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When To Replace Zero Water Filter? Here is the Answer!

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

When to Replace ZeroWater Filter

You just installed your ZeroWater filter, and so far, it’s been working great. It does as it claimed; filtering 99.6% of detectable dissolved solids, and your water taste so much better.

You may have already started wondering how long this is going to last. At some point, your ZeroWater filters will have to be replaced.

So when to replace zero water filter? Get familiar with the signs that will tell you when to change your ZeroWater filter and its other crafty features.

Table of Contents

What Makes ZeroWater Different from Other Water Filters?


Conventional water filters in the market usually have a two-stage water filter system. The first layer consists of a metallic sedimentary filter that removes debris. The second layer is lined with activated carbon that removes chlorine and other contaminants.

ZeroWater water filter jugs, on the other hand, use a patented five-stage filter.

The first stage consists of a Coarse Filter Screen, which removes suspended solids like dust and rust.

The second stage is a Foam Distributor, which eliminates even more suspended solids.

The third stage is a Multi-Layered Activated Carbon and an Oxidation Reduction Alloy. This stage removes organic contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, mercury, chlorine, and chloramine.

At the fourth stage, a Dual Comprehensive Ion Exchange Resin removes inorganic compounds like metals, nonmetals, and radiological contaminants. ZeroWater filters utilize this ion exchange technology because it removes aluminum, lead, zinc, nitrate, and other dissolved solids that have trickled into the piping.

Finally, the fifth stage consists of an Ultra-Fine Screen lined with Non-Woven Membrane Layers. These hold the resin in place and remove the remaining suspended solids.

After filtration, ZeroWater recommends that you test your water using a TDS Meter to check for suspended solids.

What Is a TDS Meter?

TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. As its name implies, the solids from the ground get dissolved into the water through the piping. They are inorganic impurities that affect the taste and quality of your water.

A TDS Meter comes free with some ZeroWater jug filter models. You can use this to test your water at home. The TDS Meter is placed in the water, and it gives you a reading of the dissolved solids in ppm (parts per million). ZeroWater provides a guide on how to use their TDS Meter in this instructional video.

My Tap Water has a lot of TDS – Can ZeroWater Filter It Out?

Testing your water before it gets filtered will give you a basis for your tap water quality. Luckily, ZeroWater’s five-stage filter can separate dissolved solids from the water with moderate to extreme amounts of TDS.

Take note; a higher TDS content means a lesser yield of clean water. If your water has more solids floating around, it will mean more work for the ZeroWater filter to take it out, resulting in less water coming out of the filter.

ZeroWater provides this chart showing the effect of water with high TDS reading going through their filter. If your water has a moderate amount of contaminants (around 002-050 reading on your TDS meter), this will give you about 150 liters of clean water.

However, if your TDS meter shows that your water has a high reading (around 201-300), then the ZeroWater filter is expected to produce only 55 to 95 liters of clean water. In an extreme case where the TDS reading is 401 above, your anticipated quantity of clean water will only be 30 liters.

If you’re continually filtering water with a high TDS reading, the lifespan of your ZeroWater filter may be compromised. Make sure to check with your water sources and have your water tested, so you can gauge how often you may need to change your filter.

Should all of the TDS be Filtered out?


ZeroWater filters do not discriminate between good and bad TDS – it just removes it all. Some minerals in the water may turn out to be good for you. If you’re worried about ZeroWater holding you back from these safe minerals, remember that drinking low-TDS water isn’t bad either.

How Fast Is My Water Going to Run Through the ZeroWater filter?

Because ZeroWater filters have a five-stage filtration system, it’s going to take more time to filter than a typical two-stage filtration system.

The water will flow through slowly but surely – ensuring you that it’s removing all the stuff you shouldn’t be drinking. ZeroWater filters are capable of removing 18,000 milligrams of dissolved solids, and doing that takes time. Clean water is worth the wait.

Is ZeroWater More Preferable than Distilled / Bottled / Reverse Osmosis Water?

There are different ways to make water safe to drink. What sets ZeroWater apart from these other methods is its ability to produce crisp and refreshing drinking water without large machinery or electricity.

Distillation is a long process that involves boiling and steam and hours of waiting. Reverse osmosis can become too complicated, and bottled water contributes to the world’s plastic problem. ZeroWater operates on gravity and some patience.

Although ZeroWater filters eventually have to be replaced after a particular time, there is no doubt that it provides you with a safe and highly recommended convenience.

How Will I Know When to Replace my ZeroWater filter?

One of the first signs of your filter reaching the end of its lifespan is a sudden change in the taste of your water. It may start tasting acidic after months of use, and you may also notice a fishy smell beginning to build up. If this is the case, it’s highly recommended that you replace your water filter immediately.

If none of these signs show up, but you still suspecting the nasties coming into your drinking water, you can take out your good ol’ TDS Meter and test the water yourself. According to the ZeroWater website, if your TDS Meter reads “006”, then it’s time to replace your filter. Ideally, the reading should not go past “006”.

What Will Happen if I Don’t Replace my ZeroWater filter?

Your ZeroWater filter will eventually have a build-up of gunk in its system after a few months of use. It will eventually get clogged, and your flow rate will decrease significantly.

Along with a fishy stench, your ZeroWater filter may also become a breeding ground for germs if you leave it unchanged for too long. Be mindful with your water filter and anticipate any changes before the worst happens. You could end up exposing yourself to pathogens that could cause stomach problems, kidney problems, or even death.

ZeroWater does ensure users that their cartridges are made with specific materials to inhibit the growth of bacteria, but it’s always better to play it safe. Replace your filter after the recommended usage period of six months. If your water source has a high TDS reading, check on your filter every month. Learn more top-rated water filters here, including the top-rated water filter pitcher for well water or the most popular ceramic water filter, hope these options help!

Can My ZeroWater Filter be Recycled?

ZeroWater has a recycling program where you can mail your used filters straight to their facility. You can fill up their form and follow the instructions to ensure that your used ZeroWater filter is put to good use and not just left to rot in a landfill.

A ZeroWater World

Clean, safe, and tasty drinking water should be a priority in your household.

ZeroWater filters offer you control over the water you consume. You are basically in charge of everything, from testing, to filtering, to testing again.

It’s not rocket science, either. As long as you do your homework to follow the chart and make sure to change filters when needed, you’ll be enjoying refreshing water for the rest of your life.

Next time, you will also know the answer to when to replace zero water filter. I hope you learned something from this post. Share it with friends today!

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