All water filters use a compound that the water must pass through. This compound collects the contaminants and allows the pure water to get to your tap, and your glass.
The exact contaminants removed will depend on the type of water filter you’re using. In general, activated carbon is very effective at removing pesticides, herbicides, remove odors, and even improve the taste of your water.
In contrast, a reverse stage osmosis water filter is recognized as being more expensive and slowly but one of the most efficient at removing a wild variety of contaminants. This is especially true if the reverse osmosis is only part of the procedure. 5 stages mean that the water is going through 5 different filters and will be safe to drink.
Replacing The Filter
As mentioned, all filters have a compound inside them. This is the part that will need replacing periodically.
The simplest answer is every 40 gallons. You’ll need to calculate roughly how long it takes your household to use 40 gallons of water. The amount of time will depend on the number of people living in your home.
If there are just 2-4 people then it will take you approximately 2 months to get to full. However, if you have a larger family you may want to replace the filter every 2-6 weeks.
If you’re using a filter jug there will be a guide on the side of the jug, telling you when to change the filter. It’s even possible that it will tell you to clean it to help it last longer.
You should note when you clean or replace the filter, this will give you a guide as to how long it lasts for and help to ensure you’re prepared for cleaning/replacement time.
Don’t forget, if you don’t change your water filter when you should then the filter won’t work efficiently and will allow contaminants through.
Why You Should Change Your Filter
Think of a water filter in the same way as you would a lint tray in your washing machine. Over time the lint builds up and eventually blocks the filter. The same is true for water filters, with use the filtering compound becomes full of the contaminants it’s removing from the water. Once it’s full it will be unable to remove any more contaminants.
In short, you’ll be using a water filter without getting the benefits.
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Changing the Filter
You’ll want to start by removing the filter element from your water filter. It’s best to do this when the filter compartment is dry, in other words, you haven’t used the water for a short period.
Old filters should be recyclable, make sure you deposit them in the right place to do your bit for the environment.
Then, wash your hands to avoid moving contaminants from the old filter to the new one. Take the new filter out of its packet and place it in cold water for up to 5 minutes. Then, give the filter a quick rinse, ready to slide it into the container.
If possible, while the filter is soaking, use a little warm soapy water to clean the inside of the filter compartment. You can also use a teaspoon of vinegar in a cup of water.
Now insert your new filter and retighten the lines before turning the water back on and enjoying a clean fresh glass of water.