Do Water Filters Expire? (When to Change)

Water filters have become an inevitable part of our lifestyle with the growing pollution. These water filters act as a physical barrier using the reverse osmosis mechanism. It blocks the foreign particles that our tap water carries. Some advanced water filters brackets bacteria also. The size of the gaps in the filter is also a crucial aspect to mention here. 

The speed of the water also depends on these gaps. From the beginning, if you have slower water flow, you have a fine water filter with small gaps, and it is more secure. But if the water flows gradually decreases, you have to understand there is some issue in the filter. In most cases, the filter gaps get blocked with foreign particles such as sand or small dust particles.

Do water filters expire?
Do water filters expire?

Do Water Filters Expire?

In short, all the water filters (when used) expire after certain times. The sellers don’t always mention the exact expiry date on a water filter, which is impossible for them. That is because it varies from place to place, water to water. But, there must be some approximate period or the total processed water amount mentioned. 

After that, the filters will not be so effective and may be harmful after some time. But all of these things apply when the water filter is actively used. If any water filter is in its buying condition and does not get in touch with water for any second, then that new, dry water filter does not expire.

Do Water Filters Expire
Do Water Filters Expire?

A water filter resists bacteria and other foreign particles from entering your tap water. These barricaded bacteria take place on your filters. This process continues daily; your water filter could be covered with bacteria after 6 months or 6 years. 

It depends upon the quality of the filter that is used. As far as the filter is effectively working, they can’t enter your tap water flow. But as soon as the barrier falls (the filter expires), these bacteria freely enter your tap water.

A German study concludes that the chances of bacterial infection become 10k times with using expired water filters. So it is very dangerous to drink water from an expired filter.

Do fridge water filters expire?

If the fridge is non-active, then the fridge water filters have an infinite lifespan. But in an active fridge, water filters expire within 6 months. Every six months, the water filter of the fridge should be replaced. 

A water filter actively used for more than one year is very dangerous. In most fridges, the manufacturers use carbon filters. And the carbon filter which is being used beyond its maximum capacity is too dangerous. It can make the water very harmful.  

Do carbon water filters expire?

In most fridges, carbon filters remove bad tastes and odors. Yes, the carbon filters expire after a certain time. Its lifespan generally varies between 18 to 24 months with 24X7 use. 

Do carbon water filters expire
Do carbon water filters expire?

It varies from company to company. There are some cases where carbon fiber has lasted for 48 months. Its life span is dependent upon some factors. We are mentioning some of them; humidity, quality of the carbon, usage or running time, paint type, etc.

Do zero water filters expire?

The ZeroWater filters use advanced ion exchange technology. Doing so can very easily reduce the TDS from the water. Like other filters, zero water filters also expire after certain times. But the time is very unpredictable. With two factors, this time varies. 

Do zero water filters expire
Do zero water filters expire?

First is the amount of odd particles (solid particles) it filters, and the other one is the total amount of water it has filtered. A Zero water filter usually lasts between two and four months. Each Zero water filter removes around 18,000 milligrams of dissolved solids.

Do PUR water filters expire? 

Like others, this advanced filter also has a certain expiry period. A PUR water filter can last for 2 months; after processing 40 gallons of water, you need to replace the filter. 

If the water quality is very poor, you might need to change the filter before the time mentioned above. These filters are not very costly, so this will not bother you.

What happens if you don’t change the water filter?

If you don’t change the water filter sometimes, you may have to face many consequences.

What happens if you don't change the water filter?
What happens if you don’t change the water filter?

💧Changes in odor and taste

With time, the filter becomes less effective, and it will become harder for the filter to figure out the water’s chemicals, minerals, and microbes. For this reason, the taste and odor of water you have kept in your refrigerator can be changed.


Most advanced RO comes with filter replacement indicators. All of these indicators vary from company to company. Please go through the user manual once for a better understanding.

💧Slow Flow

With time, the filter gaps get filled up with minerals and solid foreign particles. It slows down the water flow through the filter. It directly makes the water flow slow. If you get slow output from your refrigerator water dispenser, you need to change the filter immediately.

💧Cloudy Ice

An ice cube made from water with higher minerals or other foreign solid particles becomes slightly cloudy. 

💧Health Issues

When your water filter wears out, it can’t be able to protect you from heavy metals, chemicals, or microbes. You could be affected by such diseases caused by excessive fluoride, arsenic, pesticides, excessive chlorine, nitrates & nitrites, barium, asbestos, pesticides, cadmium, radium, lead, and chromium. And the chances of getting infected by various bacteria also increase.

How do you know when a water filter needs changing?

Filtered water is always good for health, and it tastes great. But many of us are unaware of when we need to change the water filter; every water filter has a specific life span after which each of them becomes ineffective and even very harmful to our health. Below, we mention some facts that indicate that you need to change your water filter soon.

How do you know when a water filter needs changing?
How do you know when a water filter needs changing?

💧Bad smell

If you get a bad smell or odor from your drinking water, you must understand that the filter needs to be changed. The bad smell is mainly caused by chlorine or sulfur.

💧Floaty bits or black mold

The filter is not working properly if you find floaty bits or black mold in your filtered water. Black mold is fungus, and we all know how dangerous it is for our health. And you need to be very cautious while changing such filters.

💧The water is slippery

The water is soft if you rub some filtered water between your fingers, which seems slightly slippery. And soft water contains higher concentrations of potassium and sodium ions. That means the filter is not working properly. 

💧Metallic taste

Metallic test directly refers to hard water. And hard water contains buildup minerals such as magnesium and calcium. If you get such a metallic taste from your filtered water, it indicates that it is time to change the filter.

💧Higher TDS

TDS ( total dissolved solids) monitoring is another effective way to understand the filter’s health. If the plain tap water has 100% TDS and after filtering, it gets reduced to 30%, then the filter has effectively reduced 70% TDS. For a healthy filter, this must be more than 80%.

💧Slow output

If the speed of getting filtered water is reduced, you need to change the filter. Clogged filters mainly cause this.

💧Heavy usages

The expiry date of a water filter can differ according to usage. If you need to filter to process a huge amount of water regularly, then there is a high chance that the filter will not last till the expiry date. 

How often should home water filters be changed?

The health of a home water filter varies with some factors, such as filter quality, amount of water usage, brand, and the TDS amount. But home water filters need to be changed every two to six months.

How long should you run water after changing the filter? 

When you are set to change the filter of your RO, then place the new filter into the specific chamber and lock the place. Most of the ROs have a separate filter holder. Then you need to press the filter change indicator, which will automatically reset itself. 

Now you need to flash the RO water for at least 5 minutes. By doing so, all the foreign particles that are left in the other portion of the RO get removed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do unopened Brita water filters expire?

A Brita filter that has not yet been used has an indefinite shelf life as long as it is sealed and remains intact. It is recommended that such filters kept in unopened condition for more than one year should be presoaked for 15 minutes in water before using. As soon as the filter gets in touch with moisture, its life starts to reduce.

Do Brita water filters have a shelf life?

After processing 40 gallons of water, the Brita water filters need to be changed. The average shelf life of a Brita water filter is more or less 2 months. But it can vary with the water type and TDS.

Do LG water filters expire?

Yes, like other water filters, the LG water filters also expire after a certain period. LG water filters are mainly used in LG fridges. Its average life span is 6 months, but it can vary with usage.


This article discusses all the questions that generally stick in one’s mind regarding “do water filters expire?” In a word, if you want healthy water, you need to monitor the filter’s health. Many indicators direct you to change the filter immediately. If you want to keep your family healthy, try to keep the water filter healthy.