, we can almost all agree that we should change our filters more often than we currently do.

7. PUR Water Filters

If you haven’t heard of the PUR Pro line of water filters, you might be missing out. The PUR Pro line of water filters is known for their durability and their safety. These water filters are very easy to use, and you don’t have to replace them for 10 years. 

What is PUR water filter

So why replace it every 3 months? This is because water filters do not remove 100% of the contaminants that may be in your water. The filtering media inside the filter cannot filter out absolutely everything. This is why water filters should be changed every 3 months or sooner.

8. Charcoal

Water filtration systems have been around for a few decades now. There are a host of types of filters out there, but the most common use is a carbon block to capture unwanted contaminants from your tap water. 

These filters are fairly standard in most households, and most models have a life span of about 18-24 months from the date of purchase.

How Often Should I Replace my Water Filter?  

Water filters are often overlooked when it comes to household products that are used on a frequent basis, but they are critical to our health.

Over time, water filters become less effective, leaving you vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. Water filters are also important when it comes to quality. Improper water filtration can lead to poor tasting water, which can have negative health effects over time. 

We all know that water filter cartridges should be changed to ensure that they are functioning properly. Commercial filter cartridges or housings should be changed every 4 to 6 months.

Residential filter cartridges or housings should be changed to a new filter every 6 to 12 months. Reverse osmosis, membranes, and additional alkaliser only need to be changed every 2 years or 4 years, respectively.

How Long Does a Whole House Water Filter System Last?

The average lifespan of a whole house water filter is approximately three months. Many factors contribute to this estimate, but the two most important ones are the quality of the filter and how often it’s cleaned. 

Most whole house filters work well for a few months before they stop working properly. The result is a loss of up to 30% of the filter’s original efficiency, which can cause the water to become cloudy, reducing the quality of the water.

Is it Safe to Drink Water from an Expired Filter?

If you’ve been using the same filter for a long time, is it safe to assume that it’s still removing contaminants from your water?

Tests have shown that most filters work well for up to six months after the “best by” date on the packaging.

While testing water from an expired filter, Consumer Reports found that some filters removed as much as 95 percent of lead, while others removed less than half.

The researchers also said that some of the water at the end of their test period contained levels of lead that could pose a health risk.

If you’re worried about whether your filter is still effective, try running some tap water through it first. If there’s no noticeable difference in color or taste, you can be reasonably certain that it’s doing its job.

Final Thoughts

Water filters are a great invention that we should all be using to provide safe drinking water. Water filters eliminate the need for bottled water and purify the water we use to drink and cook. 

However, even though using a filter is a great idea, we need to consider the fact that the filter may not be as efficient as it once was.


How long do Brita water filters really last?

The iconic Brita Water Filter has been around for decades, and today the brand is the number one water filter in the world because it can remove up to 99% of all contaminants in tap water. The Brita Longlast+® Water Filter is a whole new product in the Brita range, and it can be used in place of a Brita Filter for up to six months at a time.

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Article by:

Paulo Baker

Paulo is a senior writer at Dash Appliances, where he research, writes, and reviews home and commercial water filters. Paulo is covering home-related things like water filters, vacuum cleaners, and more since 2019. When he's not researching and testing, he's traveling and playing golf.

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