What You Need to Know about Water Filter Maintenance

Buying a water filter is one of the smartest decisions you can make. It filters out contaminants from your water, ensuring a healthy and clean water source for you and your family.  If you’re still looking for a water filter, Filtap has options from small under-sink water filters to reverse osmosis systems. While purchasing and installing the best water filter according to your needs is easy, it is not the end, water filter maintenance still must be done.

Photo of sale pellets in a man's hands
Certain water filters require salt pellets, usually for water softening.

If you want to maximize your investment and reap the full benefits of a water filter for years to come, it should be appropriately maintained. This article shares tips to ensure a well-maintained water filter for your home.  

1. Filters Need to Be Changed Regularly 

The efficiency of filter cartridges degrades over time. As such, you’ll need to replace them as specified by the manufacturer’s manual. In general, filter cartridges are manufactured to have an approximate lifespan, which is measured in liters, months, or both. 

Most filter cartridges can last for six months or up to a year. However, you may need to replace them sooner than the suggested replacement time if the water quality in your area is terrible. 

You can often buy replacement filters from retailers where you purchased the water filtration system.  

2. Some Filters Can Be Cleaned and Sanitized 

In general, water filter cartridges should be replaced for a specific time and never reused. However, some filters, such as ceramic or pleated cartridges, can be cleaned and reused at least twice after washing them thoroughly with running water. 

However, note that you should monitor the water quality and whether the reusable cartridge still performs as intended. If your water starts tasting or smelling bad, you’ll need to replace it immediately.  

3. Various Signs Will Tell You It’s Time to Replace Your Filters 

If you forgot to replace your water filter, there would be warning signs vying for your attention. Here are some of them: 

Changes In Water Quality 

This is one of the most obvious signs that your filter cartridges need replacement. As mentioned before, if your water tastes or smells different or looks cloudy, you’ll want to stop using the filter until you replace the cartridges. The oversaturation of contaminants in the cartridges may cause changes in water quality, telling you it’s time to replace them. 

Low Water Pressure 

Changes in water pressure are another sign telling you that it’s time to replace your filter cartridges. This issue is typically caused by clogging on your cartridges due to sediment buildup, which is particularly common for areas with a hard water supply.  

Strange Signals

If you notice anything strange with your filter, for instance, a peculiar noise or an alarm lights up, make sure to check the user manual. In general, though, it’s primarily because of an overused filter cartridge.  

4. The Filtration Tank and System Should Also Be Cleaned

Photo of a person changing a water filter cartridge.
There are various sizes and shapes of water filters.

An essential key to water filter maintenance also includes replacing the filters that are designed to be replaced. Others may just need cleaning. But you must also clean the rest of your filtration system. You want to clean the exterior of your system, wiping away any dust and debris that have settled. This helps prevent dirt buildup that can compromise the efficiency of your filtration system.  

In addition, if you have a reverse osmosis filtration tank, you need to schedule a regular cleaning, especially if you don’t use much water. Consider emptying the tank every few weeks to replace the water inside and keep it clean. All tanks tend to grow slime after a while, so it’s important to sanitize it whenever you change filters.  

5. Don’t Ignore Drips and Leaks 

Aside from replacing filters and cleaning the whole system, you also need to regularly inspect filter connections, pumps, O-ring gaskets, and housing to check for leaks and drips.  

Leaking water from your filter not only reduces water pressure from your taps but also causes damage to the surrounding areas. So, if you notice water puddles around your water filter, don’t ignore them and get in touch with a technician to seal the leak immediately.  

6. A Water Softener Can Maximize Water Filter Efficiency 

Most water filters have sediment buildup due to minerals found in water, such as magnesium and calcium. While some filters come with cartridges that filter out these minerals, they can cause unwanted clogging in your system.  

As such, a water softener works well with water filtration systems. Softeners can help purge minerals from the water before passing through the water filtration system, which helps improve the filter’s efficiency and extend the life of filter cartridges.  


A water filter is essential because it provides water that’s free of contaminants and safe for consumption. Water filter maintenance is vital for you to enjoy the benefits since it allows you to use your investment for many years to come. So, make sure to follow the above tips and strategies to keep your water filter maintained, so you reap its advantages for a long time.  

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.