This Is How Often You Should Be Changing Your Water Filter

It’s probably a lot more often than you realize.

A lot of items in your home make it pretty clear when they need to be replaced. Your fire alarms beep at you, light bulbs around the house will burn out, or your plates will still be dirty after running the dishwasher. Your home’s water filter isn’t as obvious, though. As long as the water runs when you turn on the faucet people assume everything is working fine.

The best practice is to change your water filter every three to six months, according to Tommy Webber, owner of Hudson Valley-based T.Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric. “Every home and water source are unique so there really isn’t a one size fits all answer,” he says. “It is dependent on the type of filter being used, the quality and makeup of the water being filtered, and how much water your household utilizes.”

If the water for your home gets pulled from a private well it may have excess sediment or iron in it. That means it’s probably best to change your filter every three months instead of six because it has to clean out more contaminants. If you have city water, you’re probably safe changing your filter every six months.

One of the telltale signs it’s time to replace your water filter is a noticeable reduction in water pressure throughout your home, says Webber. Also, if you notice a change in the look, taste or odor of your water that probably means it’s time for a new filter. “As the filter gets clogged with sediment, it restricts water flow and reduces the gallons per minute allowed into your home. Additionally, if the filter is significantly clogged and water pressure is greatly reduced it could put an excess strain on your well’s pump system (if you draw water from a private well).”

Neglecting to change your water filter can lead to an expensive system repair and unsanitary water. Check out this water filter that Webber’s team pulled out of a house that hadn’t been changed in over a year. Yuck! You definitely don’t want your water filtering through that before it goes into your glass. Check out these things you should never throw down the drain.

clogged water filterCourtesy of T. Webber

Even though homes tend to have the water system tucked away in the basement, brave through the cobwebs everyone once in a while to check on your water filter. It’s an important part of your home that needs regular maintenance to keep things running smoothly and your water safe. Now your filter’s all clean! Just make sure not to do your dishes during a thunderstorm.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest