What happens if you don’t change your refrigerator’s water filter

Little boy in his pajamas having a bedtime snack

One of the perks of modern refrigerators is that they often come made with a built in water dispenser and filtration system. This makes the fridge a healthy and convenient one stop shop for ice and cold water.

What’s more, did you know that your fridge doesn’t just give you regular old tap water, its filter helps purify the water as well.

These benefits do come with a small catch, however. In order to ensure proper functioning, you must maintain the system by occasionally replacing old, worn out water filters with new ones.

Some may nevertheless be skeptical of buying new water filters for their fridge. Do refrigerator water filters really need to be replaced? Why? And if so, how frequently?

These questions are not uncommon. In this article, we map out the negative effects that occur when you don’t replace an old water filter that is past its shelf life, and how often it makes sense to change the water filter in your fridge.

What Happens When You Don’t Change A Refrigerator Water Filter

Most refrigerator filters are active carbon filters, meaning that they use carbon charcoal to absorb the most commonly occurring drinking water contaminants. These range from heavy metals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, sediments and chlorine. As the water passes through the filter, the carbon absorbs the contaminants, and cleaner, better looking and tasting water comes out the other side.

However, failing to routinely change the filter can mean your filtration system isn’t operating at its intended capacity. This means that you are sacrificing water quality and the health and longevity of your fridge. Let’s explore these in more detail.

How Often Should You Change The Water Filter In Your Fridge?

So we know there’s lots of benefits to keeping the water filter in your fridge current and up to date.  But how often do we need to change out an old filter for a new one?

Exact numbers will vary depending on the amount of usage that a filter receives, as well as its size and other specifications.  Nevertheless, most manufacturers recommend changing the water filter in your fridge about every 6 months, or every 200 gallons filtered.  Whichever comes first.

If you use the water dispenser in your fridge frequently, we strongly recommend not leaving a filter in your fridge for more than a year, even if you haven’t noticed a change in your water’s taste, appearance or smell.  Many pathogens and other contaminants are small and tasteless.

To protect your warranty, always follow the manufacturers guidelines.  If in doubt about the specifics of the filter in your fridge, feel free to contact them directly.

Keeping Your Filter Going

As you can see, it’s in your best interests to change the water filter in your fridge when it needs to be swapped out for a new one.  Although it might seem like a tedious task and expense, your water quality, health and even the fridge itself, will all thank you for it.