Drinking Water Filter Maintenance
Whether your drinking water filter is one single sediment or carbon filter, a specialized product like our clean&clear system, a reverse osmosis unit, or electronic DI unit, you need to change the filters to keep it making clean water. Most manufacturers recommend you change the filter every 6 months to a year. Well here is how it works.
The filter catches “stuff” (a technical term I like to use) of a certain micron size or larger as the water runs through it. As the filter is used it builds up more and more stuff and the stuff gets further imbedded in the filter material in most cases. Eventually the filter becomes nasty and restricts the flow causing a higher pressure on the input side than the outlet side and eventually driving the stuff through the filter or causing it to collapse and send all the stuff behind it into your drinking water. The same happens to a carbon block filter but the usefulness of the carbon would normally be long gone before this would ever happen. The carbon can only catch so much stuff before it is worn completely out.
Most people didn’t buy a drinking water system so they can have pure, clean drinking water most of the time. If you are one of the rare people who bought the thing but don’t really care if the water is as pure as it should be or not you can change the filter or have it changed at any interval you choose.
For the rest of you, we recommend you have a Filter Change every 6 months because that is the best way to be sure the filter you are drinking from is doing its job to the best of its ability. These filters are critical to the operation and life of the membrane they are protecting as well as being the final barrier between you and many chemical compounds, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metal contaminants.
Reverse Osmosis Membranes will eventually clog and need to be replaced but not nearly as often as the other filters. These membranes filter to around the 0.0001 micron level and are continuously rinsed off during drinking water production to help keep them from clogging prematurely. Some companies recommend 1 yr, some 5 yrs, some 8, and some even 10, but the best way to know when the membrane needs to be changed is to check the TDS (total dissolved solids) of the product water and see if the water quality is dropping any. By doing this you know for sure if the new one is needed or not. Our technicians check the water quality on each filter change visit and log the findings, so we know when a customer needs a membrane replacement. By doing that we insure our customers have the best quality water on a continuous basis.
Ultra Filtration Membranes are becoming more popular for filtering the drinking water in homes because they filter the water to 0.01 micron but don’t waste any, or very little, water depending on the style of unit. Some small under sink units should be changed once a year to insure consistent flow of drinking water between filter changes. Other larger units will backwash and clean themselves out and therefore last much longer. The small ones that are replaced regularly would just stop up if left too long and you wouldn’t get any water. The larger back-washing ones could however become damaged in the repeated back-washing process and the water should be checked for proper quality by a licensed technician on a regular basis to insure membrane integrity.