A whole house water filter, known as a point-of-entry filter, primarily removes harmful contaminants from your water for general use applications. Given its size and capacity, a whole-house filter is a wise investment.
However, if we don’t change this filter regularly, various contaminants can permeate your hydraulic system at home and travel throughout your water fixtures. As a result, your residential water becomes non-potable. Hence, it is crucial to determine how often to change whole house water filter.
According to experts, the best practice is to change a whole house filter every 2-6 months. Read on and find out more insightful facts about whole house water filter replacement.
Table of Contents
- Filtration Stages in a Whole House Filtration System
- How Often to Change Whole House Water Filter
- Why Should You Change Your Whole House System Regularly
Filtration Stages in a Whole House Filtration System
There are several filtration stages involved in a whole house water filter. They are Pre-filter, Main Filter, and Post-Filter.
For instance, a Reverse Osmosis system is often equipped with four separate filter stages: a sediment pre-filter, a carbon block pre-filter, a reverse osmosis membrane and a carbon block post-filter.
On the other hand, UV water filters often have at least three stages: a sediment pre-filter, a UV filter device, and a carbon block filter with activated ceramics.
Some home filtration technologies don’t necessarily rely on RO systems and UV purification systems. A simple taste and odor water treatment will probably need a two-stage filtration: carbon and sediment filters.
Determining how often you should change a whole house system will depend on the water usage and filter cartridge you use at home.
Generally, sediment pre-filters have the shortest lifespan. These filters should be replaced every 6 months, but some models might require 3 months replacement. Sub-micron post-filters can last for nine months or more. In less demanding situations, carbon filters can go on for about 14-15 months.
Although carbon filters can last the longest, plumbing experts recommend changing them after less than 6 months because algae and molds could potentially grow in a 6 months interval.
In addition, activated carbon filters remove chlorine, one of the most efficient algae killers. Once chlorine’s removed in our home water, the carbon filter becomes a breeding ground for algae. Hence, it is substantial to change these filters sooner than the maximum replacement period.
How Often to Change Whole House Water Filter
I’ve recently had an aquasana whole house filter replacement, and it was a complicated task to contemplate the retirement of my older filter.
Several things can affect the longevity of our whole house water filters at home, and these factors below have helped me understand the shelf life of my whole house system :
1. Water Source (Municipal Water or Well Water)
The first thing you need to consider is your water source. The lifespan of your whole house water filter is massively determined by how contaminated your home water is. There are two primary sources of household water: municipal water and private well water.
Over 15 million US households use private wells for their drinking water supply. For families who live in rural areas with no access to municipal water, private wells become their primary source of water supply.
Private wells are considered safe for public consumption as long as they are tested, maintained, and approved by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
However, they still have an inherent risk of contamination and contain higher mineral deposits, which, in return, will require you to change the filtration system regularly. If you notice that your water smells like a rotten egg and gives off a sulfur taste, it means that the water contains sulfur bacteria.
They usually cause stains and damage to your water appliances. Therefore, it is recommended to change your filter when you detect such a smell.
On the other hand, municipal or tap water provides various applications across residential, commercial, and industrial water demands. This water undergoes a series of treatments and processes before it is pumped into our homes.
That said, even though the EPA sets water quality standards, the quality of household water varies from one place to another.
US tap water supplies are among the safest in the world. However, contamination can still occur. It is because of sewage releases, manufacturing processes (e.g. metal production), naturally occurring minerals, etc.
According to Reader’s Digest, it is safe to change water filters within six months for a city water supply. Although a 6-month timeframe is standard, the actual lifespan of your whole house filter still depends on the overall tap water conditions you have at home. The basic rule of thumb is to inspect your filter every three months.
2. Size and capacity of the water filter
The overall capacity of a water filter is often measured by how much water it can process before needing replacement. This is typically expressed in gallons or months.
Calculate your water usage, and the amount should match your whole house filter system capacity to ensure that there will be no water interruption during peak hours.
Water filters come in different sizes. The larger the filter, the longer lifespan it will have. The ideal filter size for homes is 4.5” x 20” with 100,000 to 150,000 gallons in normal municipal water conditions, and a large family might need at least a 25 GPM flow rate to sustain their everyday water needs.
3. Hardness Of Water
Hard water indicates a higher content of minerals like calcium and magnesium. While mineral-rich water sounds a good idea, it can cause scale, making it difficult for RO membranes to work appropriately
The scaling substances will then leak and decrease overall water quality and eventually damage the membrane itself. If you have hard water at home, you would need to change filters at frequent intervals.
4. Number Of Users
Generally, water filter replacement depends on household water usage. If you live alone, a whole house filter can last a maximum service period of 1 year. A family of five or more may use more water than average households. Therefore, the frequency of water filter replacement increases.
Every member will probably have a daily schedule of water usage. It’s possible for the water filter to be used all day by different people at different times. All water filters wear out over time, but this habit can lead to a shorter lifespan.
5. Impurity Content
More contaminants mean more frequent replacement. The majority of water contaminants will have an enormous impact on the efficiency of the whole house water filter. If your water filter regularly combats numerous pollutants in your home water, the system will eventually slow down.
It’s a tell-tale sign that your filter has already exceeded its capacity. You can examine the quality of your water filter to understand when you should replace it. You may get a water testing kit that can detect a vast range of water contaminants, and it will give you a clearer picture of your water quality at home.
Why Should You Change Your Whole House System Regularly
Changing your whole house filter now and then is the best course of action to ensure that the whole water filter system is working accordingly. If you notice sudden changes in the look, taste, odor, and flow rate of your water, they’re evident warning signs that it’s time to buy a new filter.
A whole house water filter is essential for your home because it treats hard water and various volatile organic compounds that are harmful to the environment and toxic to the human body.
Therefore, it’s recommended to buy a high-quality water filter with a long-lasting service life. It will work effectively in providing a safe drinking water quality for your family.
In addition, it is necessary to set a reminder based on the given replacement time of your water filter. Mark the date on your home or phone calendar to keep you notified about the day of the replacement.
Determining how often to change whole house water filter is a difficult task for everyone. But after considering several components that make up a water filtration system, you could now create a solid plan about its maintenance.
This article highlights the importance of changing the filter at the right time to get an adequate supply of purified tap water at home. What do you think about today’s topic?
If you have any DIY hacks and tips about how you keep your water clean, please share them with us in the comment section below!