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What Happens if you Don’t Change Refrigerator Water Filter?

Published by: Paulo Baker

Dangers of Not Changing Refrigerator Water Filter

Fridge water filters are a convenient way of providing filtered water to your ice tray or fridge compartment. When the time comes that you have to change the filter, most people just put it off for the sake of convenience.

However, there are several factors that show how changing your fridge water filter regularly will benefit you and your family. So let’s start with what will happen when not changing refrigerator water filters…

What is a Refrigerator Water Filter?

A refrigerator water filter removes the contaminants and particulates from the water, which goes in your fridge’s water as well as the ice dispenser. 

Refrigerator water filter works by capturing particular sizes of water contaminants. This includes microorganisms, minerals, and many others. 

All the contaminants captured slowly upsurge inside the refrigerator water filter. Therefore, what occurs if you do not change the water filter in your refrigerator?

The Dangers of Not Changing Refrigerator Water Filter

A dirty or grimy water filter can have many results. Some can be relatively obvious, while others you might not have considered.

Here are some of the things you will experience if you fail to change or clean your refrigerator water filter

1. Passing Contaminants

If you do not change your refrigerator’s water filter in time, you will use it past its duration or existence. At this period, your water filter will be highly beaten to collect all water contaminants.

So, it means you’ll be putting yourself and your loved ones at risk of diverse waterborne diseases.

If the quality report of the water indicates the presence of dangerous contaminants, you tend to find them in the filtered water. Therefore, ensure that the refrigerator water filter is substituted in time to avoid contaminants passing.

2. Build Up of Mineral

Another risk of failing to change your refrigerator water filter in time is the build-up of the mineral. As stated above, minerals locked in by the filter stay there. 

The suggested lifespan is intended to make sure the minerals don’t built-up a point where the tool cannot produce high-quality, clean, and safe drinking water.  

If you do not replace your refrigerator water filter in time, the build-up of minerals can lead to a high concentration of minerals in your filtered drinking water.

Some minerals, including iron, are suitable for your wellbeing on a small level; however, they can be poisonous in large amounts. Therefore, the build-up of minerals can cause serious diseases or death.

3. Safety and Health Issues

The most important thing is that once the water filter of your refrigerator wears out, meaning you’re no longer getting enough protection from microbes, heavy metals, and chemicals.

This might put you in danger for exposure to the following:

  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Excessive Chlorine
  • Chromium
  • Barium
  • Cadmium
  • Cysts (microbes)
  • Excessive Fluoride
  • Radium
  • Pesticides
  • Lead
  • Nitrates & Nitrites

4. Odor and Taste Issues

Nothing could be troubling and upsetting than having filtered with an annoying smell and unpleasant taste. However, this will be a common issue if you do not change the water filter in a given time frame. 

If the filter is highly used up or depleted so it can’t catch water contaminants, you will have taste and smell issues.

Minerals and chemicals are accountable for the unlikeable and horrible taste, while bacteria and other microbes cause a terrible smell. However, you can solve the issue by substituting the old water filter with a new one.  

5. Ice is Not Clear

A good ice cube must be clear, provided that it is made of clean water. If you utilize water filled with impurities and chemicals, it might cause the ice to become unclear and cloudy. 

Therefore, if you’re getting unclear ice cubes from the water filter of your refrigerator, it’s time to make a substitution and make sure to do it as soon as possible.

6. Clogged Reducing Water Flow

If your refrigerator’s water filter has worn out its lifespan, it is already getting congested or blocked.

The occurrence of the trapped water contaminants is what blocks the filter in due course. If you fail to replace it on time, then you will be experiencing an issue with water flow.

Water clogging in the filter is what causes a slow reduction in the pressure of the water. If you fail to replace it, the pressure will keep on reducing. In due course, it will block the filter entirely. 

7. Mould Growth

Once you fail to replace the water filter in time, it is likely to begin growing mold. The build-up of minerals in your water filter will give a favorable place for the growth of the mold, mainly if you reside in a humid area.

Molds make your water taste awful and can cause serious diseases once taken. Some of these health issues are sinus problems, headache, diarrhea, and many more.

Do I Need a Refrigerator Water Filter if I Have Reverse Osmosis?

If you have a water filter and want to use reverse osmosis, it’s unnecessary to use a filter. It is highly recommended that you eliminate the water filter and set up the by-pass plug supplied once you bought your refrigerator. 

How Often Must I Change the Water Filter in my Refrigerator?

How often you need to change the water filter will depend on some factors, including the model and make of the refrigerator and the quality of the current tap water, and how often you utilize the ice and water feature on the fridge. 

What is more, different manufacturers have diverse recommendations. For instance, some models must be changed every six months while some suggest replacement every three months.

Final Thoughts

These are only some of the possible risks of not changing the water filters of your refrigerator. To make sure quality and clean drinking water, replace the water filter in time. Always make sure that you’re getting the most excellent water filter for replacement.


Is it bad not to change the Refrigerator water filter?

Yes. Not changing the water filter can affect the taste and smell of the water. It can also lead to different health issues due to water contaminants not being filtered well.

Can I use my refrigerator without the water filter?

For many refrigerators, a water dispenser and an ice maker will function well without the water filter; however, some do need a filter by-pass to keep on working.

How long can you go without changing the Refrigerator water filter?

It takes about six months, but it depends on the model and brand of the refrigerator.

Do you really need to replace the refrigerator air filter?

Yes. It is vital to replace the air filter to keep you and your loved ones safe and sound.

Photo of author

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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