Refrigerator Water Filters
Are they a ripoff?
I’ve been doing some research on refrigerator water filters in connection with another project, and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the results with you. Refrigerators with built-in water filters have become commonplace over the last 20 years.
Refrigerator water filters are mostly carbon block filters. They do a decent job of filtering out larger contaminants and making your water taste good and odor free. They’re a step above the filters used with water pitchers, or attached to your faucet, but not as good as reverse osmosis (RO) systems.
If you have RO water in your house, and supplied to your refrigerator water line, that is great. Remove your refrigerator water filter and replace the filter with the plug that came with your refrigerator, i.e. no more refrigerator water filter. The RO system will provide RO water to your icemaker and water dispenser on the fridge. This eliminates the money spent on refrigerator filters, and assures a decent water flow rate through your refrigerator.
Without reverse osmosis water, you’ll need to pay attention to the replacement of your water filter. Recognize that refrigerator manufacturers DO have a vested interest in selling filters. Filters are quite profitable, and a nice source of added income after the sale. It does seem that more and more refrigerators have water filters that need to be replaced after 6 months, rather than the 1 year filters that used to be more common. .
Most refrigerators illuminate a warning light when the time to replace your filter is about to occur or has occurred. Some refrigerators measure both the flow of water through the refrigerator and track the time between filter replacements and warn you based on whichever comes first.
My new refrigerator has a filter that should be replaced every 6 months. The stated filter capacity is 200 gallons. The cost of a replacement filter is $40 = $80 per year if I replace every 6 months.
I’m fairly certain that 200 gallons of water won’t pass through my refrigerator in 6 months. I’m also certain that this filter will not degrade much in 6 months. How can you tell? Check for reduced water flow or smaller ice cubes. That could mean your filter is clogging up and it’s time for a new one.
Here is my plan:
I’ll replace the filter when I can tell that it needs it based on observable reduction in water flow or at 1 year. That’s twice the recommended time period, but should be OK. This is just a personal choice and not a recommendation of Arizona Wholesale Supply.
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