Although water filters do not have an expiration date, they come with a recommended lifespan. If you neglect to change your carbon water filter on a regular basis, your drinking water may experience some troubling symptoms.
Consider your water filters as a whole on a one year cycle.
The frequency at which you need to perform this chore varies depending on your usage and the quality of your source water. However, a good rule of thumb is every 3-6 months. Let’s break it down even further. Your inline water filtration is most likely a 5 stage model; it is easiest to consider it as a whole that operates on a one year cycle. The majority of systems use the following:
First, let’s address the elephant in the room – the reverse osmosis membrane. Remembering when to change that puppy is nearly impossible. It is best to use a TDS (total dissolved solids) to measure the quality of your finished product. You will know it is time to do this when you begin to experience a slowing of water output or an off taste and smell.
Purchase a one-year filter pack.
The remaining four filters are a piece of cake. To make it even easier we recommend simply purchasing a one year pack. The one-year filter pack will supply you with exactly what you need to get through 12 months. But you will still need to remember to actually change the filters. Mark it on your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, or use the complicated (*sarcasm*) system we prefer- stickers on the filter casing. You should store your one-year filter pack in a dry location to assure that they are ready for peak performance.
If you have a well, check your filtered water monthly with a TDS meter.
The handy dandy TDS meter also plays a vital role with well water. I was raised on well water and know how in tune well owners are with their precious H2O. Using a TDS meter will be second nature, and in the case of water filtration, should be expanded beyond the reverse osmosis membrane. If your 5 stage system becomes bogged down by heavy minerals, it will not only lower the quality of your hydration but, may damage your RO membrane in the process.
The granddaddy, ultimate easiest way to remember to change your water filters is to let someone else do it! When you rent a water filter, not only are the filter packs free but, they are changed on a regular schedule by a professional technician. Boom. You are off the hook entirely.
What happens if you do not change your filters
How about a little bacteria, peppered with pesticides in your glass? As we mentioned earlier, old water filters will fill with sediment which will slow the flow of water, and it will begin to smell/taste odd. Also:
Proper maintenance on an easy to remember one year schedule will prevent all of these issues.