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6 Signs That Your Fridge Water Filter Needs Changing
04.06.2022 | GlacialPure | GlacialPure Blog

The water filter in your fridge is an important part of the system. It ensures that only clean water is dispensed or used to make ice. The water filter is very effective at keeping fridge water clean, but filters have a limited lifespan. Your water filter will need to be replaced regularly, and more often if the fridge water is frequently used. Whether you’re drinking cold water or making ice, your fridge water filter is cleaning the water.

So it’s important to know when the water filter is ready to be changed. If you recently moved in or have no idea when the last filter wash changed, you may need to follow the signs.  


1.A Lot of Black Flecks

The occasional small black fleck is completely normal in most fridges. The filtering medium is carbon particles. This is a very clean black grit that water flows through. The carbon stops unwanted contents in your tap water. However, the carbon flecks sometimes escape the mesh that holds them in. This can result in the occasional fleck. But as your water filter ages, the mesh may start to fail.

If you start seeing an excess of black flecks, then your water filter is old and needs a change. Your water filter has decayed beyond function and your water won’t be filtered until a new filter is installed.


2.Color or Murkiness

There are other visual cues as well. Properly filtered water should be crystal clear when held up to the light in a clean glass. Any sort of discoloration is a sign that your water filter is not filtering everything. Red can mean iron in the water, while gray could be dust. No matter what color your fridge water turns, the filter needs changing.

The murkiness is another bad sign. If there are swirls or your water is not completely clear, do not drink it. While many forms of coloration can be harmless, murkiness means a very high concentration of an unknown water contaminant.  Don’t drink your fridge water until the water filter has been changed.


3.Unpleasant Taste

Even if the water is perfectly clear, the taste is often an indication of filter failure. Trust your taste-buds if they tell you there is something wrong with the water. At any point, if your water tastes funky or unpleasant, then put the glass down and look up how to change your water filter. Clean water has no color or flavor, beyond a small amount of sweetness or a very mild metallic flavor. Softened water may taste slightly salty, but you know how water usually tastes coming from your fridge. If that taste changes, then it’s time to change the water filter.

Watch specifically out for dangerous flavors that indicate unhealthy contaminants. A musty taste may be the result of algae blooms or bacteria. If the water tastes acrid or extremely bitter, this can be bleach. If the water tastes metallic and bitter, it is likely to be dissolved copper corrosion or rust in the water.


4.Water that Smells

Your nose also knows when water is no longer safe to drink. If you’re wondering about your water filter age, take a sniff of your fridge drinking water before drinking. And listen to your nose when you take a sip. Smell plays a big part in taste and chemical detection. The most likely thing you will smell in unfiltered water is the rotten-eggs smell. This is the smell of sulfur or sulfites that can leech into the water in local underground water pipes. You may also smell something acrid, which can indicate bleach or smell metallic before you can taste metal corroded contaminants. If your nose detects anything at all in the water, think twice about drinking and replace the water filter. And if your nose sends warning signals to your brain, then put down the glass and warn your family to stay away from the fridge water until the filter is changed.  


5. Use for more than half a year

Of course, the easiest rule of thumb is the half-year rule. It's true that water filters wear out only when water flows through the medium. This is why spare filters have a longer shelf life. However, if your family regularly uses ice and/or water from the refrigerator, then you can assume the filter is getting enough exercise. Many water filters recommend that you replace them every 3-6 months of stable use.

So, if your water filter hasn't been replaced in more than half a year, it's probably time to replace the filter. Check your calendar whenever you're not sure whether to replace your water filter. Replace the filter if it has been more than half a year since the filter was last changed or moved in.


6.Water Filter Light Comes On

The last clear sign that it’s time to change your water filter is the water filter light. Not all fridges have this light. If your fridge is a newer model and it has a water and ice dispenser, that dispenser panel may include a water filter light. When this light comes on, it is indicating that it’s time to change the water filter.

The fridge itself calculates when it’s time to change the filter. Some are based on the gallons of water dispensed since the last filter-change, some are