How Long Do Water Filter Last?

When you’re buying water filters, it’s important that you know the key features to a perfect one. Besides the most obvious things like filtering properties, the efficiency, the installation, the price, and the standards or possible certificates, you need to take into account how long do water filters last.

How Long Do Water Filter Last

If you’re going to have to replace the filter every two weeks, you’re going to spend a bunch of time, energy and money changing them and searching for them.

You’re possibly getting a water filter to help you with your health, but also your cash. You’re saving money by not buying bottled water daily, and you’re also helping the environment by not polluting it with any plastic.

If you end up buying a replacement cartridge more than once a month, it’s not economical and it’s certainly not eco-friendly. Let us guide you into the answer to the question stated in the title of today’s post.

What do water filters do?

To get a hang of the answer, you need to understand what filters do. Most of the cartridges „trap“ sediments, chemicals and toxins in the very small, micro-pores they have inside their active ingredients. Over time, the pores get filthy and full of all of this gunk that is filtered fro your water and that’s why the gadget is no longer functional. 

Not changing the water filter won’t harm your water in any way, but the water won’t get any cleaner, that’s for sure. You’re essentially drinking unfiltered water.

How do I measure the lifetime of a filter?

While many people decide to follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s page, where they usually say how long you can use the filter for, this is actually not the right thing to do. Why? Let us illustrate you.

The correct measurement you should be going for is the „filtered volume” the gadget can take. Essentially, the manufacturer will say that the filter can filter up to „x gallons” before being changed and that’s „x months” of use.

Let’s say there is a filter called „Fantastic filter“ and it can filter up to 40 gallons before going to waste. Family Smith and family Jones have bough the „Fantastic filter“ and they use it daily. However, the Smiths drink a gallon of water a day, while the Jones drink half a gallon daily. 

The Smiths won’t be able to use the filter any longer than 40 days, while the Jones family will be able to: they will get 80 days of use. See why you can’t believe the „x months of use“ disclaimers on the manufacturer’s page?

Dry filters vs. Wet filters

Dry filters last a much longer time than wet filters. All filters have to get wet at some point because of the process, though, which just explains the fact that „filters on the shelf” can last a very long time, but once in use, they start to lose their properties.

The best wet filters usually go up to six months because of the large number of gallons, but still depends on daily usage. Their lifetime also depends on the fact whether the water is very contaminated or not. This will change the amount of time before the filter gets stuffed.

How to know when to change water filters?

This question can be an especially tricky one because it all comes down to the system your water filter has. Some manufacturers were careful enough to put indicators of some kind on their systems, while others did not. Some gadgets tend to have them, while smaller ones really don’t.

Let’s go over the most obvious things you should notice when your water filter becomes unusable. 

The taste becomes differentThis counts for odor as well; unfiltered water may get that old weird taste back, and this is probably due to the chemicals and the minerals that are not being controlled anymore. After using a water filter for a long time, it won’t take you much to notice when the „old water“ is back. 

Lights and LEDs. As we said, some manufacturers took care of the process of cartridge replacement by implementing a system that will let you know when the filter is done with the good work. It would be smart to replace the filter as soon as the flashing begins because this can also mess with the light’s efficiency.

Stickers. This is a method that’s not as self-sufficient as the previous one, but it still works wonders. You should take off a piece of the sticker each month and then you get the idea when the last piece is off. The problem with this method is that you’re relying on the good old „x months“ thing rather than tracking the gallons. 

Is there a lifetime difference with different filtering systems?

This is a very good and very important question as well! Mineral cartridges will usually go for a shorter period of time, up to a year in extreme cases, while reverse osmosis systems go up to five years if you get the right one.

Price isn’t always linear with quality, which doesn’t make sense for many, but it also often depends on what the manufacturer deals within the production and the distribution process.

Usually, you can go with the typical „the bigger the gadget, the longer the lifetime of the filter“ scheme, just because the bigger gadgets usually provide a bigger amount of gallons because of their function.

How to change a water filter?

This depends heavily on the type of gadget, but most of them come with a manual. With smaller gadgets, you can mostly rely on the „twist-in, twist-out” method or „push-in, push-out” method. Bigger gadgets usually require a bit more DIY spirit and a bit more time.

A big reverse osmosis system may be more complicated, so getting a plumber isn’t a bad idea. The most important thing is that you know what you’re doing and you’re confident in it as well.


Water filters are beneficial for you and your family, and for your health as well. They are a great way to control the chemicals, toxins and organic compounds in your tap water without interfering with the government. 

Buying a water filter is a big task, but maintaining is as well! Depending on your gadget, you may encounter a few different ways to keep track of the filter’s lifetime. Make sure to check on it every now and then, and make sure that you’re doing the proper installation in order to get the maximum lifetime out of it.

One Response

  1. James Harvey October 28, 2021 Reply

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