The Dangers of Not Changing Refrigerator Water Filter

Last Updated
Dangers of not changing refrigerator water filter

Modern refrigerators have everything, including water dispensers and ice makers. The filtered water dispenser is a big money-saver over buying bottled water. With these benefits comes the responsibility for maintaining your refrigerator by checking the water filter and replacing it as needed. Just like your car, your refrigerator needs a little TLC now and then to keep working at its best.

What are the dangers of not changing refrigerator water filter?

Water filters trap a lot of the particles of dirt, rust, and other things that might otherwise end up in your drinking water. By changing your water filter, you are preventing lots of nasty stuff from leaking into your water

When your water filter is past its expiration date, it is no longer capable of doing the job it was intended to do. It is less effective at keeping minerals, chemicals, and other things out of your water. You may find that the taste and smell of the water in your refrigerator changes.

If you don’t change your refrigerator’s water filter regularly, mineral deposits can build up in the lines and damage your fridge. Besides mineral deposits, you may also get mildew from bacterial growth which can be toxic. The dangers of not changing refrigerator water filter can be serious. It’s not worth taking a chance with your family’s safety.

Doesn’t the city water treatment take care of that? 

City water is filtered and treated to remove a large portion of the contaminants found in groundwater. However, It doesn’t remove 100% of the contaminants, merely an amount designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be safe. Even with these regulations, city water and well water can still contain tiny particles that water filters can trap and keep out of your home.

The water that comes out of your kitchen faucet, refrigerator water dispenser, and ice maker, comes from rivers, lakes, and groundwater runoff. All of this water flows into intake channels that lead to a storage tank that feeds into a treatment plant where the water is filtered and treated according to federal and state-required levels of purity. It is then pumped out to area homes and businesses.

Although it may not look like it, water can contain some pretty nasty things like bacteria, chemicals, and sewage. Here are a few contaminants that are commonly found in water sources:

  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrogen
  • Pesticides
  • Bleach
  • Metals
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Parasites
  • Sewage
  • Ionizing radiation

The process that water undergoes before being piped into your home has many steps. The first step is to collect the water in a large tank. Once the water is collected, chemicals are added. These chemicals bind to the dirt and debris forming large particles known as floc. This floc is heavy and sinks to the bottom of the tank. 

The clear water on the top is passed through several filters including sand, gravel, and charcoal to trap microbes and parasites. Chlorine and fluoride are then added to kill bacteria and improve the flavor of the water.

Other chemicals are added to soften the water and prevent hard water deposits. This is the same process that just about every water treatment facility uses. If you have ever poured a glass of water right out of the faucet and took a sip, you’ll understand why water filters are recommended. 

Water filters are another step in protecting your family’s safety. They keep harmful germs and bacteria out of the drinking water that comes into your home. Not changing your water filters means they may fail and stop working after a while and you may end up with particles in your water glass that are visible, or cloudy water coming out of your faucets. If this happens, the filter needs to be changed immediately.

Signs Your Refrigerator Water Filter Should Be Replaced

How do you know when to change your water filter? Are there obvious signs that a refrigerator water filter should be changed? Yes, there are. If you begin experiencing any of these signs of poor water quality, you should change it right away. Here are a few signs that indicate your water filter needs changing:

  • Water looks cloudy or has floaters
  • Water has a bad taste to it
  • Water or ice has a bad smell
  • Water pressure in the dispenser seems low

How Often to Change Refrigerator Water Filter

Filters on your refrigerator should be changed every 3 to 6 months, depending on the specific model of refrigerator you have. Certain manufacturers recommend changing filters every 3 months, and others say 6 months. Check with your manufacturer for the exact timeframe of how often to change the refrigerator water filter.

How to Replace a Refrigerator Water Filter

Changing your refrigerator’s water filter is easy and takes only a few minutes. Most likely, you won’t even need any tools to do it.

Steps for Replacing Your Water Filter:

Step 1: Locate the water filter on your refrigerator.

Step 2: Remove the filter and discard it in the trash. The filter may have a cap, so remove the filter and set the cap aside. 

Step 3: Open the new filter and remove it from the packaging.

Step 4: Install the new filter, being sure to line up the arrows carefully. 

Step 5: Replace the cap on the new filter, if there is one.

Step 6: Flush the line with 3 – 4 gallons of water to remove any debris left in the line. Don’t keep this water, pour it down the drain. Your filter is now primed for use.

To conclude

It is important to remember that the water that comes out of your kitchen faucet, refrigerator water dispenser, and ice maker comes from rivers, lakes, and groundwater runoff. Treatment plants do their best to filter the water according to federal and state-required levels of purity but even though the water goes through this process, it still can pick up contaminants on the way to your home. Using a water filter will add an extra layer of protection for you and your family. 

The H2Home Lab team is dedicated to helping you find the best solutions to your specific water needs, as well as provide troubleshooting tips and guides for water filtration, heating, softening and plumbing. We hope you will find the info you need on our site from any one of our buying guides or subject matter articles.

Leave a Comment